Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. will open a research and development branch at the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) adjacent to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beersheva next year, the company announced today. More than 2,000 engineers are already employed at the park.
"Rafael’s presence in the ATP is another indicator of trust in the power of the university’s research and our vision to create the ATP with the Beer-Sheva Municipality and Gav-Yam, with significant support from the government of Israel. The international companies recognize the potential and come to Beer-Sheva because of the skills and innovation here,” said BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.
Over the past year, the Beersheva Municipality and the management of Rafael have held intensive discussions about developing a major presence in the southern capital to expand the potential human resources available to the company in technological fields such as mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, primarily from BGU. BGU produces around a third of Israel’s engineers each year.
Rafael designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of high-tech defense systems for air, land, sea and space applications. The company has more than 7,500 employees, 65% of whom hold academic degrees in science and engineering. About 300 of them hold PhDs.
Beer-Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich said, "Over the past year, we held feverish talks with the management of Rafael and its CEO, and to my great delight, the board of directors took a strategic decision regarding the company’s future development. Rafael is a magnificent company, a technological giant, and this decision reinforces Beersheva’s place as a hi-tech capital. This is an additional technological anchor that transforms Beersheva into an international center of knowledge, technology and cyber security, to which companies flock from all over the world."
Rafael CEO Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Yoav Har Even noted that Rafael would continue to be a central anchor in the north of Israel as the largest industrial employer. “At the same time, the company’s growth and the resultant challenges in recruiting led us to the decision to open an R&D center in Beersheva as well, as part of Rafael’s strategic national expansion plan, to contribute to employment in additional cities and to recruit outstanding engineers from all around the country."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 12, 2017
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