Intel's R&D center in Haifa. Intel's R&D center in Haifa. Intel's R&D center in Haifa. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Intel, Visa launch new innovation labs

Both companies are keen to harness the skills of a global talent pool.

Two companies focused on innovation are expanding their global footprints. Intel and Visa have opened new technology labs in Israel.

Intel, the U.S. company known for computer processors, has opened a new branch of its "Internet of Things" lab (IoT) in Haifa. The expansion increases Intel's presence in the coastal city. The company has an R&D center in Haifa that employs 7,800 people.

The "Internet of Things" describes innovation that bypasses person-to-person or person-to-computer connectivity, examples include heart monitoring implants and Nest, a connected thermostat.

Intel has opened "Internet of Things" labs in Munich, Stockholm, Istanbul and Swindon, U.K. Like the other labs, the one in Haifa will partner with local startups to develop and help build IoT products. The expectation is that each lab will focus on development which is strongest in its respective tech communities. In Israel that means smart cities and homes, transportation and smart agriculture, huge markets for tech companies that Israel has proven especially adept at.


Meanwhile, Visa has opened a new lab in Tel Aviv as part of its Europe Collab innovation hub. This is the third such lab Visa opened in the past year. The American financial services corporation opened its first innovation hub in San Francisco last year, and its European division launched another in London this year. Four Israeli companies – Zooz, Prontoly, Payitsimple and MyCheck – have already entered the Visa Europe Collab innovation pipeline.

In its first year, Visa Europe Collab aims to take a minimum of 20 ideas through its unique 100-day innovation funnel. The best ideas will be developed and nurtured into fully grown services.

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