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Stellantis, maker of Dodge and Maserati, scouting Israeli startups for tech edge

  • April 08, 2021

The Israel Innovation Authority, in charge of fostering the nation’s tech ecosystem, has signed an agreement with an Italian unit of multinational automaker Stellantis NV to cooperate in technological innovation that will help grow Israeli firms and boost the firm’s tech prowess.

The accord was signed with FCA Italy S.p.A., a subsidiary of Stellantis. The automaker designs, develops, manufactures, distributes, and sells vehicles and mobility solutions. Its portfolio of vehicles includes iconic automotive brands such as Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat, Dodge, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën.

The agreement is part of the Israel Innovation Authority’s RD and Pilot Collaboration with Multinational Corporations (MNC) Program, which offers a framework for technological cooperation between MNCs and innovative Israeli companies.

The agreement for industrial cooperation between Israeli technology companies and Stellantis was signed by Ami Applebaum, chairperson of the Israel Innovation Authority, and Roberto Di Stefano, in charge of e-Mobility at Stellantis, to create a framework to approve cooperation projects in innovation between Israeli entities and Stellantis.

As part of the agreement, the Israel Innovation Authority, together with Israel’s economic mission to Italy, will help Stellantis identify relevant Israeli-developed technologies. If any of the technologies pinpointed prove to be interesting to the Italians for further development, the Israel Innovation Authority will provide funding for the Israeli startups, while Stellantis will support the startups’ RD, marketing and other global activities.

The Israel Innovation Authority’s collaborative framework with multinational corporations began in 2005. Among the corporations that have already signed such collaborative agreements are Intel Corp., Audi, Adler Pelzer, Abbot, Unilever, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Panasonic, Philips, Nielsen, Fujitsu and Renault.

As part of the framework, the Innovation Authority helps multinationals pinpoint Israeli technologies that address the corporation’s specific needs, and provides financial support for research and development. The multinational matches those funds – whether through investment, lending personnel or RD equipment, or by providing consultation on regulatory, technological or marketing strategy – aiding the Israeli company and opening opportunities in markets abroad.

The Stellantis group has operations in Europe, North America and Latin America.

Through its e-Mobility department, Stellantis has been working for over two years to build an ecosystem made of products and services with partners to help customers make the transition to electric mobility.  The group has increasingly used innovation in its production and Stellantis has focused on startup-oriented investments. It is looking to Israeli firms to tap into the latest developments.

The group has already identified areas for the initial potential collaborations that will be focused on driving assistance, cybersecurity and industry 4.0 and has been scouting more than 30 startups for over a year. A number of proof-of-concept collaborations, confidential for now, is already underway, the statement said.

“Smart mobility is among the fastest growing fields in the world, and there’s no doubt that this agreement between Stellantis and the Israel Innovation Authority is a vote of confidence in the Israeli startup ecosystem, and further proof that in the new world of automotive – so tied to innovation and technology – Israel is a key player,” said the Innovation Authority’s Appelbaum. “Collaboration between a global company like Stellantis and Israeli companies will lead to the development of new technologies and innovations in a variety of fields.”

“Stellantis is eager to learn from the scientific and technological innovations that exist in Israel. Our cooperation will contribute greatly to Israel and to Israeli RD. This agreement is a testament to Israel’s role at the forefront of innovation, which is drawing international attention in many leading fields.”

“For a global company like ours,” said Stellantis’s Di Stefano, “it is essential to pay attention to the ideas generated in startups, and provide resources to support their ability to propose innovative technologies aimed at a more sustainable future.”

“This agreement will enable our Group to accelerate a unique model of collaboration with Israeli startup.”

Stellantis, headquartered in The Netherlands, was formed earlier this year through the merger of Italo-American firm Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and French firm Group PSA.

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