Even as Intel Israel and its workers brace for cuts that might result in 11,000 workers losing their jobs throughout the company’s global operations, the chip company is doubling down on Israeli financial technology.
On Sunday, the company announced that it would create a fintech innovation lab in association with The Floor, a fintech hub based at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The undertaking is aimed at identifying and developing technological innovations to upend and advance the global financial industry. Some of the technological focus will be devoted to blockchain (the technology behind crypto-currency Bitcoin), the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics.
“Through this collaboration, Intel will be able to lead, alongside The Floor, the development of this field in Israel and to widen the influence of technology on the financial field, from the user to the cloud,” Sharon Puterman-Zafrir, Intel Israel’s manager of IoT, said.
Intel, she added, would demo its own technology at the lab and search for ways to collaborate with the hub’s entrepreneurs.
Gil Devora, one of The Floor’s founders, said: “Intel brings a powerful multi-disciplinary approach that could help Israel become a global capital in the field of fintech.”
The Floor is backed by the Pando Group, a Chinese-Israeli venture capital fund, and has partnerships with international banks such as HSBC, RBS, Santander and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Earlier this month, Intel announced it would be closing part of its Jerusalem facility, and consolidate the workers in its Kiryat Gat plant.
Intel is in the process of upgrading that facility as part of a $6 billion investment which includes significant government grants and tax breaks. As part of the deal, Intel vowed to increase employment at the facility by 1,000. The company says it has every intention to fulfill its obligations to the government.