Dell considering R&D center in Israel

Delegation from third-biggest computer company in world visits country, meets senior officials in Industry, Labor, and Trade Ministry and Finance Ministry. If plan come to fruition, center will be built in periphery, employing 100 workers, mostly engineers.

Navit Zomer

Computer powerhouse, Dell, the third largest computer company in the world, is considering building a research and development center in Israel. Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that a delegation from Dell visited the country last week, led by Kim Thompson, a senior VP in the company.

The objective of the visit was to look into the option of receiving a grant from the State of Israel to establish the research center.

The delegation held meetings in the Finance Ministry and in the Industry, Labor, and Trade Ministry during which it expressed interest in the expected government tenders to be issued for the “cloud computing” project with the company’s entry into the server category.

The government cloud computing project is an information storage project at massive information centers accessible via internet. These information centers are intended to replace the servers located at organizations themselves.

While in Israel, Thompson and members of his team met with Israel’s Chief Scientist Dr. Eli Opper, Industry, Labor, and Trade Ministry Director General Sharon Kedmi, and Senior Deputy Accountant General Tal Haramati.

Estimates in the Industry, Labor, and Trade Ministry are that if Dell decides to move ahead with its R&D center in Israel, more than 100 employees will work there, including dozens of engineers.

Various grants and aid tracks offered to foreign companies for establishing research and development centers in Israel were presented to Thompson and his assistants.

Dell is traded on Wall Street and recently published its financial reports for the last quarter of 2009. The reports showed that the company surpassed analysts’ forecasts, earning $334 million in the fourth quarter of last year. The company’s income during this period was $14.9 billion, an 11% increase over the $13.9 billion income made in the last quarter of 2008.

The company was founded by Michael Dell, an American Jew from Texas who currently serves as the company’s CEO. Dell’s sales total more than $57 billion a year.

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