Volkswagen Group became the latest global automobile concern to open a local innovation center when it officially opened its Konnect campus in Tel Aviv Tuesday in the presence of Minister of the Economy, Eli Cohen.
Volkswagen said Konnect would provide local partners and start-ups direct access to the group and its many brands and would support business collaborations within the “highly innovative tech scene in Israel.” A statement from the company said the center would focus on a variety of topics including connectivity, smart navigation, cyber security, e-mobility and big data.
Group chief customer officer Peter Harris said: “I am a strong believer in the technological innovations being developed within the Israeli market and I am convinced that they can help us reach our goal of being one of the global market leaders in sustainable mobility. Konnect is another step in expanding our activities in Israel and will help our portfolio of brands engage with the Israeli start-up ecosystem.”
Chief digital officer Johann Jungwirth said: “We will provide complementary innovative solutions in various fields, including sensors, simulation, connectivity, smart navigation, cyber security, e-mobility and big data.”
Konnect will be headed by managing director Stephanie Reimann who Volkswagen said would conduct scouting activities within the Israeli market to identify, support and develop proof of concept projects with start-ups in various fields of mobility.
“I am excited to be moving to Israel in order to head the new campus and I look forward to working with the Israeli start-up ecosystem in order to identify cutting-edge technologies for our future mobility solutions,” said Reimann. “The mission of Konnect is to connect, foster and accelerate the high-tech initiatives of the group brands in the future within the Israeli ecosystem. We will invite relevant companies to approach us and form a meaningful partnership with the group and our strong brands.”