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Israel Aerospace Industries seeks startups to tap into ‘next big thing’

IAI’s accelerator program looking for companies operating in fields of machine learning, quantum computing, radars, robotics, big data, computer vision, smart cockpits and more

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

Illustrative: Business and technology (metamorworks; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative: Business and technology (metamorworks; iStock by Getty Images)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the nation’s largest aerospace and defense company, is calling on Israeli startups in fields from quantum computing to radars and smart cockpits to join the next cohort of its accelerator program, which aims to speed up commercialization of new technologies.

As part of the program, run by its Innovation Center, startups will work with IAI’s top tech experts to co-create a viable product and tap into the “next big thing,” the company said in a statement. The startups admitted to the program will benefit from using IAI knowledge, its infrastructure, technological support, and a business-oriented enrichment program. IAI will also introduce the participating startups to its marketing activities and global customers.

The accelerator accepts applications in a range of disciplines including: machine learning, quantum computing, radar, sensing, robotics, big data, computer vision, smart cockpits, propulsion, drones, cyber, 3D printing, novel energy sources, health and Internet of Things (IoT), the statement said.

The 13-week program’s class will open on November 1, 2020.

IAI invested some $900 million in in-house R&D in 2019, which leads to “countless” breakthroughs, said Amira Sharon, VP of Strategy and R&D at IAI.

“Our accelerator program is unique in the mutually-beneficial collaborations it offers by exposing the startups to innovative technologies while accelerating the development, engineering, and time-to-market,” she said. “The participating startups will be able to use the accelerator as a springboard to validate their ideas with a robust support system.”

Founded in early 2020, IAI Innovation Center has completed its first cohort of startups and is currently running its second class.

The accelerator focuses on pre-seed startups that are developing innovative technological solutions. The Innovation Center is a large part of the in-house investment on R&D for IAI and also collaborates with Starburst, the international accelerator focused on aerospace technologies, the statement said.

IAI develops and manufactures advanced systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security. Since 1953, the company has provided technology solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide, including satellites, missiles, weapon systems and munitions, unmanned and robotic systems, and radar.

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