Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Mastercard and Enel X to establish fintech-cyber innovation lab in Israel

Mastercard and Enel X are launching a new lab in Israel to advance innovations in financial technology and cybersecurity for the payments and energy ecosystem globally. The lab will partner with startup companies to test and develop products and solutions, with a particular focus on digital security, fintech platforms, digital authentication and financial inclusion.

The lab is being established in partnership with the Government of Israel, following a competitive tender launched by the Israel Innovation Authority, which aims to advance innovations within the fintech and cyber sectors by accelerating growth of the country’s startup ecosystem. The new lab will combine the strength of Israel’s startup economy with the support of the lab’s technical infrastructure, knowledge and expertise.

“Today, as much as ever, organisations need to keep security at the forefront of all innovation,” Mastercard’s president of cyber and Intelligence Ajay Bhalla said. “This new collaboration will allow us to draw from many partners and resources – including Israel’s renowned startup economy – to help bring innovations to market even faster and reduce the growing threat and cost of cyberattacks.”

“The new lab gives us the unique opportunity to work with Israeli startups to bring innovative financial technologies to our millions of customers worldwide,” Enel X’s head Francesco Venturini said. “By joining forces with an important partner like Mastercard, we will support these startups to develop and roll out best-in-class solutions in the fintech and cybersecurity sectors.”

The new lab will be established in the southern city of Be’er Sheva, a city designated by the Israeli government as the cyber and fintech capital of the world and home to many cyber research and development centers of top global technology companies. The lab will obtain a three-year licence and approximately $3.7 million of public funding to cover the lab’s establishment, operational costs and proof of concept development with local startups.

This expansion is the latest in a series of investments by Mastercard in cybersecurity, reinforcing the company’s commitment to supporting innovation and talent development. The lab will complement Mastercard's Israeli headquarters in Tel Aviv, its award-winning global startup engagement programme Start Path and its eight global technology centres in Arlington, Dublin, New York, Pune, St. Louis, Sydney, Vadodora and Vancouver.

The lab builds on Mastercard and Enel X’s record of collaboration in areas, including financial inclusion products for the unbanked and digital wallet payments for electric vehicle charging stations.

Enel X opened its first innovation hub in Tel Aviv in 2016, and since then has collaborated with 35 local startups in fields such as Internet of Things, cybersecurity, e-mobility, energy storage and many more. In addition, Enel X’s Infralab, an innovation lab dedicated to digitalisation of infrastructure businesses, is today home to more than six lab companies and eight additional startups.

The Hub and Infralab are part of the global network of 10 innovation hubs and 20 labs that Enel X has around the world, including Brazil, Chile, Italy, Russia, Spain and the US. The company has been working with about 300 startups from all over the world, boosting innovation in all of its global activities.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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