Intel to help tech start-ups in Israel to develop AI and autonomous systems

Intel has launched a project to help start-ups in Israel develop technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems.
Intel for CIOs
The 20-week program, called Ignite, will offer business and technical support to up to 15 start-ups. Intel said it would not take equity stakes in the start-ups now, but might do so eventually.

Intel, which is one of the biggest employers and exporters in Israel, earlier this year said it was investing 40 billion shekels or $11 billion to expand its manufacturing operations there.

“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,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan.

Intel paid $15.3 billion to buy Israeli autonomous-vehicle technology company Mobileye two years ago, Reuters reported.

“I have absolutely no regrets with the acquisition of Mobileye,” Swan told reporters in Tel Aviv, adding that since its purchase Mobileye had doubled its penetration into the high-growth industry of autonomous driving vehicles.

Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei Technologies to its “Entity List” – a move that bans the telecom giant from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

China is an important market for Intel and Huawei is a large customer.

“What we intend to do is be very focused on serving customers around the world but at the same time abide by the rules. We aren’t shipping anything that’s specified on the entity list,” Swan said.

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