Škoda Auto DigiLab and Champion Motors, the Israeli importer of the Czech brand, have inked an MoU for Tel Aviv's digital start-up environment.

"Israel is a high-profile source of digital innovation," said Škoda CEO, Bernhard Maier. "Being present there and gaining direct access to projects, high-tech start-ups and IT talent is of great importance to Škoda.

"In this way, we are convinced we can implement the region's creative ecosystem and digital development competence in meaningful projects. Škoda's current focus is on areas such as rapid testing, creating prototypes and implementing digital technologies." 

The aim of the partnership is to open a dialogue with regional leaders of the IT scene, as well as companies and universities.  The focus is on working with start-ups at a certain stage of maturity.

Projects will be identified at an early stage, from which new business models can be derived for Škoda. 

Champion Motors and parent, Allied Group, have considerable expertise and experience in the promotion of emerging high-tech companies and has connections with the IT start-up scene and local venture capital funds. For several years, the company itself has been investing in start-ups, which are now to be networked with the Škoda Auto DigiLab. 

Holdings of the Allied Group are aimed at developers of new mobility solutions in the automotive industry, for instance, driver assistance systems and sensors relating to connectivity.

The Israeli importer and the Czech brand are planning a joint innovation platform promoting start-ups in the fields of automotive and smart mobility. The project has received support from the Israeli-Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Currently, Israel has more than 6,000 start-ups, as well as some 300 research and development facilities run by multinational companies and hundreds of Israeli high-tech companies.

The thriving high-tech industry is supported by an investment-friendly financial sector, as well as dedicated incubators and accelerators. 

The automotive sector is a major driver and user of the development. 

More than 500 start-ups and research groups in Israel are currently working on automotive projects – six times as many as in 2013. 

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more