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Shanghai Municipal Government

05/27/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/26/2019 18:57

City is forging stronger ties with Israel

After retiring as rector of the University of Haifa in Israel, David Faraggi, 64, decided to become an entrepreneur in Shanghai.

His startup health project, the Shanghai-Haifa Data Coordinating Center, is one of the first group of companies at the China-Israel Innovation Hub (Shanghai), which was launched in Putuo District yesterday.

The hub within the Taopu Smart City, a business district formerly the site of early industries, aims to become a demonstration area for scientific and innovative cooperation between China and Israel.

The center led by Faraggi, a joint effort between the East China Normal University and the Haifa university, will employ biostatisticians, computer scientists and data managers from both nations.

'We've got a lot of support from the Shanghai government, including generous allowances to run the project,' said Faraggi.

During the opening ceremony at Hero World on Qilianshan Road, formerly the site of the prestigious Shanghai Hero Pen Factory, the Shanghai Innovation Center (Haifa), China-Israel Innovation Hub (Shanghai) Co and China-Israel (Shanghai) Innovation Angel Investment Fund were also unveiled.

Other well-known enterprises and institutions, including Israeli incubator Trendlines and STARTUPEAST as well as National Eastern Tech-Transfer Center and PricewaterhouseCoopers, signed contracts to establish bases at the innovation hub.

Ami Dror is the founder and CEO of LeapLearner, a Shanghai-based education technology company.

Founded three years ago, his company was China's first startup firm jointly established by a Israeli and Chinese.

The company currently has 150 employees and offers online courses to children on computer programming and innovative thinking.

'Hopefully, the company will grow rapidly to have over 1,000 employees with tens of thousands of children not only taking our remote lessons about coding but also learning the Israeli principles of innovation and critical thinking,' Dror said.

More then 200 government and company officials from both countries took part in the launch of the key research, incubation, transformation and exhibition platform.

They included China's Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong and Israeli Ambassador to China Zvi Heifetz.

The innovation hub is expected to drive the development of the Taopu International Innovation City in Putuo.