Jan. 27, 2014

Above left to right: Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, IBM's Vice President Steven Mills and BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi announce the creation of IBM's Center of Excellence in Beer-Sheva


Two years after the establishment of the National Cyber ​​Bureau, this morning the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Beer-Sheva and BGU President announced the establishment of a national cyber complex in Beer-Sheva, to be named CyberSpark.

Two giant international companies - Lockheed Martin and IBM will join Deutsche Telekom and EMC and announced that they will set up their research activities in the park. The announcements were made at the Cybertech International Conference and Exhibition 2014 which opened this morning with the participation of dozens of international and Israeli companies in the field of cyber security, and ​​450 representatives from cyber groups, governments and international organizations worldwide.

Over 450 heads of industry and cyber security agencies from around the world arrived in Israel today to attend Cybertech 2014 sponsored by the National Cyber ​​Bureau, IsraelDefense journal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Among the larger delegations was the U.S. delegation including 50 people from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, a cyber ​​delegation from South Korea, a delegation of 12 senior national security people from Mexico, the U.S. space agency, representatives of the armies of Brazil, Mexico, Italy and the Netherlands, IT companies from Colombia, Ghana, and Nigeria, a cyber team from Canada and more.

As part of the conference, the Prime Minister’s Office, Beer-Sheva Municipality and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced the establishment of the "CyberSpark" national cyber center in Beer-Sheva. 

"Beer-Sheva will not only be the cyber capital of Israel but one of the most important places in the cyber security field in the world," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the opening of the conference.

This is the first complex of its kind in the world, which includes: industry leaders, ground-breaking academic research, leading security agencies, educational facilities and human capital specializing in cyber security and national government agencies. All of which will produce a complete eco-system which will contain all the components needed to create a global leader in the cyber field - a common physical space, allowing the pooling of resources, shared technology infrastructure construction and synergy of specialists, researchers and students.

As part of the initiative, a high school for Science and Technology will be built, along with a development center for cyber studies and relevant manpower will be recruited. 

The cyber companies already established and collaborating in the park are: EMC, Deutsche Telekom, and the JVP group which has already established a cyber incubator.

During the conference this morning, the No. 2 at IBM, Senior Vice President and Group Executive - Software & Systems Steven Mills, announced that IBM will also open a Center of Excellence in the field of security and protection of national infrastructure and assets. 

IBM’s announcement joins that of EMC and Lockheed Martin from yesterday, on the establishment of a development center in the field of cyber with an estimated investment of one million dollars, which will also operate in the cyber park in Beer-Sheva. 

In recent years, Israel has made a significant leap in the cyber industry –from a few dozen companies, today there are around 200 companies operating and 20 development centers of multinational companies, half of which were established only in the last 3 years, according to data provided by the research company IVC. Seventy eight companies were able to raise close to $400 million.

The conference opened today and will continue on Tuesday, participants include renowned speakers such as Checkpoint CEO Gil Shwed, IBM Vice President Steven Mills, Cisco Vice President Brian Palma, EMC Vice President Art Kovielo, Kaspersky co-founder Eugene Kaspersky and more. Also taking part in the exhibition are about 60 Israeli start-ups in the field of cyber and information security.

During the conference, the Prime Minister met with start-up representatives and heard from them on some exciting innovations that are being developed in Israel and marketed today to hundreds of companies and organizations around the world. 

Ruvik Danilovich, Mayor of Beer-Sheva: "The establishment of a national cyber complex in Beer-Sheva - Cyber​​Spark, turns the city into the State of Israel’s capital of opportunities and an international knowledge center that will attract high-tech companies from all over the world. The establishment of the IDF’s Communications and Intelligence campus in Beer-Sheva, along with thousands of engineering graduates studying here, demonstrate how much valuable human capital generates a dramatic change here."

BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi: “Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, a partner in the conference organization, is a leading center of innovation in information security, in partnership with industry, security agencies and the government in a variety of tasks to protect Israel's digital borders. In addition to being at the forefront of cyber security research, the Master’s Program in Cyberspace security , which is the first of its kind in Israel, highlights the University  as a dominant factor in training the researchers of tomorrow ."

The CyberSpark pavilion at the Cybertech conference

Representatives of Lockheed Martin and EMC sign a cooperation agreement to create a research center in Beer-Sheva alongside BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi

Please check out our picture gallery of this event