Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and PayPal, the US company that operates an online payments system, said they would partner in joint research and development in the fields of big data, machine learning and cybersecurity. It is the first such collaboration between PayPal and an Israeli university, BGU said in a statement.

The collaboration with BGU will further enable PayPal to use machine learning and big data for cybersecurity, fraud detection and risk management that will enable its 192 million customers worldwide to make safer payment transactions, Matan Parnes, Paypal’s general manager in Israel said in the statement.

PayPal has been ratcheting up its activities in Israel. The US firm bought Israel’s Fraud Sciences in 2008 and has established a global risk and data sciences R&D center in Tel-Aviv. After PayPal acquired Israeli startup CyActive in 2015, which was part of BGU’s incubator program, the company set up a global security products center in Beersheba’s Advanced Technologies Park, adjacent to BGU.

The new agreement further strengthens and extends the ongoing relationship between PayPal and BGU who already co-operate in training, talent development and recruitment, the statement said.