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RIL to sign pact with Israeli big data and smart city tech provider

Karan Choudhury & Subhayan Chakraborty/New Delhi 13 Jan 18 | 12:51 AM

Reliance Industries

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israeli tech major mPrest, a global technology provider, during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India. This could be considered RIL’s move to get deep into the smart city, big data, defence and critical infrastructure space.

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This is one of the 10 important MoUs to be signed between Indian and Israeli companies. mPrest is part of the largest-ever business delegation from Israel, which would accompany the Israeli PM, who is arriving on Sunday.

According to sources, under the MoU, RIL would get access to next-level technology on a number of mission-critical monitoring systems, big data analytics software for power utilities, industrial Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, critical infrastructure and the defence sector.

“mPrest places a specific focus on the IoE (Internet of Energy) sector. Its power utility offering is a ‘System of Systems’ platform with applications including DERMS (distributed energy resource management), asset health management, mobile asset management, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) enhancement and critical infrastructure protection security, and cyber management," said an official who is part of the upcoming event.

The tie-up would help RIL’s energy business, as well as Jio, its telecom business. According to sources, the company is also planning to bid for projects under the government’s ‘Smart City’ initiative and loading up on back-end tech to develop India-specific solutions.

Ashok Leyland, among other Indian firms, would be signing a MoU with Phinergy, an Israeli start-up and a leading developer of clean energy systems based on metal-air technology. Indian IT software firm TechM would get into an agreement with ContextSpace Solutions Ltd to work on joint cyber solutions.

According to an Israeli official, around 100 delegates from 74 companies across sectors including water, agriculture, food, cybersecurity, homeland security, defence, software and IT would be coming to India and have trade talks with firms here. Additionally, the Israel Innovation Authority is leading a delegation of 20 Israeli start-ups, in collaboration with Invest India and Startup India.

 “With a leading economy, a striking concentration of innovative people and countless Israeli tech start-ups, Israel is the best place for Indian businesses to grow. Ranked at the top of the list of the world’s most innovative capacity and entrepreneurship, Israel's creative, skilled, and ambitious workforce is one of the most obvious reasons leading executives to turn to Israel to do business and scout for innovative solutions," said an official who did not wish to be named.

 Bilateral trade with Israel stood at $5.04 billion in 2016-17, rising 2.3 per cent, after four consecutive years of fall. This comprised $3.08 billion of exports and $1.96 billion of imports. Of this, raw non-industrial diamonds figure significantly on both sides of trade, contributing more than $1 billion to both imports and exports.

Other major exports for India include petroleum oils and organic chemicals. But, India wants to expand its export kitty to the nation. Negotiations for an India-Israel free trade agreement were launched by then prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2007. The deadline to conclude the talks was set for 2014. Nine rounds of talks have been held so far.

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