Apple set to launch R&D centre in Israel

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This is big news for the Israeli tech scene. Apple is set to open up a research and development centre in the country.

According to Israeli business publication Globes, the centre will be based in the city of Ra’anana and will be staffed by 100-150 former Texas Instruments employees. The new Apple employees come from the ranks of 250 or so people who were laid off by the chip-maker a few weeks back.

The R&D centre is Apple’s third in the country, joining its existing operations in Haifa and Herzliya, where it acquired flash memory developer Anobit.

The Next Web meanwhile reports that competition to grab hold of the former Texas Instruments employees has been tough, with Intel attempting to lure them away from Apple with “healthy compensation packages”. It also suggests that Apple might only have hired a hundred engineers at present but that more will follow in the near future.

The R&D centre is scheduled to open sometime in the second half on 2013. Apple clearly isn’t afraid to throw money around in Israel. Its acquisition of Anobit set it back US$400-million (admittedly small change for a company the size of Apple).

Then again, big tech companies in general aren’t afraid to spend money in Israel. In 2007 it was reported that Israel passed Canada as the home of the most foreign companies on the technology-heavy NASDAQ index. Far more high-tech companies are launched per year in Israel than any country in Europe.

That willingness apparently comes down an appetite for risk-taking and an entrepreneurial spirit among the Israeli people as well as regulations that make investing in the country easy.

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