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European firms seek tie-ups with Israeli startups in bid for innovation

A virtual conference, Europe Days 2020, hopes to help companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria meet demand for new tech solutions, spurred by competition and COVID-19

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

Illustrative image of robots in the manufacturing process (PhonlamaiPhoto; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of robots in the manufacturing process (PhonlamaiPhoto; iStock by Getty Images)

More than 200 Israeli startups are expected to participate in a virtual conference later this month in a bid to lead European companies to greater digitalization and innovation.

The virtual edition of the Europe Days 2020 hopes to help companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria help meet the demand for new tech solutions, demand that has surged due to competitive pressure from China and the US and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The conference will take place on October 27 and among the more than 50 speakers will be Olaf Koch, the CEO of Metro AG, a retail giant with 27 billion euros annual turnover, and Rene Obermann, the chairman of Airbus and the managing director of Warburg Pincus Germany, the organizers said in a statement. The heads of telecom firms, retail chains, and law firms will also be among the speakers. City representatives from Cologne, Vienna, Berlin, Zurich, among others, will also attend.

The format combines talks, interactive round-table sessions, one-on-one meetings and networking opportunities, aimed at maximizing business tie-ups. Apart from practical information on entering the three European countries, which account for a total of 92 million users, special attention will be given on helping Israeli startup access European mid-size companies (Mittelstand), the statement said.

These European mid-size companies are in need, more than ever, for innovative solutions as a growth engine — something that Israeli startups can provide, the statement said.

Startups attending will be in the field of insurance technologies, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, mobility, 5G, NewMedia, eRetail, FoodTech, eHealth, SporTech, Industry 4.0, eLogistics and AgriTech.

The conference is organized by Novawind, an Israeli firm that provides business development services, and sponsored among others by Deutsche Telekom, the city of Cologne in Germany, and the city of Vienna. Partners include the Israeli Export Institute and the Israeli Innovation Authority, the statement said.

(This updated version correctly identifies Novawind as an Israeli firm)

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