ISRAEL has organized a networking event to match Philippine startups with potential Israeli partners, in a bid to develop solutions suitable for addressing problems particular to the Philippines, the Israeli embassy said.

During the networking event at QBO Innovation Hub late Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss said he hopes the partnerships will help the Philippines develop its own solutions via innovation.

“Many companies will develop something and then sell the technology here, but if you develop the technology from the beginning, Israel and the Philippines together, you (can) address local challenges,” he said.

“The solution will probably be much better and more relevant for the challenges here. This is something we would like to see,” he added.

Israel has over 6,000 active startups, built up through a support network involving the government, private sector, academic institutions, local governments, incubators, and venture capital firms.

Ideaspace Foundation, Inc. President Rene S. Meily expressed hope for further meetings among startups, investors, and government officials to  learn from each other.

“If we can build those ties together, I think both economies will gain and grow,” he said. “Our hope is that what we start today… will flourish like a strong, solid tree that will outlast what we start here.”

Mr. Fluss also announced the signing of three agreements between the Israeli government and the Philippines’ Trade department.

“One of which is an agreement to cooperate in technological innovation, research and development with the Israeli Innovation Authority, our government agency in charge of fostering industrial research and development,” he said, adding that the other two were signed on Tuesday.

“With this, we are opening more bridges to partner with you and build a stronger startup industry,” he added.

The event was the first physical engagement between the Israel Embassy and Philippine startups. Around 50 Filipino founders of startup companies and investors participated in the networking night. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan