Israel invests $30 million in AI, supercomputing innovation


Israel is set to bolster its position in the fields of artificial intelligence and supercomputing with a strategic investment by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). An allocation of up to 30 million NIS will fund the establishment of a state-of-the-art Research and Development (R&D) Lab, aimed at providing crucial infrastructure and support to companies and researchers across the nation.

The focal points of this initiative encompass accelerating research and development in hardware components, communication systems, and software solutions. Addressing the evolving demands of data processing, the lab will specifically target advancements required for AI computation, high-performance computing (HPC), data centers, and processing units.

Selected to lead the endeavor is NextSilicon, an Israeli company renowned for its innovative processing technologies. The company has demonstrated the potential to expedite computing applications at impressive speeds while maintaining energy efficiency, all without necessitating alterations to existing code or user interfaces.

What will NextSilicon’s role entail?

NextSilicon will head a consortium of four Israeli companies, each of which possesses expertise in diverse areas such as High-Performance Computing, AI acceleration, branding, and specialized memory access. This cooperative approach aligns with the broader goal of promoting cross-industry synergy and knowledge exchange.

The HPC R&D Lab, furnished with cutting-edge computing, communication, and storage equipment, will provide R&D services to startups, established companies, and researchers alike. The lab’s creation is expected to ease entry barriers for researchers and businesses, thereby fostering a conducive environment for nurturing Israeli innovation and groundbreaking research.

It aims to offer essential infrastructure and services to facilitate the evaluation, optimization, and adaptation of advanced processing environments, further enabling the realization of disruptive technologies.

“We are continuing the practical implementation phase of the national plan for Artificial Intelligence, which is at the top of the government’s priorities in the field of technology. The policy led by the government will position Israel at the forefront of other countries in the world in the field of artificial intelligence,” said Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Innovation, Science, and Technology Minister.

Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, highlighted the importance of overcoming existing hurdles, stating, “Today, due to a lack of such infrastructure in Israel, many startups are forced to choose between establishing expensive infrastructure themselves (which hinders their growth) or seeking services from global giants, leading to a ‘brain drain’ early on.”

The establishment of the HPC R&D Lab thereby represents a significant step toward fortifying Israel’s leadership in AI and supercomputing. It provides a pragmatic solution for researchers and companies, enabling them to remain in the country for their research activities and contribute to the nation’s technological prowess.