The Hon Philip Dalidakis MP - travel report - Israel, November 2016

Minister The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP
Portfolio Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade
Countries visited Israel
Date of travel 10 - 21 November 2016
No. of official travel days 12
Number of accompanying ministerial staff 1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity Yes (private capacity)
Note: Minister's spouse accompanied in an unofficial capacity and was self-funded for the duration of the trip.
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by (list department/s or agency) Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Air fares $23,847.00*
Accommodation $10,986.00*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $8,027.00*
Travel cost for minister and staff $42,860.00*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

I travelled to Israel from 10 - 21 November 2016 to lead a data and cyber security trade mission on behalf of the Victorian Government, the first Ministerial led cyber delegation of any state or federal government across Australia. The key purpose of my travel was to develop trade and investment prospects for Victoria, and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders.

The key objectives were to:

  • Provide a platform for Victorian organisations, international industry and academia to collaborate on data and cybersecurity research and development activities;
  • Promote awareness of Victoria's data and cybersecurity capabilities;
  • Meet with academic institutions, industry and government agencies to discuss opportunities for trade partnerships in the data and cybersecurity space;
  • Position Melbourne and Victoria as the pre-eminent cybersecurity research, innovation and commercialisation hub of the Asia-Pacific; and
  • Meet with potential and existing investors to promote further investments in order to support the growth of Victorian jobs.

The Victorian Government partnered with the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) to develop a comprehensive meeting program for the delegation consisting of leading Victorian companies, SMEs and academia, coinciding with the 4th International Conference on Homeland Security and Cyber in Tel Aviv.

The mission to Israel was important in encouraging and supporting international engagement, and enhancing Victoria's global competitiveness.

Israel provides potentially significant opportunities for Victorian organisations for targeted collaboration in innovation and technology, including sub-sectors of fintech, defence and medical technologies. 

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

A total of 27 delegates from 25 organisations participated in the mission. Partnering with the AICC, Victoria is the first ever Australian state government to lead a data and cyber security trade mission to Israel. Key outcomes from the mission include:

  • Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Victoria's new Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC) and Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Centre (ICRC), to share resources and help companies better protect their data and privacy. The agreement provides the opportunity for the eight Victorian universities collaborating with the OCSC, to work more closely with Tel Aviv University researchers on data and cyber security projects.
  • Signing of a MoU between Victoria's Swinburne University of Technology and Tel Aviv University to establish a joint research centre on data science. The new virtual centre will have a major focus on privacy, security and data analytics, allowing PhD students at Swinburne to share their research and collaborate with experts on a global scale.
  • Announced that Check Point Software Technologies Limited would establish a cybersecurity capability and skills growth initiative in Victoria. In an effort to ensure that Victorian organisations are protected from cyber security threats, Check Point is offering confidential security checkups to Victorian enterprises and government departments at no cost. This follows the company's Technical Assistance Centre launch in Melbourne earlier this year which provides specialist cyber security support to Check Point's business and government customers across Australia and New Zealand.
  • The mission was very successful and delegates provided very positive qualitative feedback and have identified a number of strong leads and opportunities as a result of their participation in the mission.
  • The senior level meetings across the Israeli business and government community providing key opportunities and relationships into potential future policy directions and strategy for the Victorian Government.

Meetings to promote relationship building and business opportunities for Victoria relating to data and cyber security

To build a closer relationship between the Victoria and Israel I met with:

  • Mr Yehiel Hilik Bar, Deputy Speaker of The Knesset, Member of The Knesset, for the Israel Labor Party and Secretary General of the Labor Party;
  • Mr Eli Gronor, Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office and Mr Yossi Katribas, Senior Deputy Director General of the Prime Minister's Office;
  • Dr Eviatar Matania, Head of the National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister's Office; 
  • Mr Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy of the State of Israel; and
  • Mr Raphael Morav, Director, European Economic Affairs, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To promote foreign direct investment into Victoria I met with:

  • Mr Gil Shwed, Founder & CEO, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, to discuss Check Point's cybersecurity capability and skills growth initiative in Victoria; and
  • Senior Executives from another four Israeli based technology companies considering direct investment into Melbourne. These projects are currently confidential and are in negotiation.

To promote awareness of Victoria's startup ecosystem and learn about Israel's startup ecosystem the delegation program included a:

  • Visit to the Austrade Landing Pad in Tel Aviv which presents a good first-base option for Victorian startup companies to establish a presence in this co-working space in Israel;
  • Briefing by Ernst & Young in Tel Aviv on "The Startup Nation & Cyber Security";
  • Briefing by a number of Israeli fintech startup companies at The Floor Hub in Tel Aviv - the first fintech hub of its kind in Israel;
  • Visit to Team8, which works with innovative leaders and entrepreneurs to address the biggest problems in cyber security and build companies around these cyber challenges; and
  • Briefing by Dr Kira Radinsky, Chief Scientist and Director of Data Science, e-Bay.

To promote collaborations between Victorian and Israeli academic institutions the delegation and I visited:

  • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er Sheva, to meet with senior researchers and hear from a number of Israeli companies based in the university;
  • Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa, a science and technology research university among the world's top ten;
  • Tel Aviv University, to participate in a signing ceremony and witness two MoU agreements on behalf of Victoria's Oceania Cyber Security Centre and Swinburne University of Technology; and
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to hear about the research projects focussed on cybersecurity.

To promote relationship building between Victorian and Israeli businesses and facilitate partnerships and exports:

  • I hosted a Victorian Government networking event attended by more than 80 delegates and stakeholders from Israel. The event connected individuals and promoted business relationships with Victoria in relation to data and cyber security; and
  • I attended and spoke at a dedicated forum titled "Cyber Opportunities in the Asia Pacific – Melbourne, Victoria" as part of the Israel Homeland Security & Cyber Conference 2016 in Tel Aviv.

Other meetings

  • Dave Sharma, Australian Ambassador to Israel hosted an event for the Victorian delegation and leading enterprises and academia to further strengthen relations with Victoria and Israel.

Next steps / Follow up

A number of trade and investment opportunities arose as a result of the mission and are being followed up by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

The Department will continue to liaise with individual organisations that participated in the mission to quantify their expected outcomes in terms of leads generated and exports achieved. A debriefing session has been held to gather qualitative feedback which has been extremely positive to date.

Feedback will be used to further develop strategies for strengthening international business opportunities for this high growth sector.

Page last updated: 10 February 2017