SEAT, a Volkswagen Group company, and Champion Motors Ltd., the brand’s importer in Israel, have reached an agreement to create XPLORA, a transversal team of specialists focused on technological innovation projects aimed at the connected car and smart mobility services. The goal of the initiative is to encourage relations with local mobility-related startups and players and identify innovative projects that could lead to future solutions and business models for the brand.
XPLORA, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv and will carry out its activity around the country, will have an initial team made up of four professionals. Where SEAT is concerned, the company is going to arrange a one year transfer for three members of its transversal Easy Mobility Team, specializing in UX Design, Electric Development and Business Development, which is spearheading the company’s digital transformation, to cover the needs of the initiative and identify and develop the most relevant solutions for SEAT and the sector.
Furthermore, Champion Motors Ltd. will assign a Project Manager responsible for coordinating and carrying out the project since its initial stage. This team of professionals, who will begin by scouting startups and projects that might be of interest, will select the most outstanding innovations and carry out concept tests in close collaboration with SEAT specialist teams in Martorell. These first steps will be used to analyse the feasibility of pilot testing on a larger scale in Israel and at European level.
Israel currently has more than 7,000 emerging businesses, making it the second country with the highest concentration of startups after Silicon Valley. 50% of these are committed to areas such as IT or internet software. Moreover, the country has more than 100 accelerators and most of the business incubators are managed by the Israel Innovation Authority.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Israeli startups targeting the automotive sector and smart mobility in the last few years. In 2013, the country had 87 companies, whereas today there is a total of 520 new businesses.