IDE President Yoram Dvash shares with JNA the creative collaboration between Israel’s diamond industry and promising tech firms, and explains why Israel is poised to become a global centre for innovation in the diamond sector.
JNA: What specific targets have you set for the Diamond Tech Innovation Center this year?
Dvash: We want to complete the building of the Innovation Center in 2017, but things are progressing very quickly. From the moment we publicised the centre, we were inundated with requests from dozens of startups and we are making progress with several of them.
JNA: In addition to Sarine, Hennig and Technion-Israel, are you open to forming partnerships with other technology companies including those from overseas?
Dvash: Sarine and Hennig are our partners and therefore they have priority over other companies. We also have support from a number of important organisations, such as a Chinese investment fund that is interested in robotics and electronic commerce, but our partners will come before other organisations that want to cooperate with us.
JNA: Who can avail themselves of the benefits and advantages being offered by the centre?
Dvash: Diamond Tech Innovation Center is relevant for all of the companies that touch on diamonds. This means not only gem-quality diamonds or jewellery but all startups that are developing the use of diamonds such as semiconductors, the space industry and many others.
JNA: Why is IDE investing so much time and resources in this centre? Why is the success of the Diamond Tech Innovation Center significant to Israel’s diamond industry?
Dvash: Israel in the past has been the source of all technological advances in the diamond industry. We are convinced that Israel as the “Start-Up Nation” can now serve as the global centre for innovation in the diamond sector. Every year, there are 1,500 new startups established here. We want to encourage some of these companies to concentrate on technologies that will serve the world diamond industry, thereby turning the Israel Diamond Exchange into a world-class centre for technological innovation in this sector. But beyond all of this, we are hoping that this will bring into the bourse a new generation that otherwise would not enter this place. The future lies in the young generation, and we want to give this generation a place where they will be able to develop their ideas and their technologies for the good of the entire sector.
JNA: What is “Start-Up Nation?”
Dvash: Israel is a global power in startups, with the largest number of startups per capita in the world. There are a huge number of Israeli companies that have impacted on the lives of people around the world, from cellphones and software to cyber, self-driven cars and bio-med. There are a huge number of Israeli companies that have become international success stories, which inspired an American journalist to write a book entitled “Start-Up Nation.” That’s where the name originated.