Nov. 26, 2013
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Left to right: BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, DT incoming CEO Timotheus Höttges, DT outgoing CEO René Obermann, BGU VP and Dean for R&D Prof. Moti Herskowitz dedicate the expanded Telekom Innovations Labs at BGU as EMC's Dr. Orna Berry looks on.

BGU dedicated the expanded Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories in the presence of both the outgoing and incoming CEOs of the German Telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG this morning in Beer-Sheva.  

University President Prof. Rivka Carmi welcomed the outgoing CEO René Obermann and the new CEO Timotheus Höttges and thanked them both for their show of support and commitment to BGU by coming together to celebrate the opening of the new expanded Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories in the Advanced Technologies Park adjacent to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.  

“We don’t take your support for granted,” she said, acknowledging the successful research collaboration that will soon be entering its tenth year. The Laboratories are the company’s only research and development facility outside of Germany and include some 100 members: university researchers, Masters and PhD students and programmers. The original collaboration began in 2004 and was expanded with the launch of Telekom  Innovation Laboratories in 2006 and a continuing investment of millions of dollars.  

Obermann noted that, "The history of partnership between this university and our Telekom Innovation Laboratories is a history of success -- not only in terms of output, but also in terms of collaboration. The cooperation of our own Laboratories with BGU is clearly outstanding within the international partnership network of research institutes, universities, industrial partners and start-ups we have created," he said.  

After the ceremony, the two CEOs toured the facilities and learned about the current projects underway. "With their (T-Labs@BGU) focus on major industry issues like Big Data and, above all, cyber security, they contribute to sharpening the competitive edge of our company,” said incoming CEO Timotheus Höttges, who was making his first visit to BGU. "The T-Labs @ BGU have contributed to creating a cyber security ecosystem here, creating a SiliconWadi as their presence has worked like a magnet for other companies which work in the same field,” he added.  

The Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs at BGU engage in the areas of network security, recommender systems and analysis of big data in real time. Directed by Prof. Yuval Elovici of the Department of Information Systems Engineering, the Labs have maintained their place at the cutting-edge of innovation thanks to the involvement and support of Deutsche Telekom.  

“Thanks in no small part to Deutsche Telekom’s investment, BGU has become the leading academic institution in Israel in the field of cyber security,” Elovici said at the ceremony. “This affiliation helps us attract the best graduate students who are interested in working on DT projects,” he said.  

Dr. Orna Berry, Corporate VP and general manager of EMC’s Centers of Excellence in Israel, praised Deutsche Telekom’s collaboration with BGU. “You have made the right choice. The future industry will rely on paradigm shifts in computer technology like Big Data. The top 10 percent will get their education at this university and their experience at Telekom Innovation Labs,” she declared. EMC’s Center of Excellence is housed in the same building in the new ATP in Beer-Sheva. 

The mission of Telekom Innovation Laboratories BGU is to investigate breakthrough technologies and technological advancements that provide a competitive advantage for DT, and to create business opportunities that enhance DT's current strategies. The laboratories offer students the opportunity to integrate into the hi-tech world and into research in sought after fields.

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Left to right: DT incoming CEO Timotheus Höttges, DT outgoing CEO René Obermann, BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, and Telekom Innovation Labs at BGU Director Prof. Yuval Elovici dedicate the expanded labs.