Organization profile

Organization profile

The Bar-Ilan Center for Smart Cities is an ecosystem for smart city development. Scientists, entrepreneurs, municipalities, solution providers and citizens work together to better understand the city’s needs and find appropriate solutions. The university campus acts as a living lab, where researchers and solution providers can test their ideas and solutions and get feedback from the end users; i.e., citizens. Cooperation between scientists and solution providers improves the solutions and helps in creating a new knowledge by both scientists and vendors.

The Center for Smart Cities hub services provide a home for digital and innovative SMEs to excel. These SMEs are provided with the infrastructure for technology-testing of their solutions, receiving financing advice, market intelligence acquiring skills and training on smart cities and their needs as well as networking opportunities.

The hub’s personnel are available for consultation and assistance in brainstorming, networking, and training. Our team includes experts in Entrepreneurship, digital technologies, funding and finance, market intelligence urban planning and to facilitate the SMEs connection to the municipalities

Digital Innovation

The center is connected to several national and international initiatives such as programs by the Israeli innovation Authority, that recognizes the hub’s role as a beta site for experiments for innovative and digital SMEs through it’s different channels including The national digital program of the government of Israel.

We are the only national facility with a special license by the Ministry of Communications to conduct field technology trials on a wireless access network making the hub the go-to site for SMEs.

The center is a partner in The Israeli Center for Promoting Research in Smart Transportation (i-prompt) funded by The Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative, Israel’s national program for alternative fuels and means of transportation, headed by the Prime Minister’s Office. It is also a member of the steering committee for development of masterplan for Smart Cities in Israel headed by the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel. The center is also involved in European initiatives like Horizon 2020 and Erasmus to facilitate collaboration between the SMEs, the university researchers, and municipalities at a pan-European level.

Technology Testing – The university campus which is a “mini city” faces many of the problems of a regular city, such as transportation, networks, energy, security, etc. and is thus an excellent beta site for testing all kinds of solutions. SMEs are invited to test the solutions in the campus living labs and collaborate with the university researchers on validation of their solutions that assist them in designing the solution fitting municipal needs and facilitates the connections with the end users as well as will large organizations to enhance exploitation of their solutions.

Financing Advice

The Smart Cities Center works under the graduate business school in Bar-Ilan University. Therefore, the members of the hub can benefit from consulting with the school’s experts and develop a strategy fitting their financial needs.

One of the school’s expertise tracks is finance, which provides excellent access to knowledge, expertise, talents and consulting services. The school works closely with the industry and maintains a wide network of connections, which partially based on its own alumni.

The center offers this training to SMEs that are located in the hub as well as those affiliated with the hub and are dispersed around the county.

Info-days are held regularly for SMEs and all stakeholders. These include for example, H2020 info days, or topic related on education, transport, environment etc.

Market Intelligence

The hub is well connected to the industry through its wide network of stakeholders that take part in the hub’s activities. In addition, the special position of the hub, as part of one of the leading universities in Israel, makes it a central point for information flow regarding the market. Market intelligence is provided through various perspectives, which guarantees the accuracy and completeness of the information.

Networking Opportunities

One of the core activities in the hub is to connect the stakeholders in the ecosystem and especially the SMEs with their potential clients. The center showcases the partners and SMEs innovation to the municipalities, by allowing them to install their solutions inside the

center and around campus. Visitors to the center get a guided tour presenting them with the different solutions and can be connected to the developers upon request. Our experience shows that many collaborations stemmed from these presentations.


The co-working space enables startups to meet, brainstorm together and find collaboration opportunities between them as well as with the large organizations that are part of the hub. The workspace is offered to startups for short- and long-term periods. Entrepreneurs are invited to use the center’s physical and digital facilities at low costs to support their needs.

Another important activity at the center is end-user think tanks that crystalize the needs municipalities have that can be later presented to SMEs.

Hackathons held at the center offer challenges to innovative digital SMEs encouraging them to create functioning solutions for smart cities for example, together with Intel and Access Israel we have organized a hackathon for developing aids for the disabled in light of technological developments and challenges in the smart city.

Bar-Ilan Centre for Smart Cities is an impact center at the Bar Ilan University which is a national public university. As such, by definition is a non-profit organization.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities