There are few places that are more interesting for UK battery technology companies to explore potential collaborations and partnerships than Israel, which has established itself as a global centre of excellence for alternative fuel and smart mobility technologies.
Israel’s vibrant sector consists of more than 500 companies, 220 research groups and a thriving start-up ecosystem. The Israeli government has also just announced more than £50m of investment into its smart mobility and alternative fuels programmes, with a focus on international collaboration.
Under Innovate UK’s Global Business Accelerator Programme, EEN took a delegation of 14 from the battery tech sector to meet with Israeli government and businesses for discussions regarding collaborative R&D and technology transfer.
The mission has already been a positive charge.
For some delegates, it provided opportunities for valuable face-to-face meetings. “We have been able to have high level conversations with CEOs,” says Dr Athan Fox of Aurelius Environmental, which is piloting with Cambridge University a technology for the recovery of active materials from lead acid batteries. “We are keen to enter the market very quickly through strategic collaborations and came to Israel to find partners.”
“We’re very thankful for the Global Business Accelerator Programme and Innovate UK as they have enabled us to network with both UK and Israeli companies,” says Jean de la Verpilliere of Echion Technologies, which is developing a revolutionary new material that has the potential power the next generation of electric vehicles.
As one of the world’s leading innovation hubs, the visit offered invaluable learning opportunities for British companies. “We had a great visit to one of Israel’s leading battery manufacturers and gained insights from the visit, as well as talking with them about how we can co-operate to develop new products,” says Graeme Purdy of Ilika Technologies.
Going on such a visit is not just an opportunity to discuss a specific market sector. “The key benefit of the programme is that it really teaches you about the business ecosphere. You are not just looking at battery-related opportunities but you are learning how business is done, how people communicate and network,” says Kieron Salter of KW Special Projects, which has already engaged with a few clients in Israel through the programme.
"This programme allowed us to open new doors and seize opportunities - commercial as well as developmental. One month on we are bidding jointly with Israeli companies for new business."
Athan Fox, Aurelius