Intel has launched a start-up initiative in Israel with the aim to foster innovation in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.
The project, named Ignite, will take in 10 to 15 Israeli start-ups which will then be mentored by Intel employees over the course of a 20 week programme.
Over those 20 weeks the start-ups will receive mentoring from Intel and industry experts on an array of business critical areas such as technical impediments, human resources, as well as product and business management.
Ignite will be based in Tel Aviv and is expected to begin working with start-ups this year. Initially the programme is only targeting Israeli start-ups, but Intel expects to expand the project out to further countries.
The project will be headed by Tzahi Weisfeld, the former head of the Microsoft for Start-ups programme.
Intel CEO Bob Swan commented in a release: “Intel has always worked in concert with open ecosystems to scale new technologies so they can be transformational for our customers, business and society. This process is fuelled by the innovation and passion of the startup community.”
“Israel has the deep skill base in AI, autonomous systems and the underlying technologies critical to these inflections that make it a natural choice to launch our Ignite program.”
Intel has stated that at this time they have no plans to seek equity in or rights to the intellectual properties created by these companies.
Intel and Israel
In 2017 Intel acquired Israeli start-up Mobileye to help strengthen its push into the autonomous vehicle industry.
Mobileye’s REM platform, a HD mapping solution using data collected by REM compatible vehicles, will be used to create maps that will be used across the autonomous systems for the consortium of carmakers.
The software will allow the autonomous fleet of cars to collect data from existing cars on the roads, using onboard sensors to create the HD maps and inform driverless systems in real-time. Information such as weather data, incident reports and construction information are examples of the real-time data expected to be used to create the mapping.
Former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich commented at the time that: “Data is going to introduce social and economic changes that we see perhaps once or twice in a century.”
“We not only find data everywhere today, but it will be the creative force behind the innovations of the future. Data is going to redefine how we experience life – in our work, in our homes, how we travel, and how we enjoy sports and entertainment.”
Intel bought Mobileye in order to compete with the likes of Qualcomm and Nvidia and tap into the fast-growing driverless market that is upon us.