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Japan’s Fujitsu to open new R&D center in Tel Aviv, to focus on data security tech

Researchers in Israel will work with experts from Europe and Japan on technologies to help secure AI-based systems and software

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

The team at the Fujitsu Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at Ben-Gurion University, November 2021. (Shay Shmueli)
The team at the Fujitsu Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at Ben-Gurion University, November 2021. (Shay Shmueli)

Japan’s IT multinational Fujitsu said it will open a new R&D center in Israel in a move to expand its research activities and technologies in the field of data and security of artificial intelligence-based systems.

For the Tel Aviv-based center, which is expected to launch in April 2023, Fujitsu plans to recruit 10 employees from Israel alongside researchers from Japan and Europe.

The R&D center will be dedicated to focus on security technology solutions for AI-based communications networks as part of Fujitsu’s global data and security strategy, which is one of five key R&D technology areas the company has earmarked globally.

“As one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries, Israel offers Fujitsu a concentration of talent and an environment to sustain innovation like few other places,” stated Fujitsu’s chief technology officer Vivek Mahajan during a visit to Israel. “I anticipate that our newly established teams in Israel will work with our global research network to play a central role in leading the development of Fujitsu’s future security and AI technologies.”

Adel Rouz, CEO of Fujitsu Research of Europe Ltd., will oversee the operations of the new R&D office.

The announcement comes just a year after Fujitsu partnered with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to launch the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Beersheba to work on joint research and technologies that help secure AI-based systems. As part of the three-year partnership deal, signed with the university’s technology transfer company BGN Technologies, Israeli researchers are focusing on developing security technologies for AI-based systems to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Mahajan said that he hopes that the new R&D center will help in “further deepening collaboration with Ben Gurion University.” During his visit to Israel, Mahajan will meet with officials at the Economy Ministry’s Foreign Trade Administration and the Israel Export Institute.

“By combining the expertise of Ben-Gurion University and other institutions in cyber and network security with our company’s trust technology and know-how, we will conduct research on realizing trust for new network security that combines real-world and digital technologies and deploy the results globally,” Fujitsu said in a statement.

The systems that Fujitsu is planning to develop will be deployable for a range of technologies, such as autonomous driving networks and self-checkout, as well as automated analysis of surveillance video data to pick up on threats to public safety, including anti-attack technologies for object detection AI, the company said.

Fujitsu is one of the world’s largest information and communications technology equipment and services corporations with reported annual revenues of $32 billion for the 2022 fiscal year. The multinational employs over 120,000 people in 100 countries.

With Israel and Japan having forged diplomatic ties back in 1952, economic activity has been expanding and defense relations have been warming in recent years. Japanese companies have invested a total of $13 billion in the Israeli tech industry since 2000, and over 85 Japanese companies are currently operating in Israel, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Earlier this month, Israel and Japan announced plans to advance initial steps for the signing of a free trade agreement in a move that is expected to bring down tariffs and lower the prices of Japanese-made cars, toys and other imported goods.

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