Israel's New 'Cybersecurity Capital'? Intel to Open New R&D Center in Be'er Sheva

The company plans on hiring students and engineers from the area, joining other major multinationals such as IBM, Oracle and Dell-EMC who have set up R&D centers in southern Israel

Sagi Cohen
Sagi Cohen
Tower Semiconductor headquarters in Migdal Haemek, Israel, last month
Tower Semiconductor headquarters in Migdal Haemek, Israel, last monthCredit: Ariel Schalit/ AP
Sagi Cohen
Sagi Cohen

The U.S. semiconductor company Intel will shortly be opening a new research and development center in Be’er Sheva, TheMarker reported.

The new facility will be based in a WeWork center in the city’s high-tech park adjacent to Ben-Gurion University. Intel is expected to hire scores of new workers from the area, including students and experienced engineers, specializing in microprocessors, artificial intelligence and software.

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Although the center will be relatively small, at least at this stage, it represents an important advance for Be’er Sheva’s status as a tech center. Years of promises that it was poised to emerge as Israel’s “cybersecurity capital” and a major high-tech center have yet to be fulfilled.

Other major tech companies with R&D centers in the city include Nvidia, an Intel competitor when it comes to hiring semiconductor specialists. Cisco is also hiring microprocessor developers, as reported by TheMarker.

Other R&D centers operated by multinationals in Be’er Sheva include IBM, Oracle and Dell-EMC. Israeli companies there include Wix and Tabula.

Across Israel, Intel employs 14,000 people, including those working at Mobileye, which the company is planning to spin off soon. The head count doesn’t include Tower, an Israeli semiconductor foundry that Intel has agreed to buy.

Of the 14,000, half work in R&D in centers. The biggest is located in Haifa, where the company conducts most of its semiconductor research and is now in the process of building a major new campus designed to accommodate thousands of employees. Others are in Petah Tikva, which focuses on connectivity, communication, cybersecurity, processors and AI, and in Jerusalem, which is engaged in much the same activity.

Intel also has a semiconductor fabrication plant in Kiryat Gat and owns several subsidiaries, like Mobileye (Jerusalem), Movit (Nes Ziona), Habana Labs (Caesarea and Tel Aviv) and Screenovate Technologies (Ra’anana) that it acquired over the years.

Intel said: “Intel operates over Israel from the south to the north, but we also saw fit to tap the talent that is in the Be’er Sheva area and the far south. As part of the transition to a hybrid work model and the growth of R&D in Israel, Intel will recruit employees for certain positions who will be given the opportunity to work in a hybrid model from WeWork’s offices in the Be’er Sheva.

The company said that by the end of 2022 several dozen new employees will be recruited to work at the WeWork complex in Be’er Sheva.

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