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SingTel embeds itself into Israeli innovation

Zafar Anjum | March 4, 2013
Opens international development centre in Israel in collaboration with Amdocs to identify, nurture and commercialise innovative technologies by Israeli start-ups

Leading Singapore telco SingTel and Amdocs have opened a joint development centre in Israel, the partners announced today.

The centre is a co-investment between SingTel and Amdocs and will be hosted on Amdocs' Ra'anana campus.

Amdocs is a leading provider of customer experience systems and services, dedicated to the communications industry for over 30 years and has 20,000 employees working in over 60 countries.

Though the investment figures have not been revealed, there is an indication that it could be in millions of dollars. "Our financial investment in Israel will be determined according to the value of projects," said Allen Lew, chief executive officer of Group Digital L!fe, SingTel. "In SingTel, we have a corporate venture fund of S$200 million. Part of this fund will also reach Israel."

In September 2010, SingTel established a corporate venture capital fund, SingTel Innov8, with an initial fund size of S$200 million.

SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel with Amdocs is the first such collaboration in Israel by a service provider from Asia Pacific and will serve as a gateway for local start-ups into the fastest-growing region in the world, the companies said in a media statement.

SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel will identify, nurture and commercialise innovative technologies by Israeli start-ups-part of the telco's strategic plan to increase investments in research and development.  This is also part of its recently established global innovation initiative, L!feLabs.

Investment in three areas

In addition to the development centre, SingTel will invest in three key areas in Israel: it will invest in young Israeli start-up companies directly or indirectly; will work with Israeli academic or research institutes by funding studies; and will work with incubators and the angel community to look for interesting business and technology ideas from Israel.

Successful projects will be fast-tracked onto SingTel's business approval process to accelerate their time to market.

According to the partners, SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel will focus on reaching out to the local community of entrepreneurs to develop capabilities in key areas as well as conduct proof of concepts and the eventual commercialisation of innovative technologies, products and services in the 26 countries where the SingTel Group operates.

As well as opening the development centre, SingTel is launching the L!feLabs website (http://www.singtellifelabs.com) to engage startups and developers to build, test and deploy new services and solutions for the 473 million mobile customers across the Asia Pacific region served by the SingTel Group.

SingTel's initial focus will be on voice and facial recognition as well as technologies that enable mobile and wi-fi networks to work more efficiently and seamlessly, the companies said in the media statement.

 "We have been extremely satisfied with the wealth of talent in Israel," said Lew. "We experienced this through our recently acquired global mobile advertising company Amobee which has a technology centre in Israel, as well as through our venture capital investments in two Israeli companies in the mobile Internet business. This has propelled us to open this new development centre to scout for new growth engines for SingTel."

 

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