Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, one of Israel’s largest defense companies, and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, said Tuesday they are setting up a multi-year research collaboration in a variety of fields including cybersecurity, smart mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence.
The signing ceremony between Netta Cohen, the CEO of BGN Technologies, and Ran Gozali, EVP and head of Rafael’s R&D and Engineering Division, took place at the Cybertech 2019 conference, Tel Aviv, Israel.
The first two projects of the collaboration will focus on exploring the risk of cybersecurity breaches in sensors of autonomous cars, and how these threats could be dealt with, the two entities said in a statement.
Autonomous driving requires the use of multiple sensor systems including cameras, radars, and lidar-based systems, all of which can be targets of cyber attacks. The researchers will use AI and machine learning techniques to identify and map the different possible security breaches and find ways to protect against these threats.
The partnership follows Rafael’s decision to build an R&D center in the high-tech park of Beersheba, on the outskirts of the university. The center will open later this year and will focus on different aspects of advanced autonomous systems.
Rafael has implemented cyber defense projects around the world and in Israel, including Israel’s national Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT). The defense firm develops and manufactures systems for the Israeli Defense Forces and the defense establishment, as well as for foreign customers around the world. The firm employs 8,000 workers and hundreds of subcontractors, with a 2017 net profit of $124 million and sales totaling $2.2 billion.
BGN Technologies is the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, helping commercialize the technologies stemming from the university. To date, BGN Technologies has established over 100 startup companies in the fields of biotech, hi-tech, and cleantech and has set up technology hubs, incubators, and accelerators.