Go to Top

Director’s Report 10 8 15

British-Israel Chamber of Commerce

We are progressing with the four major projects for the Chamber at present: Daresbury SciTech Park, Manchester Corridor, B-ICC New Generation and Opening Direct Links with Israel.

These projects will change due to time-scale and priorities.

Daresbury: The Park is our top priority at present and is progressing very fast to a ministerial level. The Director brought to the Park the Head of BT Innovations, Mike Hodgson. This visit opened great communications between BT, with 95,000 employees, and the Park. Fourteen innovation companies at the Park made their presentations to Mike Hodgson who was amazed and impressed with the quality and potential available. He straightaway chose three companies to use in BT systems, which will be very lucrative for them, and he also will take five other companies to the showcase in Ipswich for exposure to corporates.

This move brings the SciTech Park huge opportunities for exposure in the British and world market.

The Directors of the Park are delighted with this engagement and the companies in the Park are extremely satisfied with the shortcut to the market.

Mr Hodgson has intimated that he would be interested to visit the Park on a regular basis in future.

The Israeli Embassy in London: The Director invited the Minister, Economic & Trade Mission, Mr Natan Tsror, to visit the SciTech Park. He was amazed at what he saw there and made two points: a) that the Park with its superior facilities can be a great model to Israeli Hi-Tech parks and he wants to bring the Chief Scientist and the Minister for Economic Affairs to visit Daresbury. b) he identified that the Park could be a positive component to renew research and development between the two countries. Twelve years ago the two countries put £2.5m into research and development but unfortunately it was not a success due to management failure and since then Israel has endeavoured to renew this joint venture, but the British government has not been forthcoming. Mr Tsror believes that due to the very high profile of the Park with massive investment by the British government (only recently £313m has been invested in a data centre that is the biggest in UK. IBM invested £200m and the rest was invested by the government) and he has requested a letter from the Park to explain that they wish to participate in negotiations with the British government.

As a result of the Director meeting Mr Tsror in London, the minister outlined the main points that he would like to receive from the Park for him to present to the Chief Scientist in Israel.

Following his visit to Israel Mr Tsror reported that he expects an early reply from the Chief Scientist. The Chief Scientist’s office is undergoing massive reforms that will enable him to have more independence in future.

British Embassy in Tel Aviv: A request has been received to arrange a lunch or breakfast for the Head of UKTI at the Embassy, Mr Barry Grossman, when he visits UK in September. This is very encouraging that now the Chamber is one of the organisers and think-tanks to promote direct communication between Israel and the North West of UK.

The Director will take Mr Grossman to Daresbury after a breakfast event. It is important that he will be involved in negotiations between the two governments and to see for himself that the Park is an important junction for Israeli companies coming via the Embassy. The Director advised the Park to bring to the meeting the Conservative MP for Daresbury, Graham Evans, who is also close to the Chancellor, Mr Osborne, in order to assist with communications with the government. The Park was delighted with this advice and the MP will be invited and this will put pressure on Mr Grossman to deliver.