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INNOVATION: thyssenkrupp Marine Systems partners with Israel’s theDOCK

PortandTerminal.com, August 1, 2019

PortandTerminal.com recently spoke with Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & COO, theDOCK Innovation Hub to talk about the importance of his organization’s signing of a cooperation agreement with world leader thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

HAIFA, ISRAELthyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) and theDOCK, maritime-tech fund and innovation hub focusing on ports, shipping and maritime logistics sector, signed an important cooperation agreement yesterday in the presence of Mr. Or Shahaf, CEO of the Haifa Economic Forum.

“The cooperation between thyssenkrupp, a well-known global shipyard, and the Haifa-based fund, accelerator and innovation hub, theDOCK, is an important milestone in Haifa’s path towards becoming an international High-Tech center.

Or Shahaf, CEO of the Haifa Economic Forum

Dr. Rolf Wirtzman, CEO, thyssenkrupp Marine
Systems (on left) and Hannan Carmeli, Founder & CEO, theDock (right) signing cooperation agreement yesterday in Haifa, Israel

The agreement includes tkMS investment in the activities of theDOCK, which is considered as the leading innovation hub for new technologies in the fields of ports, shipping and maritime logistics. The partnership will promote Israel as a focal point for maritime innovation.

theDOCK will act as tkMS’s innovation arm in Israel and scout for start-ups that develop technologies that fit its business strategy and challenges. tkMS will take part in events and activities that will connect maritime Multi-National Corporations and talented entrepreneurs.

thyssenkrupp Marine Systems in Israel

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is a group and holding company of providers of naval vessels, surface ships and submarines

With 6,000 employees, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is one of the world’s leading marine companies and a systems provider in submarine and surface shipbuilding as well as maritime electronics and security technology.

The signing of the cooperation agreement with theDock is yet another recent example of Germany’s thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) commitment to the Israeli market.

Israel has agreed to purchase three Dolphin-class submarines for $1.44 billion dollars and four Sa’ar 6-class corvette ships for another $477 million dollars from thyssenkrupp.

That deal has not been without controversy in Israel though. In 2017, the Israeli police launched Case 3,000, a probe into whether Israeli businessmen, lawyers, and officials—some with connections to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—were motivated by bribes and private interests while promoting deals with the corporation between 2009 and 2017.

More recently and less controversially, tkMS purchased an Israeli company called Aqwise for $28 million dollars. Aqwise is a global leader in the development and implementation of innovative biological water and wastewater treatment solutions for the industrial and municipal markets.

“Investing in Israeli innovation is an essential part of our business strategy as part of our long-lasting cooperation with Israel”

Dr. Rolf Wirtzman, CEO, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

Q&A with Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & COO, theDOCK Innovation Hub

PortandTerminal: Nir, congratulations to you and the team at theDock. The partnership with thyssenkrupp Marine Systems must be a very important addition to your roster of global partners.

Nir Gartzman: Thanks! Yes, it is and we’re thrilled to have them as a partner. tkMS is one of the world’s most important shipyards and a champion of maritime innovation. We’re honoured to welcome them to our team.

PortandTerminal: Which other major global partners are you also working with now at theDock?

Nir Gartzman: Our global partners include Wartsila out of Finland, PSA out of Singapore and Kirby Corp out of Texas as global strategic partners at theDock. In fact, one of the start-ups in our current portfolios in just implementing a test project with Kirby Corp. It’s a great example of a win-win. Our global partners get access to ground-breaking innovation from Israeli early-stage start-ups, our start-ups get access to industry market leaders to test and validate their innovations.

PortandTerminal: Let’s address the elephant in the room. There has been a fair bit of coverage over what the Israeli media is calling Case 3000 and whether or not influential people in Israel accepted bribes to move forward the deal for the subs and with tkMS. Any concerns or comments?

Nir Gartzman: Yes there has been a lot of coverage. This is an election year in Israel and there is no shortage of various controversies being covered in the media. Our position as a maritime-tech fund and innovation hub focusing on ports, shipping and maritime logistics sector is simple. We will not hold back any good business with good people and good companies that help our roster of start-ups and the Israeli maritime innovation community because of the actions of people we don’t know or have any involvement with. The people we deal with at tkMS are highly professional, principled and passionate about maritime innovation. We welcome their involvement at theDock.

PortandTerminal: Final question. We have heard a rumour that you were once in the Israeli Navy? What were you doing and let’s see some proof!

Nir Gartzman: Ha! Yes, I was but that was a long time ago. I was Chief Engineer on Israel’s warship Victory, a missile frigate. No photos were allowed to be taken on the ship but here is me during a training exercise a long time ago.

PortandTerminal: Hmm. Thanks, Nir. Next time we speak we’ll be asking for some more face forward proof!

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