The world is already reached the fourth industrial revolution as we generate a massive amount of data on a daily basis. This industrial revolution delivers all the digital and data-driven technologies to collect, store and process the data, including IoT, AI, Robotics, Cloud Computing, and more. As countries across the globe are heading towards the Industry 4.0 revolution by increasingly leveraging automation technologies across industries, Israel is fast becoming a global hub of Industry 4.0 innovation, with its entrepreneurial culture and innovative ecosystem.
With the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution, new-age technologies are becoming cheaper, enabling manufacturers to shift their focus from making products in countries with cost-effective labor to bringing production back home in a smarter way. As the Third Industrial Revolution brought technologies such as robotics, Industry 4.0 digitize, streamline, connect, protect and enhance every step of production.
In the context of venture capital investments in industry 4.0 startups, Israel ranked third, after the U.S. and China, over the last 5 years. Back in 2018, there were 230 Industry 4.0 Israeli startups that raised US$365 million, up from US$225 million in 2017.
Last year in July, the Israeli government announced its participation in the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) program. By participating in this program, the country joined a network of countries including the US, China, Japan, and India.
It is said that time that Israel will leverage its participation in the program to foster regulatory changes and to be exposed to regulatory innovation and technological governance globally. The country’s participation will also encourage the smooth integration of innovative technologies into the Israeli economy and enable the Israeli hi-tech industry to safeguard its global leadership in new areas of activity.
Rising Investment in Israeli Startups
With the presence of nearly 50 large global firms in the country, Israeli startups could benefit from them. Some companies operate local research and development centers or corporate venture arms, while others run innovation hubs, accelerators and government-supported innovation labs.
According to the SNC report, there are 23 R&D centers, 11 hubs and 8 accelerators and incubators dealing with fourth industrial revolution technologies running in Israel. Moreover, the government has announced over US$100 million to support the shift of the local manufacturing industry to IoT. In a Pitchbook report, venture-backed financing for Israel’s 4.0 industry reached US$365 million in 2018 from US$113 million in 2014, grew by 223 percent in four years.
A report from the Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization, splits up the Israeli Industry 4.0 landscape into nine categories. They are operations optimization, cybersecurity, sensing and imaging, inspection and testing, IoT platforms and connectivity, additive (3D printing) manufacturing, supply chain, robotics and maintenance.
Industry 4.0 Incubators
In 2018, Israel’s first Industry 4.0 incubator, Let-Lab, was opened in Nazareth Illit under license of the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). This fourth industrial innovation lab run by the Ham-Let Group, a Tel Aviv-based global manufacturer of valves, fittings and hoses. Since then, the country has now 8 Industry 4.0 accelerators and incubators, with three fourth industrial revolution entrepreneurship programs.
Some incubators run in collaboration with overseas companies. InfraLab in Haifa, for instance, is operated by Italian energy company Enel and Israeli infrastructure giant Shikun & Binui. Conversely, PMatX in Yavneh operates in a collaboration between Germany-based pharmaceutical company Merck and US-based semiconductor maker Flex.
Considering reports, the IIA is soon going to open the Industry 4.0 Valley incubator in Karmiel with local corporate partners like Wipro Givon, Keter Plastic, Trellidoor, among others.
Israel Industry 4.0 Week 2020
Currently, the country is conducting Israel Industry 4.0 Week (II4 Week) 2020, which is held between February 24-27, 2020. Organized over the course of a few days by many largest players in the fourth industrial revolution ecosystem, the II4 Week offers the opportunity to experience everything that makes the Israel Industry 4.0 sector inimitable and thriving.
II4 Week will be included many community events, most notably the II4 Conference, the first II4 Leader’s Forum, an Industry 4.0 start-up expo of cutting-edge technologies, and several networking workshops and roundtable discussions.