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The Israeli scientist is bringing Google’s Moonshot Lab to Tel-Aviv

Tel Aviv, NFAPost: Google has decided to set up its Moonshot Lab at Tel Aviv, the first lab outside the US and it will be led by the Project Strategy head Dr. Adi Aron Gilat.

X Development LLC (formerly Google X) is an American semi-secret research and development facility and organisation founded by Google in January 2010.

Google X, the tech giant’s most far-out idea hub, is formed with mission mode to invent and launch “moonshot” technologies that aim to make the world a radically better place. A moonshot is defined by X as the intersection of a big problem, a radical solution, and breakthrough technology.

According to sources familiar with the development, Google X Head of Strategy Dr Adi Aron Gilat will return to Israel and start forming a team of 20 by recruiting scientists. These scientists will work on various frontier areas where humanity is looking for solutions.

Research activities

The research activities will be focused on futuristic developments in fields as diverse as agri-tech, clean energy, and robotics. They will focus on deep tech areas.

The decision of Alphabets’ top leadership to select Israel is primarily because of the evolved tech system in the country where lab to the market initiative is the top priority with focussed resources for long-term research. The lab located in Israel will work closely with its Silicon Valley headquarters and the Google Israeli ecosystem located in Electra Tower.

In about two months, Head of Strategy at X, Dr. Adi Aron Gilat, will return to Israel and will begin recruiting a small group of scientists, fewer than 20, who will work on futuristic developments in such fields as agri-tech, clean energy, and robotics. Technologies that sometimes are referred to as Deep Tech.

Furthermore, X is looking to promote collaborations with local universities. The Israeli laboratory, which will serve as a “sister-lab” to the one located in Silicon Valley, will operate at first from the local Google office in the Electra Tower in Tel Aviv.

Connect people

“To get into the lab, Dr. Aron Gilat said scientists will have to highlight a big issue like how to connect people to the internet or how to feed humanity.

“You need to suggest a radical solution for it and develop groundbreaking technology. It does not have to happen fast. Our projects take five, even ten years before becoming independent companies, and on the way, we shoot down 95% of the ideas,” said Dr. Aron Gilat

She also made it clear that the Moonshot venture is not an investment arm, neither a venture capital fund nor an incubator.

“Our vision is five to ten years forward in projects, and with healthcare projects, it can take even longer, but the job description is to make the world a better place. In the past, we tried to come up with a list of ideas ourselves, but when we saw that it was endless, we decided to work the other way around, so today we want people to come to us with their ideas,” said Dr. Aron Gilat.

Why Israel?

Israel is haub of revolutionary inventions such as Netafim’s drip irrigation system, the USB flash drive, Givan Imaging’s intestinal Pillcam, and Mobileye were born and turned commercially successful.

The country’s inno vation is visible via decade-old autonomous vehicle company Waymo. It has raised $3 billion since it split from Alphabet’s innovation lab to become a subsidiary in 2016. Other notable examples include Wing, a drone company, and Loon, which attempted to provide internet coverage in remote areas by using balloons, but was unsuccessful and closed its doors earlier this year.

Aron Gilat earned a bachelor’s degree in geophysics from Tel Aviv University before studying law at Stanford University.

She began working on her doctorate in the field of water pollution but took a hiatus for a few years in favor of several senior roles in Better Place – Shai Agassi’s failed attempt to introduce electric cars to the world.

After Better Place shut down, Aron Gilat went back to Stanford to complete her Ph.D. and joined Google. Initially, she did not have an official job definition until she found herself at the Moonshot lab, reaching for the stars.

(With inputs from Calcalist)

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