Bepi Pezzulli
Bepi Pezzulli
International counsel & foreign policy adviser

FCA Italy turns to Israel for e-mobility solutions

FCA Italy S.p.A., and Israel Innovation Authority have signed a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding. The carmaker has turned to Israel to acquire cutting-edge technology to develop sustainable mobility solutions to meet the industry’s evolving needs, as it embraces electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving and shared ownership.

The agreement is part of the Israel Innovation Authority’s R&D and Pilot Collaboration with Multinational Corporations (MNC) Program that offers a framework for technological cooperation between MNCs and innovative Israeli companies.

FCA Italy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stellantis N.V., the world’s fourth-biggest automaker by volume, created by the merger of France’s PSA and US-Italian rival Fiat Chrysler.

The Israel Innovation Authority is responsible for Israel’s innovation policy. As such, it is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole.  Its role is to develop research capabilities, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support Israel’s knowledge economy.

As part of the agreement, the Israel Innovation Authority, together with Israel’s economic mission to Italy, will support the carmaker to pinpoint technological developments relevant to the automotive industry. Should it be interested in acquiring such technologies, the Israel Innovation Authority will then provide funding for the relevant Israeli startups, while Stellantis will throw its weight behind the startups’ R&D, marketing and other global activities.

According to the MNC Program, the Innovation Authority helps multinationals single out Israeli technologies that address specific needs, providing financial support for research and development. The multinationals match the public funds – whether through investment, lending personnel or R&D equipment, or by providing consultation on regulatory, technological or marketing strategy – aiding the scale-up process and pushing Israeli technology to the overseas market.

FCA Italy S.p.A., who formally signed the agreement, is the Italian operation of Stellantis N.V., a global multinational company of 400,000 employees with a portfolio of iconic automotive brands (Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Fiat, Ram, Opel, Peugeot, Citroën among them). The group has a well-established presence in three regions – Europe, North America and Latin America – in addition to significant untapped potential in important markets such as China, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania and India.

The Stellantis group is committed to this new era of mobility and is fully invested in the development of efficient transportation solutions that will help change the way society moves. Through its e-Mobility Department FCA Italy has long been working to build a sustainable  automotive ecosystem. Areas for the industrial collaborations in Israel include driving assistance, cybersecurity and industry 4.0.

“Smart mobility is among the fastest growing fields in the world, and there’s no doubt that this agreement between Stellantis and the Israel Innovation Authority is a vote of confidence in the Israeli startup ecosystem, and further proof that in the new world of automotive – so tied to innovation and technology – Israel is a key player,” said Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry. “Collaboration between a global company like Stellantis and Israeli companies will lead to the development of new technologies and innovations in a variety of fields,” he continued. “Stellantis is eager to learn from the scientific and technological innovations that exist in Israel. Our cooperation will contribute greatly to Israel and to Israeli R&D. This agreement is a testament to Israel’s role at the forefront of innovation, which is drawing international attention in many areas of research”.

Jonathan Hadar, Head of Israel’s economic mission to Italy added: “This agreement is an excellent example of how Israel is becoming part of the digital transformation taking place in Italy.”

“For a global Company – explained Roberto Di Stefano, Head of e-Mobility at Stellantis – it is essential to pay attention to the ideas generated in startups. This agreement will enable the industry to leverage a unique model of collaboration with Israeli startups and the Israel Innovation Authority”.

“This memorandum of understanding is testimony to the leadership of the Israeli technological ecosystem,” added Roberto Fedeli, CEO of Fiat’s R&D lab.

About the Author
Bepi Pezzulli is a Solicitor specialised in International law and a foreign policy adviser covering Israel, the UK and the US. In 2018, he published "The other Brexit" (Milano Finanza Books), investigating the economic and geopolitical implications of Brexit. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of La Voce Repubblicana; a columnist for the Italian daily financial newspaper Milano Finanza; and a pundit for the financial TV channel CNBC. He received degrees at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome (LLB), New York University (LLM), and Columbia University (JD).
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