As discussed in the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce article “Houston & Israel: The Beginning of a Beautiful Economic Alliance, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner visited Israel in mid-June to commence and strengthen present economic relations with the Jewish state.
In recognition of the fact that Houston and Israel already share economic overlap in the areas of energy and medical R&D, Mayor Turner made sure to learn more about other areas of Israeli expertise that his city could benefit from, one area being innovation technology as it relates to cyber security. The Houston Mayor states, “With all the things we have going for us, we have not really played in this innovation technology space, so to speak, and there is no reason...All of the elements are there.”
In fact, on his visit to Israel Mayor Turner led a large delegation comprised of Houston business leaders and academics to Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev whose cybersecurity program may make the city of Beer-Sheva the cyber capital of Israel. Holding the title of being the first university to introduce cybersecurity tracks of study in Israeli higher education, BGU’s Department of Information Systems Engineering has become the largest in Israel and devotes much of its work to the area of cybersecurity.
Recognizing BGU’s wide experience in cyber innovation and technology, Professor Dan Blumberg who also serves as the Dean and Vice President of R&D at BGU emphasized upon Mayor Turner’s visit the university’s eagerness in helping Houston improve its cybersecurity capabilities. He states, “We are gratified that Mayor Turner is interested in our research and insights and we look forward to widening our contacts with Houston and the great state of Texas."
No plans to improve cyber innovation have yet been disclosed by the city of Houston since the trip, however, Mayor Turner’s acknowledgment on his visit of the ways in which BGU can help the city of Houston develop its Data Science Institute suggests that plans may be underway soon.
The Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce is keeping track of any further economic developments. See “Houston & Israel: The Beginning of a Beautiful Economic Alliance” for more details on the historic visit.
Quote from Houston Mayor: http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/Mayor-of-Houston-looks-to-Israel-as-he-builds-hi-tech-sector-496663
Info. over the Visit to BGU: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/news/bgu_houston.aspx
Quote taken from: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/news/bgu_houston.aspx
Background of BGU Cybersecurity Advantage: http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/cyber/Pages/BGU-Advantage.aspx