Hamburg and Israel deepen innovation partnership
The two-day "Digital Innovations from Israel - Opportunities for Hamburg Companies" on July 6-7, 2023 was one of three events launching an innovation partnership between Hamburg and Israel. Held in collaboration with the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce, the event offered an overview of Israel's innovative ecosystem. Topics ranged from fintechs and cybersecurity to mobility, logistics, aerospace, sustainability and renewable energy. The event was followed by theDOCK on July 10 during which an Israeli venture capital firm, specializing in maritime start-ups, was a guest at the Digital Hub Logistics. A day later, a delegation of Israeli start-ups presented smart city solutions at a joint event by the Israeli Embassy, Hamburg Invest, the Chamber of Commerce and HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU).
Many start-ups and capital
Israel's high concentration of start-ups and venture capital per capita makes it one of the world's most innovative countries with over 8,000 start-ups frequently developing technology-based business models. "Israel is very good at driving innovation. Hamburg is an attractive market and offers Israeli start-ups the chance to scale up. Our events offer the various stakeholders an opportunity to make mutually beneficial and valuable contacts," said Veronika Reichboth, Head of Startup Unit at Hamburg Invest. Hamburg is one of the EU's strongest economic regions and topped Bitkom's annual Smart City Index for the fourth consecutive time in 2022. The city offers great conditions for forging collaborations.
Smart city and mobility solutions
Eight start-ups presented their business models in eight-minute pitches under the theme of "Smart City & Smart Mobility Technologies Made in Israel" at the HCU on Tuesday (July 11, 2023). Their approaches ranged from smart management systems based on digital twins to Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) solutions and cyber security. The start-up, HopOn, for instance, is advancing the mobility transition with its Mobility-as-a-Service solution designed to say goodbye to your car. "Our suggestions include all kinds of mobility from public transport to walking, and take into account real-time information about traffic and weather," said Amir Rosenzweig, CEO. Changing buses with HopOn will be fun. "If a bus is delayed, the user will receive a notification on their mobile phone as well as a coffee coupon for use in a nearby café. The annoyance over the delayed bus will turn into fun (and easier to swallow) with a cup of coffee."
Smart City Research at HCU
The intelligent use of digital solutions can be fun and has many benefits, according to Professor Jörg Müller-Lietzkow, President of HCU. The smart city emerges from the fusion of technological and digital infrastructures. Research into this process is underway at HCU's CityScienceLab with partners from civil society, politics, business and science. Jörg Rainer Noennig, Professor of Digital City Science at HCU, said the world is now experiencing a "Cambrian moment" in mobility. The Cambrian period was marked by a sudden explosion of life on Earth. "We are now experiencing the sudden emergence of a multitude of mobility options and need to figure out how to share existing space wisely." Urban Air Mobility (UAM), for instance, is on the starting blocks and take-off and landing areas should and will be found for this new means of transport, he said. Many smart ideas for shaping the future are just waiting to be turned around.
Co-operation between Hamburg and Israel
Businesses in Hamburg and Israel's start-up scene are set to forge even closer ties. This comes after Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce, Hamburg Invest and the German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce Abroad signed an agreement on February 20, 2023 on closer co-operation with emphasis on tech scouting. The agreement, which was signed in Tel Aviv, gives Hamburg-based companies an overview of new technologies and digital solutions in Israel and should facilitate contacts to potential partner companies. The agreement is also likely to boost the settlement of Israeli start-ups and scale-ups in Hamburg. The fintech, cyber security, logistics, life science, maritime industry and renewable energies are particularly important sectors.