Innovation BaseCamp: Israeli company invests in mega technology centre in Thessaloniki

Innovation BaseCamp Thessaloniki

Innovation BaseCamp website lists its international activities in China, Kazakhstan, Germany, Panama, Czechia, and Brazil, with Greece only recently added to this list - specifically Thessaloniki.

Ten years ago, Innovation BaseCamp started its journey in new technologies and innovation with minimal staff and in an inhospitable environment: the desert of Beer Sheva, Israel. The Technology Park partnered with Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva municipality and the Israeli government.

In the ten years that followed, the High-Tech Park developed into a pole of attraction for technology giants and dozens of start-ups, with 4,000 employees and income for the local economy reaching one billion dollars.

The founder and managing director of Innovation BaseCamp, Uzy Zwebner, states that something similar will happen in Thessaloniki at the 4th generation Technology Park in Thessaloniki "ThessINTEC".

Uzy Zwebner, CEO of Innovation BaseCamp
Uzy Zwebner, CEO of Innovation BaseCamp.

"The centre in Thessaloniki will be almost the same as the one in Beer Sheva, with the difference that it will have a sea and a beach nearby," said Uzy Zwebner in a speech at the Economist conference in Thessaloniki.

"The goal is to build 110,000 square metres, which will house Israeli and international companies, incubators, local businesses and start-ups. We are very proud of this project.

"We have already signed the relevant agreement and hope to have the first building in three years. A few hundred workers from Thessaloniki will be employed there."

The business framework agreement for the establishment of the BaseCamp High Tech Park at ThessINTEC was signed in June by the president and CEO of ThessINTEC, Nikos Efthimiadis, Uzy Zwebner and the president of JTLV Investment, Amir Biram.

The signing of the business framework for the establishment of the BaseCamp High Tech Park at THESSINTEC in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The signing of the business framework for establishing the BaseCamp High Tech Park at THESSINTEC in Thessaloniki, Greece. Image Credit: New Money.

Uzy Zwebner admits that only some believed in Beer Sheva's project when it started.

"We managed to attract the twelve most famous international companies, from Intel and Deutsche Telecom to NVIDIA and IBM. And we achieved all this within ten years. Attracting these companies is a very difficult task with great challenges," he stressed.

"Every company is different; they have their own decision-making processes. Some take a few months to decide; others take years. What we do is we connect all the dots to have that success—starting from university.

"We, wherever we go, must cooperate with the university, research, and academic community. The most important factor in attracting business is human talent. Without human talent, companies will not come."

The collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Macedonia and the government's commitment to support the digital transition was crucial for Innovation BaseCamp's decision to invest in Thessaloniki.

"We fell in love with the city, the location, but above all, the people of Thessaloniki", said Uzy Zwebner. "We hope to succeed in bringing back to Greece the talents who have left abroad because we need their experience. At the same time, we will launch special employment programs for university graduates."

Israeli innovation is world-known for it's pioneering approach. BaseCamp's vast network of connections with innovative Israeli start-ups, high-tech companies, as well as with senior officials in the Israeli tech ecosystem, fulfills an important part in establishing ecosystems around the globe.

READ MORE: India on the "Silk Road" and the role of Greece.

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