Jaguar Land Rover launches Israeli hub to scout for local startups, mobility tech

Owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, the luxury automaker seeks joint projects and is looking to invest in local tech including cybersecurity and electrification

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Illustration: Jaguar Land Rover electric vehicle. (Courtesy)
Illustration: Jaguar Land Rover electric vehicle. (Courtesy)

Luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover announced on Tuesday that it will work with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to target Israeli startups and tap the country’s ecosystem for digital technologies and mobility software.

As part of the partnership, Jaguar Land Rover is launching an innovation hub in Israel to scout for local tech solutions and seek opportunities to cooperate with Israeli startups, investors and academia in a number of areas, including electrification, autonomous driving, connected cars, digital services, the metaverse, intelligent enterprise, manufacturing, and supply chain and sustainability.

“We need new technologies and software to integrate into our cars and services as part of our strategy to reimagine mobility in the luxury segment,” François Dossa, executive director of strategy and sustainability at Jaguar Land Rover, told The Times of Israel during a visit at the EcoMotion conference in Tel Aviv. “A presence in Israel opens the door to another powerhouse of global innovation, with disruptive startups and an economy dominated by industrial high-tech and entrepreneurship.”

The launch comes as Jaguar Land Rover, a subsidiary of India’s Tata Motors Ltd., has set itself a goal of transforming into an all-electric luxury brand by 2025 and achieving zero carbon emissions by 2039. With the transition of automakers to electric vehicles and the increased use of connected vehicle data, vulnerability to cybersecurity risks and threats has also been growing.

Tapping into Israel’s cybersecurity prowess, Jaguar Land Rover is seeking solutions to guarantee the security of its connected future vehicles, said Igor Murakami, director of new services, software and open innovation at Jaguar Land Rover.

The launch of the hub in Israel is a geographic expansion of Jaguar Land Rover’s open innovation program established last year in the UK to forge collaborations with startups and work with tech accelerators. As part of the program, Jaguar Land Rover over the past year sourced 600 startups and selected 30 for joint projects. In addition, Jaguar Land Rover’s corporate venture capital arm InMotion Ventures made investments in seven companies to develop new products.

François Dossa, executive director of strategy and sustainability at Jaguar Land Rover. (Courtesy)

In Israel, the automaker will be looking to scout about 200 startups and hopes to work with around 10 of them to develop new technologies, as well as make investments in one or two local companies through its corporate venture capital arm, Dossa estimated.

“We will have a person in Tel Aviv to look for startups in Tel Aviv’s tech ecosystem, which preferably already have a product or customers and once there is a match, we will have our engineering teams come to Israel to talk to them,” Dossa said.

Present in Israel since 2005, TCS helps corporations and organizations in the region to transform their business through innovation and adoption of new technologies and models. The IT services, consulting and business solutions firm employs 1,100 employees in Petah Tikvah, Jerusalem, and India and works with clients in the banking and financial services, travel and transportation, public services, high-tech, retail and manufacturing industries. Globally, TCS has more than 40 research and innovation centers.

In the UK, Jaguar Land Rover has two design and engineering sites, three vehicle manufacturing facilities, an engine manufacturing center, and a battery assembly center. Outside the UK, the automaker has vehicle plants in China, Brazil, India, Austria, and Slovakia.

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