Other Israeli high tech initiatives

Unit 81 (Hebrew: יחידה 81‎) is the military intelligence technology unit of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate (AMAN). It focuses on supplying the newest technology to Israeli combat soldiers.[1] It is more secretive than the related Unit 8200.[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_81

Why spies make the best entrepreneurs | Once we account for the relative success of “Startup Nation” two new contenders for “Startup U” begin to emerge – Israel’s elite 81 and 8200 units; military intelligence detachments responsible for signal intelligence, code decryption and tech-enabled ordnance. In other words: cyber spies. …

Given that the entire 8200 numbers fewer than 5,000, that yields a level of selectivity greater than Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Caltech or Stanford. Furthermore, while exact figures are unknown, Unit 81 is reported to be even more discerning. – Business Insider 2016 http://read.bi/2bLKsvl

Meet the Shin Bet’s cyber warriors | “D.,” the head of one of the division’s branches, is 37, married and the father of four. He served in the IDF as part of the combined military/yeshiva program, studied computer science at Bar-Ilan University, worked at an international hi-tech company, and only then move to the Shin Bet. …

The Shin Bet’s growing team of cyber warriors – as of a year ago their numbers had grown from being in the single digits of the agency’s personnel to around a quarter of them – is competing against opponents who are ever more “agile, flexible in their methods of operation and diversified in their execution capabilities.” – Jerusalem Post 2018 http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Meet-the-Shin-Bets-cyber-warriors-540507

Introducing: digital warfare through the IDF’s new intelligence unit | With a ‘civilian startup’s culture,’ the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 3060 develops apps to make the most classifieds items of intelligence accessible to commanders on the ground in real-time; some of the unit’s developments include an app allowing commander to select the safest route of advancement and a system producing video clips from drone. ‘They identify problems before the field does,’ says officer. …

The “products” produced by the unit constitute a significant leap in making real-time intelligence easily accessible to military commanders, in bolstering security on the borders and in facilitating more efficient ground maneuvers based on the fusion of information, image processing, the use of artificial intelligence, swiftly displaying information using combined intelligence sources including drones and satellites, human espionage, recording, listening or tracking devices planted on enemy units and openly available intel taken from social media or newspaper outlets. – Ynetnews 2018 https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5066737,00.html

[I]n Tel Aviv, the youth breathe tech: kindergarten kids in some schools learn computer skills and robotics, talented 10th-graders learn to code and stop hacking, and university students dream of launching their own startup.

For a country that is just 60 years old and with a population of just 7.1 million, Israel boasts of having the most NASDAQ-listed companies outside America. It also has more high tech startups per capita in the entire world, at 5,500. …

There are various factors that have contributed to Israel’s rise in cybersecurity – like culture and mandatory military service – but one major driver is the government and its role in not just encouraging startups, but also financing them.

The Israel Innovation Authority for instance, is a government arm under the Ministry of Economy, that is responsible for encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship while stimulating economic growth.

Former Apple Israel chief and now head of the Innovation Authority Aharon Aharon, said the government spends 4% of its GDP on supporting startups.

“We invested about $500 million in 2017 on innovation and supporting companies. We have a professional evaluator to check out cyber companies applying for government funding,” he said,

“We invest in mobile, cyber, robotics, food tech, bug data, electronics, machine learning and more. We fund all technologies and at all stages of innovation, from startups to large companies.”

There are also the likes of Cybergym – half-owned by the Israeli government’s Israel Electric Company – a cyberdefense organization that trains companies and even governments around the world on how to protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Cybergym CEO and co-founder Ofir Hason said it counts the governments of Lithuania and Australia as some of its clients, and has managed training in Portugal, New York, Australia, and Japan, among others.” – RAPPLER 2018 https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/195653-revenge-porn-hackers-cybercrime-cybersecurity-ph-israel

Jerusalem Startup City – OurCrowd TV 2018 https://youtu.be/l_XljKS_X5A

Jerusalem of tech: How the capital has given Tel Aviv a run for its start-up money | The sleepy capital is becoming a hi-tech hub to be reckoned with. – Jerusalem Post 2017 http://www.jpost.com/In-Jerusalem/Jerusalem-oftech-478258

How Jerusalem is seeking to become Israel’s new ‘start-up city’ | The Jerusalem Development Authority is committed to strengthening hi-tech in the capital. – Jerusalem Post 2016 http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/Israels-Start-up-City-472958

Tiny IDF Unit Is Brains Behind Israeli Army Artificial Intelligence | The operational research unit of the Military Intelligence Unit — the software unit of the Israeli army’s J6/C4i Directorates Lotem Unit — doesn’t look like the kind of place where state-of-the art artificial intelligence is being put to work. …

But the unit is engaged in the same kind of AI work that the world’s biggest tech companies, like Google, Facebook and China’s Baidu are doing in a race to apply machine learning to such functions as self-driving cars, analysis of salespeople’s telephone pitches and cybersecurity — or to fight Israel’s next war more intelligently. – Haaretz 2017 https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/tiny-idf-unit-is-brains-behind-israeli-army-artificial-intelligence-1.5442911

9900: The Israeli Satellite Intelligence Unit |  “[M]odern battles are decided by the minds of inventors and developers of advanced technologies, allowing for the implementation of new combat techniques that were considered science fiction only a few decades ago.” The existence of the covert intelligence IDF unit 9900 supports this theory. The unit is referred to as “nine nine-hundred”, or officially as “the satellite unit” within the “visual intelligence formation”, part of the Intelligence Division. …

9900 supplies real time information to all levels of the establishment: The political leadership, top military decision makers, battalion commanders and even smaller units. Since 9900 can monitor distant countries most of the demand for its information comes from the defense establishment. The unit’s commander explains: “Information is sent out immediately after the request is received. We instantly aim a satellite camera at the requested zone. Since Israel has 10 satellites, each one orbiting the earth every hour and a half or so, we effectively have worldwide coverage. An Elbit system, for example, synchronizes surveillance activities in a certain order, and that’s how we receive real time information.” – iHLS 2013 https://i-hls.com/archives/22809

The Israeli Army Unit That Recruits Teens With Autism | Many autistic soldiers who would otherwise be exempt from military service have found a place in Unit 9900, a selective intelligence squad where their heightened perceptual skills are an asset. – The Atlantic 2016 https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/israeli-army-autism/422850/

IDF prepares for its new high-tech home in southern Israel’s ‘Silicon Wadi’ | The IDF is gearing up for a major relocation to southern Israel, where it plans to create new environs replete with academia and high-tech firms, and to give a significant boost to the Be’er Sheva area.

We are following the vision of [Israel’s first Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion. We are moving the best people to the Negev,” said Lt.-Col. Itai Sagi, who heads the branch responsible for establishing the IDF’s C4i (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) and Cyber Defense campus. “Next to me are the university and tech companies, with their own labs. We are creating a very significant ecosystem.” …

The ongoing effort to transform southern Israel into a technology hub has been described as “Silicon Wadi.” A three-way synergy between the private sector, the university and the IDF will presumably put Be’er Sheva on the map of competitive technological development, the military believes. – Jewish News Syndicate 2018 https://www.jns.org/idf-prepares-for-its-new-high-tech-home-in-southern-israels-silicon-wadi/

Israel Developing Cutting Edge Artificial Intelligence Crime-Fighting Tools | Israel is among those countries everyone would want to watch her steps in matters security. No debate, the country has it all when it comes to criminology and everything weaponry related. But, in its current move to use artificial intelligence as a tool to fight crime, that’s a serious move that requires deep thinking especially with the current fears associated with the technology.

Israel Police has engaged the Ben-Gurion University of Negev and the two are building cutting-edge cyber, big-data AI-powered tools that will be able to prevent crime through foretelling when and where it may happen.

Ideally, if this application of AI turns successful and Israel Police comes forward to confirm that artificial intelligence is a reliable tool to handle crime, we will see more governments turn to the technology for help.  – Sanvada 2018

Israeli University Launches Lab to Fight Crime Using AI and Big Data | The Center for Computational Criminology is the result of a partnership between Israeli police and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

A new research center in Israel will focus on the use of technologies like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and big data analytics in law enforcement.

The Center for Computational Criminology, officially launched Wednesday in the southern city of Be’er Sheva, is the result of a partnership between Israeli police and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). – Calcalist 2018 https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3733087,00.html

Mossad venture arm makes first investments in spy tech | Intelligence agency does not reveal name of startups, says they are expected to supply their technologies in 2018-19

Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, said its new technological innovation fund has completed a first round of investments in Israeli startups that have the potential to help the agency in its covert operations, to meet existing and future challenges. – Times of Israel 2018 https://www.timesofisrael.com/mossad-venture-arm-makes-first-investments-in-spy-tech/