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Down To Business

JLife gets you up to speed on the latest developments in the world of UK-Israeli business…

EU Gave Grants to 423 Israeli Projects in 2018

Horizon 2020, Europe’s flagship innovation programme, gave grants to 423 Israeli projects in 2018.           Since Horizon 2020 was set up in 2014, it has funded 1,062 Israeli recipients to the tune of €742 million. Cooperation was celebrated at an awards ceremony in Jaffa in June.

The Horizon 2020 program has made almost €80 billion of funds available over seven years, through 2020, to research programs by participant nations. Horizon 2020 is part of the EU’s efforts to boost international cooperation in research and innovation, a strategic priority for the union. Israel has been a partner in the EU’s research and innovation framework programs since 1996 and was the first non-European country to join it.

Among the Israeli recipients of funding last year was the firm Vectorious, which is developing a miniature wireless heart implant that monitors heart function; Optima Design Automation from Nazareth, which was granted some €2.5 million; Jerusalem-based Triox Nano, which won a €2 million grant to help develop a new drug delivery platform.

Google Express to Use Compostable Packaging from Israeli Startup

Google’s shopping site, Google Express, will begin shipping its products in compostable packaging produced by Israel-based company TIPA Corp Ltd. Sustainable Suite Inc., an umbrella organisation of sustainable packaging companies that includes TIPA, announced the deal.

Founded in 2010, TIPA manufactures and designs plastic-like bags and packaging that are fully compostable, including laminates and labels, as an alternative to conventional plastic products. The company’s packaging disintegrates under compost conditions—high humidity, high temperature, and the presence of microorganisms—within 180 days.

In March, British supermarket chain Waitrose & Partners introduced TIPA’S compostable bag for its Duchy organic bananas. Waitrose & Partners estimated, at the time, that the move will save 18 tonnes of plastic per year. TIPA’s packaging also expands beyond the produce aisle and the company also produces packaging for fashion retailers, including Stella McCartney, Gabriela Hearst, and Mara Hoffman.

Car Makers Launch Innovation lab in Tel Aviv

Renault and Nissan have created a joint innovation laboratory in Tel Aviv in order to collaborate with Israeli start-ups. The new operation, which has a partnership with the Israeli government’s innovation authority, is focusing on sensors for autonomous driving, cyber security and big data.

“Today is a very good example of what we are doing together,” Gaspar Gascon Abellan, the alliance’s deputy executive vice president of engineering, told reporters.

“Speculation will run of course in the future, but at the team levels what we see is that we are collaborating very tightly and closely to develop all the new technologies.”

The lab will enable the start-ups to test their technologies in vehicles. Financial details were not disclosed. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has similar labs in Silicon Valley and in Shanghai.

“Through collaborations with promising local start-ups with cutting-edge technologies, we aim to develop a variety of key technologies that will be essential for the future of mobility.” Said Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, the alliance’s executive vice president of engineering.

Israeli Companies Access UK’s Healthcare Industries

The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and UK Israel Tech Hub are celebrating as more than 30 Israeli companies have accessed support to help bring health and medical technology innovations to the north of England in the last year.

A strong pipeline of healthcare companies in Israel have engaged with the NHSA in the 12 months since a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the NHSA and Israel was signed. The joint-working arrangement with the UK Israel Tech Hub was signed by the NHSA and British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey at last year’s MIXiii-Biomed conference.

The aim of the partnership was to increase collaboration between the two countries by offering support to Israeli healthcare companies to establish research and a presence in the UK, specifically in northern England. In the 12 months since, the NHSA has worked with 33 Israeli companies spanning the medtech, digital health and precision medicine sectors.

As a result of these interactions, there has been three submissions to conduct research and development in the North with a UK partner organisation and three proposals to run an evaluation or clinical trial in the region. Keith Miller, head of corporate engagement at NHSA, said: “We have been delighted with the level of interest and enthusiasm from the Israeli companies we have worked with during the last year.

“Israel has a thriving life sciences industry that is generating exciting healthcare innovations that have the potential to benefit patients here in the north of England and the UK. The MoU has played a pivotal role in deepening links between the north and Israel, which has helped us build a strong continuous pipeline of healthcare companies from one of the most innovative countries direct to the north of England.”

The NHSA returned to MIXiii-Biomed in Tel Aviv this month as, together with UK Israel Tech Hub and the UK BioIndustry Association, it led its first delegation of academics, industry and healthcare professionals. The delegation included representatives from NIHR Clinical Research Network, The AMR Centre based at Alderley Park, Cheshire, Manchester Science Partnerships, University of Leeds, and the Northern Powerhouse at the Department for International Trade.

SafeCharge to Be Bought by Nuvei

SafeCharge International Group, a U.K.-Israeli company founded by Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, is being acquired in an all-cash deal valued at $889 million by Nuvei Corporation, the North American payments technology firm.

The deal comes at a time of aggressive consolidation in the electronic-payments industry. It follows a $35 billion deal by U.S. firm FIS to buy Worldpay this year as well as the market debuts of Britain’s Network International, Italy’s Nexi and UAE’s Finablr.

The company has developed a system for managing electronic payments for bank and alternative payment processors, enabling them to outsource online payments management. SafeCharge went public in London in 2014 at 162p a share, roughly a third of what Nuvei will be paying.

SafeCharge employs about 400 people worldwide, about 120 of them in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Sarona Tower. The rest work in offices in Britain, Bulgaria, Austria, the Netherlands, Singapore, Cyprus, Hong Kong and the United States. Its customers include McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza, Ladbrokes and Nespresso as well as leading Israeli companies such as EL AL Airlines and Migdal Insurance.

Sagi formed SafeCharge in 2007 with CEO David Avgi, who said the two companies addressed different markets – SafeCharge works with big companies and their online sales while Nuvei works with SMEs and mainly in brick-and-mortar store sales.