Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd., China’s largest home appliance maker, is opening an Israeli innovation center in Tel Aviv this week.
Haier has around 30% market share of major household appliance sales in China. With sales in more than 100 countries, it is one of China’s most valuable brands. The Haier Israel Innovation Center will focus on finding Israeli technologies for Haier product lines, and will concentrate on sensor technology, materials, chips, IoT, smart homes, and energy innovation.
Managing the Israel center will be Daniel Oleiski, who will be CEO of the Center, and Galit Jacobovitz, a former Director of Strategic Partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central, an NGO that connects companies, governments, and organizations with innovative solutions and their creators in Israel. Ms. Jacobovitz will act as Senior Director of Partner Programs.
Mutually Beneficial for Innovation
Haier and Start-Up Nation Central have signed a non-exclusive MOU, designed to help the Chinese home appliance maker explore the Israeli innovation system, while Haier supports Start-Up Nation Central’s mission to find opportunities for Israeli innovators in China. The Innovation Center will scout for Israeli technologies for Haier’s products, and Start-Up Nation Central will assist with mapping the ecosystem.
“Helping Haier with continuous access to leading technologies in their fields of interest – IoT, Big Data, energy – will help them become more competitive, more innovative and more dominant in their markets,” said Eugene Kandel, Start-Up Nation Central’s CEO. “Israeli companies will gain continuous access to the new challenges Haier encounters in the markets, giving Israel’s tech sector insight and challenges for new innovations.”
Building a Symbiotic Relationship
“The decision to open an innovation center is fully aligned with Haier’s strategy: the world is our lab. Haier’s journey to Israel began more than five years ago with several POC’s with startups,” said Mr. Wang Ye, VP, GM of Advanced Innovation Centers in Haier’s Appliance Group. “We worked with Start-Up Nation Central, who showed us important parts of the ecosystem and acted as a gateway to Israeli innovation. Part of Haier’s strategy is focused on smart appliances. We have been working with Israeli innovations for more than five years. We have now decided to deepen our involvement in the Israeli ecosystem. This is a long-term strategic investment.”
Haier also hopes to serve Israeli companies looking to expand into Chinese and global markets through its Haier Open Partnership Ecosystem (a.k.a HOPE). “We sincerely hope Israeli companies can utilize HOPE to expand the market in China and the world,” added Mr. Wang Ye.