The Mossad made an official announcement on the 27th of June that it is seeking Tech start-ups in which they will invest.
Israeli Intelligence Agency, the Mossad, has announced the launch of a new technological innovation fund. Their intention is to glean the fruits of the latest and most ground-breaking technology developed within up and coming tech start-ups.
The Mossad named the fund Libertad after the Bulgarian boat that rescued Jews and brought them to Israel in 1940. An unnamed Mossad spokesperson explained that it would allegedly enable start-ups the freedom to innovate, and the Mossad and the State of Israel the freedom to benefit.
Tailor-made tech for Intelligence
Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Eli Gromer explained that the project has been in the works for around 18 months. Libertad is following the example of the CIA who launched a similar project called In-Q-Tel. The project will seek start-up businesses in order to become involved in the research and development processes of their innovations. Mossad hopes that by investing in these technologies, they will be tailor-made to suit the needs of the Intelligence Agency.
Libertad guarantees each start-up their anonymity as part of the project. The Mossad will never publish details of their involvement. Libertad will offer a minimum of NIS 2 million to start-up companies. However, they must first qualify for the criteria. They will offer a larger amount in exceptional circumstances. Initially, they are looking to invest in at least five start-ups per year.
What Libertad is seeking
The project listed the tech criteria that they wish to invest in. Additionally, they have clarified that making this known publicly did not breach the Mossad’s need for secrecy. After all, the listed criteria are all standard areas of interest that you would expect from any international Intelligence Agency.
Libertad is looking for proposals from start-ups that have specific innovative ideas which can help the agency. Such areas include encryption, big data, robotics, natural language processing and text analysis, energy and web analysis. On a web-site set up for the purpose of attracting potential companies, they explain the types of technologies they have an interest in. For example, encryption technologies that are faster than 100Gbps, or energy technologies that are efficient and miniaturized.
Miniaturization seems key to many of the technologies that Libertad wishes to research and develop when they are involved in these start-ups. In areas like robotics, the smaller, the better and the ability to be all terrain. The video on the home page of their website gives an example of what they are looking for in regards to web intelligence. Demonstrated is an example of tech that can quickly process personality profiling in the form of a simple contact lens.
Libertad promises it will be win-win
Libertad reassures potential businesses that they will not interfere with their freedom as a company. Instead of being equity based, the investment is to ensure that Libertad will receive a non-exclusive license to use whatever technology is developed. This means that the start-up will not face restrictions on their intellectual property. Additionally, they will not at any point have to pay royalties to Libertad.