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British embassy seeks startups with smart-city tech to vie for London trip

UK Israel Tech Hub will select 15 Israeli firms with ‘futuristic solutions’ for cities and infrastructure to meet corporates and government agencies

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

National flags flutter near the The Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, in central London on June 9, 2017. AFP/ Glyn KIRK)
National flags flutter near the The Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, in central London on June 9, 2017. AFP/ Glyn KIRK)

The British Embassy in Israel on Wednesday said that up to 15 Israeli startups offering futuristic solutions for cities and infrastructure will head to London in November to connect with British corporates and government agencies, at a time when the UK is in the midst of a national effort upgrade its urban services.

Starting Wednesday, the Embassy’s UK Israel Tech Hub — a public-private initiative founded in 2011 that operates out of the British Embassy in Israel and aims to promote tech and innovation partnerships between the two countries — will accept applications from Israeli startups to join its new initiative, called Texchange 2018 — Smart Cities.

The Hub has been running TeXchange programs since 2013, and this year the initiative is focusing on opening up the UK market tp Israeli smart-city oriented solutions for energy, telecoms and transportation.

Startups could be in the field of ride services and customer and journey experience; smart home and building; cybersecurity applications; fleet management; connected cars and Internet of Things; distributed networks; repair and maintenance; and network and connectivity applications.

The UK Israel Tech Hub will select up to 15 startups in a competitive process. Winners will be announced on 18 October, and travel to London late November.

During a three-day program, they will get direct access to the UK’s top companies, government agencies and municipal authorities through public events, meetups and presentations, a statement said.

“This is the fifth time we are bringing Israel’s brightest companies together with the UK’s biggest companies in our flagship programme, TeXchange,” said Ayelet Mavor, director of the UK Israel Tech Hub, in the statement.

Previous editions of the program involved dozens of the UK’s leading companies, including Tesco, BT, JLR, RBS, Marks & Spencers and Aviva.

“TeXchange is a unique opportunity for Israeli companies to meet key decision makers in the UK’s largest corporates, and to discuss how Israeli technology can shape the future of Smart Cities,” she said.

Past TeXchange programs resulted in over 20 signed UK-Israel business partnerships with many more under negotiation. Hundreds of UK companies and over 70 Israeli startups have participated in TeXchange, the statement said.

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