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High-Tech Blooms in the Desert

High-Tech Blooms in the Desert

December 6, 2016

Negev Development & Community Programs, Robotics & High-Tech

The Media Line — Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion dreamed of making the Negev Desert bloom. His dream is becoming reality.

Once desolate, the Negev capital Beer-Sheva and its environs are developing as the high-tech center of Israel, in no small part thanks to the development of one of Israel’s leading research universities, Ben-Gurion University.

The Israeli government realized the untapped potential of the Negev and Beer-Sheva and in an effort to promote industry, innovation and opportunity in the region decided to not only help fund the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) adjacent to the University but also to move the Israel Defense Forces headquarters and National Cyber Bureau to the city.

“I remember how this city was positioned in the national priorities of the past,” says Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich. “The State of Israel has now moved the capital of knowledge to the Negev.”

Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park (ATP)

Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park

One of the projects spearheading the transition in the Negev was the ATP, which houses major international tech companies like Deutsche Telekom and PayPal and is dedicated to fostering cyber tech innovation. The ATP is connected to the Beer-Sheva train station and BGU by pedestrian bridge.

For the first time ever, the city of Beer-Sheva hosted the NexTech Conference — an event promoting future cyber technologies — at the ATP. Twenty different cyber security and high-tech startups showcased their ideas and innovations to possible investors and other high-tech companies.

One of these innovations, the Hydro Camel, is an autonomous submarine that functions as a drone. Created by students at BGU’s Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics, the Hydro Camel is equipped with cameras and sonar systems and can patrol and search depths of up to 300 meters.

“When you need to search a large area, you can easily send a couple of autonomous underwater vehicles to do the job,” says Alon Baruch, a BGU engineering graduate student and one of the creators of the Hydro Camel.

By connecting Ben-Gurion University, the Israeli military, major high-tech companies, and venture capitalists, Beer-Sheva has become a self-sustaining eco-system for the technological future of Israel.

Read more on The Media Line website >>