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A virtual trip to Israel

Travelling is impossible at the moment? Not for ifm: The virtual trip to Israel ifm recently made is another example of how to make things happen against all odds.

When it comes to technology trend scouting, ifm has been cooperating with ChromaImpulswerk, a company based in Essen specialised in technology consulting, for some years. In cooperation with the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce - AHK Israel - and the local ifm branch, members of both companies travelled to Israel at the beginning of 2019 in order to learn more about exciting new technology trends and start-ups. This first visit turned out to be the basis for real partnerships, so that a follow-up event was planned for this year - but had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus.

As an alternative, a virtual equivalent was held. Skype meetings were scheduled which in turn lead to 20 follow-up meetings - two topics continue to be monitored.

Discussions about the ifm subsidiaries pmd, syntron and ecomatic were on the agenda, as well as general topics of interest to ifm, e.g. battery technology, radar sensors and route planning. Many Israeli or Israel-based companies presented their approaches, leading to a lively exchange. The meetings were hosted by the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce - AHK Israel - in Tel Aviv, with whom ifm is planning to intensify cooperation.

Born out of necessity, the virtual trip proved to be the suitable setting for this future-oriented concept.

Here are some impressions from the participants:

During the first - non-virtual - trip to Israel (from left to right): Paul Aschenborn, Martin Reich, Andreas Geitz and Martin Buck

Martin Buck, Chairman and co-CEO of the ifm group:

"For me, it was really impressive how time and cost effective the virtual trip to Israel was. An online pitch provides enough information to decide on how to proceed and whether there is a point in continuing working together. In the end, a live meeting is certainly necessary if you establish a joint project, and I am sure the team of the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce will once again provide excellent support for us to set this up."
Dr. Bernd Buxbaum, CTO ifm position gmbh and CEO pmdtechnologies ag Executive Board Member of the ifm group

"To be honest, we were not sure whether our virtual trip and the Skype meetings would work out as expected regarding organisation and communication – but I have to say that I was thrilled. Mr Reich from ChromaImpulswerk and the colleagues from the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce (AHK) did a great job with the planning, both regarding the contents and the technical aspects. The topics of all the meetings were very exciting and for me, the new contacts were the starting point for two projects. I highly appreciate the organisation and hosting by ChromaImpulswerk and the friendly colleagues of AHK. At the end, I was quite sad when our trip was over – and I am very happy that in our internal follow-up discussions, we came to the conclusion that there may be further virtual trips to other regions.”
Andreas Thürer, CTO Executive Board Member

"My group focused on the topics wireless, KI, Industry 4.0 and radar technology. From the beginning to the end, the trip was very exciting, particularly because such a wide range of technologies was presented by very different, very interesting companies represented by highly committed people. We received a wealth of information and the success rate was very high. All in all, this innovative meeting concept turned out to be a great success, especially due to the excellent preparation of the participants and the great hosts. Still, I would have liked to get my hands on a few products and experience them live – on the upside, it must be said that our trip was (almost) completely carbon neutral."
Gabi Daniely, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer (start-up CoreTigo)

“The recent virtual delegation held by ifm along with CoreTigo has proven that despite the COVID-19 situation, it is possible to craft strategic business relationships remotely in an optimal manner. The video-discussion and engagement by ifm's senior management team was fantastic. This is an important step in an exciting journey for joint development of Industrial Wireless Solutions.
The ifm management team was very well prepared, the discussion was proactive and meaningful. This delegation opens several collaboration opportunities for both parties. We look forward to bringing together innovative wireless solutions to ifm customers.“
Charme Rykower, Senior Executive German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce - AHK Israel:

"In May 2020, the German-Israeli Chamber of Industry & Commerce - AHK Israel - had the great pleasure to virtually host ifm, the service-oriented German sensor specialists. In 37 meetings with Israeli startups providing technologies to the automotive, healthcare and many other industries, ifm managed to identify new cooperation partners, helping them to strengthen their competitive market advantage. ifm was the perfect partner and target-driven pioneer for our virtual German-Israeli cooperation platform and we are looking forward to the next steps of successful joint projects."
David Barzilay, Karamba Security

"Karamba Security is an IoT embedded security leader. With the evolution of Industry 4.0, ifm has defined a security roadmap to all of its products. Karamba Security is excited to craft a strategic partnership with ifm, to enable ifm’s industrial controllers and sensors to be protected against cyberattacks. The work with ifm’s top management and engineering team was very professional and productive. From the start Karamba Security and ifm’s teams found a common language that was based on a vision of innovation and quality that enabled the companies to embark on a long term plan of delivering embedded security into ifm’s products."