Nanyang Technological University (NTU) recently established an innovation centre in Haifa, Israel on June 29 (Friday).
According to the university, its new overseas presence in the high-tech hub city of Haifa is aimed at nurturing innovative thinking and entrepreneurship, and to stimulate broader collaboration with Israel’s industrial players, venture capitalists and angel investors.
Speaking at the launch event in Haifa, NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said, “Today’s launch of NTU Innovation in Haifa will bring a step change to the university’s strategic engagement with Israel, the Startup Nation. Many NTU students have great entrepreneurship ideas and it would very inspiring for them to get exposure here.”
“NTU’s new presence at Haifa also marks the start of many exciting collaborative opportunities with Israel. It will serve as a vital symbiotic bridge between NTU and Israel’s universities, research institutes and industries,” he added.
NTU said it chose Israel as the country produces an impressive number of successful tech startups relative to its population, which stands at about 8.3 million.
Haifa, located in northern Israel, is the nation’s hub for research and development, and home to two of the country’s respected institutions – the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, often called Israel’s MIT, and the University of Haifa.
Haifa is also home to global high-tech giants such as Google, Phillips, Intel, Microsoft and Apple.
Israel As A New Addition To NTUitive’s Overseas Entrepreneurship Programme
From next year onwards, NTU plans to send 20 students to intern at promising tech startups at Haifa yearly so they can develop entrepreneurial know-how.
This makes Israel the fifth destination to be included in NTUitive’s Overseas Entrepreneurship Programme. The others are in Silicon Valley in the United States, Beijing and Shanghai in China, and London in United Kingdom.
Every year, about 60 NTU undergrads head overseas under the programme.
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said: “In today’s global economy, an educated, high-tech and creative workforce is in demand by companies that value the importance of staying competitive. Beyond our focus in research, Haifa is also a great place to expose Singapore students to innovation and entrepreneurship.”
“With a centre here, NTU students will be able to enrol in programmes that will immerse them in the latest innovations in Israel’s fast-paced high-tech industry. It will also give them first-hand exposure to the renowned startup ecosystem at the hiCenter.”
Made-in-NTU companies that wish to explore the Israeli market and capital opportunities can also use the space at NTU Innovation in Haifa as a base for their initial operations.
Israel A “Startup Nation”
Israel is known as the “Startup Nation” due to the sheer number of entrepreneurs building businesses there.
According to the World Economic Forum, Israel ranks Number 2 globally in innovation and availability of venture capital. Israel is also among the top three nations worldwide for the quality of its research institutions, company spending on R&D, and university-industry R&D collaborations.
In terms of research opportunities, NTU said one research area it will collaborate on is the maritime sector, given the university’s expertise in advanced marine-related research and Singapore’s strengths in maritime port technologies.
It is also a timely initiative for Haifa, which plans to build a second new US$1 billion deep water port that will double the city’s current capacity.
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