Israel Innovation Day focusing on 'Smart Cities' to take place in Holland

Director General of Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry to Head Delegation of Israeli Companies Showcasing Israeli Achievements in Cyber-Security, Quality of Life, Smart Transportation, Air and Environmental Protection and More. Dutch Minister of Economy to Participate.

The Israel-Holland Innovation Day will take place on Feb. 4th at The Hague and will be devoted to ‘smart cities.’ The event is an initiative of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Israel Export Institute and is co-sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Economy. Dozens of Dutch industrialists and government officials are expected to attend, as well as representatives of more than 20 Israeli companies, including Checkmarx, MobilEye, Cellint and other companies in the fields of smart transportation, energy efficiency, information security and more. In addition, representatives of leading academic institutions and local councils will also participate.

The Innovation Day is the brainchild of the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry’s trade representative in Holland, Yoram Giladi. It will open with speeches by the Dutch Minister of Economy and the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, Amit Lang. Among the attendees will be senior executives from Israeli industry, senior lecturers from Dutch local and central government and representatives of Dutch academia. The keynote speaker on Israel’s side will be Yossi Vardi — entrepreneur, investor and Israeli internet "guru." On the Dutch side, more than 50 companies will take part, including large companies like the Dutch electricity company Eneco, Holland’s largest telecom company K.P.N., multinational integrators like Alliander, Atos and Siemens, the smart city department of Philips and more. Representatives of the government and Dutch local councils will also attend.

The event will focus on the influence of technological development on the quality of life of residents of modern cities and on creating “smart cities” which can supply quick, efficient and secure services to its residents. Roundtables will be held on various subjects like energy efficiency, water and sewage treatment, smart transportation and ways to protect city systems and critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks. At the same time, business meetings will be held between representatives of Israeli companies and decision-makers in Dutch companies and the government, in order to forge cooperation in business, trade and technology. The Innovation Day comes in the wake of the 2014 Israel-Holland Innovation Day in Amsterdam which focused on medical and technological solutions for senior citizens.

Ohad Cohen, Head of the Foreign Trade Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, said: "Israel and Holland have had warm, friendly, and close relations including cooperation on various economic fields for many years. Holland is Israel’s fifth largest export destination and the country’s air and sea ports are a central point of entry for Israeli goods shipped to other European countries as well. The coming Innovation Day is another important tier in our successful economic cooperation with Dutch industry and government and builds upon a similar event held in the past. I have no doubt that this important event will increase cooperation between the two countries."

According to Ofer Sachs, Director of the Israel Export Institute, "The Innovation Day is an excellent opportunity for Israeli companies, large and small, to present the technological innovation and solutions they offer the world in various fields, including: smart transportation, smart energy and cyber-security. Technologies will be presented to decision-makers from the municipalities of Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, to local and multinational integrators and to local companies and representatives of local innovation and R&D centers. The term ‘smart city’ refers to a wide range of technologies, including security (physical security and information security), communications, applications, smart transportation, recycling, water, control and monitoring, and software. The smart city has vast business potential for a large number of Israeli technology companies." According to the Foreign Trade Administration, Israeli exports to Holland reached $2.3 billion in 2015, 12% lower than 2014. Imports in 2015 reached $1.1 billion, 6% less than in 2014.