Israeli hi-tech companies with global ambitions could soon be turning to London instead of California’s Silicon Valley if a new initiative launched by the British Embassy in Tel Aviv proves successful. The Hi-Tech Hub @ the British Embassy will promote the United Kingdom’s economic growth by creating technological partnerships between the UK and Israel. British Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts was in Israel to promote the hub with a delegation of leaders in digital technology, including venture capitalists. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was also in Israel to support the initiative. The coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron has prioritized technological cooperation with Israel, after years of neglect by previous governments.
Willetts rejected the suggestion that anti-Israel boycott campaigns in the UK would affect government policy, saying: “I know it’s a source of concern [in Israel], and that’s one of the reasons I came here… I’m here to make it absolutely clear that Israelis are very warmly welcome in the UK.” If anything, the British government is only increasing economic cooperation with Israel, he said. Culture and Communications Minister Edward Vaizey plans to lead a delegation to Israel early next year, he added.