If it seems like every major global automaker is clamoring to set up an R&D center in Israel, you’re right. General Motors, Honda, Daimler, BMW, and several Volkswagen subsidiaries (to name just a few) have all set up offices in the Silicon Wadi. And this week Ford became the latest.
After speaking at the EcoMotion smart-mobility tech conference, Ford Motor Company executive chairman and scion Bill Ford opened the company’s new Research Center in the heart of Tel Aviv. The office joins similar R&D centers Ford operates in Nanjing, China; Aachen, Germany; and at its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
It’s located in Adgar360, a 35-story office tower on Rehov HaShlosha, near the LaGuardia interchange for the Ayalon highway and adjacent to the Menora Mivtachim Arena (home to the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team).
The Ford Research Center, Israel will be run by Udy Danino, founder and chief executive of SAIPS – the computer-vision and machine-learning firm that Ford acquired three years ago. Activities there will focus on connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cyber security, according to the statement released by the American automaker.
“Expanding Ford’s presence in Israel with the new Research Center will allow us to engage with the best technology and leading companies a lot faster, and further support Ford’s goals of bringing together our vehicle and technology expertise to create new solutions to meet the mobility challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Danino, who will serve as Technical Director of the new center.
“We recognize the importance of being in one of the world’s leading innovation communities and ecosystems,” added Bill Ford. “This new center is not only an expansion of our existing Research and Innovation centers but provides an opportunity to join a growing innovation community in Israel.”