Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) is partnering the city of Haifa in Israel to set up an innovation centre.
NTU Innovation in Haifa was launched on Thursday with NTU sealing fresh agreements with Hutchison Kinrot, a leading seed investor in water-related technologies owned by Hutchison Water, and the Israel Institute for Biological Research, renowned for its expertise in applied research in biology, medicinal chemistry and environmental science.
NTU’s new overseas presence in Israel’s high-tech hub city of Haifa is aimed at nurturing innovative thinking and entrepreneurship, and to stimulate broader collaboration with Israel’s industrial players, venture capitalists and angel investors.
The collaborations demonstrate NTU’s stepped-up commitment to its strategic ties with Israel’s leading institutions. Under the leadership of Professor Bertil Andersson, NTU’s extensive collaboration currently includes almost 30 agreements with Israeli universities and industry players, and the value of these collaborations has surpassed US$72 million (S$100 million) since 2011.
Speaking at the launch event in Haifa, NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said, “Today’s launch of NTU Innovation in Haifa will bring a step change to the university’s strategic engagement with Israel, the Startup Nation. Many NTU students have great entrepreneurship ideas and it would very inspiring for them to get exposure here.
“NTU’s new presence at Haifa also marks the start of many exciting collaborative opportunities with Israel. It will serve as a vital symbiotic bridge between NTU and Israel’s universities, research institutes and industries.”
Mr Yona Yahav, Mayor of Haifa said: “Haifa has set a strong foundation in positioning itself as a global stage for incubating startups in Israel and beyond. We welcome NTU Innovation in Haifa into our startup ecosystem to expand our international presence in research for the real world.”
Haifa, located in northern Israel, is the nation’s hub for research and development, and home to two of the country’s respected institutions – the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, often called Israel’s MIT, and the University of Haifa.
The Haifa Economic Corporation is also well-known for its economic and entrepreneurial ecosystem and high-tech incubators such as the T3 and hiCenter. Haifa is also home to global high-tech giants such as Google, Phillips, Intel, Microsoft and Apple.
NTU Singapore welcomes new Israeli partners
Welcoming the partnership with Hutchison Kinrot, Professor Lam Khin Yong, Vice President (Research), NTU Singapore, said: “NTU's innovation & enterprise company, NTUitive, will work closely with Hutchison Kinrot to identify technologies developed by NTU with strong potential for commercialisation.
“The technologies will primarily focus on the clean-tech sector, including energy management and storage, as well as energy-efficient technologies and sustainable solutions for industry in water and waste management. We will also explore other cutting-edge developments in technology, such as the Internet of Things and advanced materials.”
NTU Innovation in Haifa will play an important role as a satellite office to facilitate research collaborations with Israeli universities and companies. Beyond contributing to closer ties between Singapore and Israel’s institutions and industries, NTU’s venture in Haifa will also enhance the linkages between applied technologies, innovation and student learning.
More overseas exposure for NTU students and start-ups
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson said: “In today's global economy, an educated, high-tech and creative workforce is in demand by companies that value the importance of staying competitive. Beyond our focus in research, Haifa is also a great place to expose Singapore students to innovation and entrepreneurship.
“With a centre here, NTU students will be able to enrol in programmes that will immerse them in the latest innovations in Israel’s fast-paced high-tech industry. It will also give them first-hand exposure to the renowned startup ecosystem at the hiCenter.”
Israel will be the latest destination for NTU undergraduates to pursue internships. NTU intends to have 20 students on internships at promising Israeli start-ups at Haifa in a year’s time. Currently, students can choose to intern at vibrant start-up hotspots across the globe under NTUitive’s Overseas Entrepreneurship Programme. Haifa is the fifth city in this programme which includes Silicon Valley in the United States, Beijing and Shanghai in China and London in United Kingdom.
Made-in-NTU companies that wish to explore the Israeli market and capital opportunities can also use the space at NTU Innovation in Haifa as a base for their initial operations.
Israel is known as the “Startup Nation” due to the sheer number of entrepreneurs building businesses here. Israel continues to produce an impressive number of highly successful tech startups relative to its national population of more than 8 million. According to the World Economic Forum, Israel ranks Number 2 globally in innovation and availability of venture capital. Israel is also among the top three nations worldwide for the quality of its research institutions, company spending on R&D and university-industry R&D collaboration.
NTU is renowned internationally for its research quality and extensive network of global partners. Boasting one of the world‘s largest engineering colleges, NTU has built up a strong reputation for innovation in its short 26-year history, and strong industry ties. In the last five years, NTU Singapore has established joint labs on its 200-hectare campus with leading international players such as Rolls-Royce, BMW, Johnson Matthey, Lockheed Martin and Singapore’s ST Engineering.
Expanding research opportunities
Beyond nurturing tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and start-ups, NTU Innovation in Haifa will accelerate research collaboration with leading Israeli universities to propel advanced studies in cutting-edge fields, in addition to the current efforts in marine sciences in Haifa, as well as in maritime business, insurance and operations.
The maritime sector is an area that NTU Singapore can contribute considerably, given the university’s expertise in advanced marine-related research and Singapore’s strengths in maritime port technologies. It is also a timely initiative for Haifa, which plans to build a second new US$1 billion deep water port that will double the city’s current capacity.
NTU Innovation in Haifa will be located at the Tiltan School of Design and Visual Communication in Haifa. Tiltan is well known as the sole institute chosen by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to exhibit its students' projects in the Expo Milano 2015, where it also led an International Workshop in the Israeli Pavilion.
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Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world’s top young university for the last three years running. The University’s main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.