VIDEO – The city of Cambridge
is famous for its prestigious university, but it's also home to several tech companies. Jewish News One met with Member of Parliament Julian Huppert to learn more about his aim to boost links between tech companies in Israel
Huppert recently returned from a four-day trip to Israel, where he visited several tech companies.
"One of the things that I think unites the Cambridge high-tech cluster in many ways with a lot of what I saw in Israel is that in both cases they’re often providing the things which lie underneath the consumer products," he says.
"So for example, Amdocs, who I went to visit in Israel, supply a huge amount of work for mobile phone companies around the world, but most people who use Amdocs don’t know that they use Amdocs, but it’s still a very successful company doing very well.
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"We went out to Nazareth to see one of their centers there. Similarly here in Cambridge, just to pick up a couple of companies, ARM is a huge company. most people have never heard of ARM, but there are more ARM silicon chips in the world than there are human arms and heads and legs put together.
"Actually, last year there were more ARM chips shipped than Intel have ever shipped. It is a huge company based in Cambridge… I think the latest figure for their penetration mobile phone market, in terms of the chips that drive them, was something like 99.8%. That’s incredibly dominant.
"With all the things that we are able to do, they will work together very well with a lot of things that are happening in Israel. We don’t have a huge presence in Cambridge in sort of consumer focused, which I know Israel is doing a lot of, but they work together very tightly."
'No sense in boycotting Israeli goods'
The MP also told JN1 that he believes economic interaction between Israel, the West Bank and Gaza would help to promote peace. Despite the boycott campaign, imports from Israel rose by 55.6% in the last year.
"The idea of boycotting Israeli goods seems to make no sense whatsoever," Huppert says. "It makes no sense whatsoever to boycott Israeli universities. I mean, I met somebody when I was out there who runs an MBA program which has Palestinians students coming in from the West Bank to study it. How does it help anybody to stop the Palestinian student being able to study a really good international MBA? I don’t understand that."
Huppert believes the key to success in the high-tech industry is allowing startups to take risks, something he says the Israeli government is willing to do.
"Government has a role not to take the risks itself, because we know governments are not very good at that, but to make sure that other people can try that risk, and if it doesn’t work it’s not a disaster to move onto something else."
In the coming months, MP Huppert will be talking to entrepreneurs and consultants in the area to continue boosting commercial ties between the two regions.
With support from the UK government, including Chancellor George Osborne, it looks like business links between the UK as a whole and Israel will continue to grow.