As the normalization process between Israel and the UAE becomes, well, more normal, we are starting to witness the potential of the newly-formed bond, at least on when talking about technological innovation. Just earlier this week, Israeli startup Salaryo received the first-ever investment from a Dubai based VC, and now one of the UAE’s biggest tech companies, G42, is opening offices in Tel Aviv, so that it can tap into the Startup Nation’s innovative startup ecosystem and promote collaboration.
“Direct access to one of the most active and achieved ecosystems in the world”
G42, or Group 42, was founded in 2018 and is one of the leading companies in the AI and cloud technologies industry in the Middle East. On Thursday, the company revealed that it would be opening a wholly-owned subsidiary in Israel. G42 CEO Peng Xiao tells that this initiative serves two goals: “The establishment of the Israeli subsidiary will further strengthen our footprint in the area, while also allowing us direct access to one of the most active and achieved ecosystems in the world.” Xiao added that the subsidiary “will act as a bridge for Israeli startups looking to expand operations to the rest of the Middle East, and the UAE in specific.”
The new venture will be managed in collaboration between directors in Israel and the UAE, and will focus on Biotech, healthtech, AI research and technologies, agtech, watertech, renewable energy, and smart cities: “Israel is home to over 6,000 startups, a highly concentrated, buzzing ecosystem in relative to the country’s size. Furthermore, Israel leads the way with the most scientists per capita, posting 145 scientists per 10,000 people, which is far superior to the 85 scientists per 10,000 in the U.S., 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany.”
The move to open the Israeli subsidiary joins a list of recent partnerships announced by the company over the last few weeks. Among the achievements, G42 signed an MOU with RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems and Israeli Aerospace Industries; then announced a collaboration with Nanoscent, which developed a fast COVID test based on air samples - if you would, an “artificial nose”. The company is also behind the 4Humanity, which is a stage 3 Coronavirus vaccine testing initiative, bringing 15,000 volunteers from the UAE, Jordan, and Bahrain together for one cause.