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World's Top Tech Firms Open Israel Offices

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By Avi Lewis

The biggest international hi-tech companies are swarming to one spot: Israel. Outside of Silicon Valley, perhaps no place is as packed with incredible talent, visionary start-ups and cutting-edge technology as the Jewish state.

Major US tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon have been operating out of Israel for years, but recently, important Asian firms such as Alibaba, Samsung and Baidu have been moving in to get a piece of the action, according to a recent Forbes report.

The key reasons these companies choose Israel are local talent (Israel boasts some of the world’s top computer scientists and software engineers), supporting institutions such as elite IDF tech units like 8200 and world class universities (Hebrew U, Tel Aviv U and Technion just to name a few) as well as vibrant start-up ecosystem with thousands of young companies all working within the hottest fields.

Just last month, Microsoft selected a 34-year-old Israeli (a graduate of the 8200 unit) to head its massive research and development complex in Israel. Amazon just opened a 100-strong engineering department in Tel Aviv to work exclusively on Alexa’s artificial intelligence capabilities. While Intel purchased Jerusalem-based Mobileye for $15 billion to head its foray into the autonomous vehicle market. Last year China-based Alibaba acquired Israeli start-up VisualLead to upgrade its mobile purchasing platform.

What all these major tech companies have in common is that they recognize Israel’s potential as an emerging world leader in technological innovation and cutting edge science. What’s important to note is type of work being outsourced to Israel: high quality R&D, research and software development that is indispensable for any tech firm looking to get ahead in the game. But here in Israel, we’re not surprised. As it says in the Bible: כי מציון תצא תוכנה.

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