While the Israeli internal market is small in size, over several hundred multinational corporations have established R&D technology hubs in Israel. Why is this? In a word, because they want access to Israel’s incredible technology ecosystem and its entrepreneurs.

Many aspects make up what many Israelis simply refer to as “the ecosystem”. This includes thousands of amazing startups, world-class VCs, and a Government keen to promote entrepreneurial risk-taking.

One oft-overlooked part of the “ecosystem” though is Israel’s Universities. There’s a strong focus within Israeli Universities on working with corporations – including multinationals – to develop cutting-edge solutions. The latest example of multinationals’ respect for Israeli Universities research prowess was the announcement by the giant IT and computer company Lenovo that it was establishing a dedicated Lenovo Cybersecurity Innovation Center (LCIC) at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev located in Israel’s emerging cyber hub of Bersheeva.

What’s particularly unique about this new innovation hub is that it’s focused on zero-trust architectural innovation in hardware cybersecurity. While the overwhelming majority of solutions focus on securing software, the hardware itself can also be a major threat vector. This investment by Lenovo will help position Israel and Ben-Gurion University to be a world leaders in hardware security. Solutions developed at LCIC will not be only of theoretical interest, but will also actually be integrated into Lenovo’s Thinkshield portfolio of products.

Both Lenovo and the team at Ben-Gurion are excited about this new partnership. Senior Lenovo executive Nima Baiati stated that “opening the new security innovation center with Ben-Gurion University gives us access to a global nexus of security innovation,” while Professor Yuval Elovici, Head of Ben-Gurion Cybersecurity Research Center emphasized the commitment to working with the private sector saying “we are eager to team up with industry leaders who share our values and aspire to serve as a model for the industry by actively pursuing cybersecurity excellence and innovation.”

So, if you work for a corporation seeking creative, outside-the-box methods for jumpstarting the pace of your innovation, speaking with Israeli Universities should definitely be on your agenda.