Published On: Tue, Jun 27th, 2017

Mossad Announces the Establishment of Libertad – A Technological Innovation Fund

Libertad, was established to provide an innovative capability for maintaining and developing the Mossad's technological superiority

The Israel Security and Intelligence Service (Mossad) contends with complex and dynamic challenges in many spheres of activity. In the current era, technology is one of the organization’s main growth engines and is a basis for successes and intelligence and operational achievements.

Libertad will be an additional arm of the Mossad’s technological force build-up and will enable rapid research and development for technological build-up and for meeting the Mossad’s various goals in an innovative and challenging environment while focusing on areas of interest relevant to its activity. For this purpose, Libertad will invest in R&D programs of cutting-edge technology startup companies.

Libertad’s investment mechanism connects the Mossad to the Startup Nation in a unique and first-of-its-kind manner: The Mossad’s investment is equity free. In return for financing R&D programs, the Mossad will receive a license to use the technology developed, without imposing any restrictions on the IP developed, and without paying royalties.

The organization is calling for companies and entrepreneurs involved in cutting-edge technological R&D to submit proposals for R&D projects. Following are the Mossad’s current areas of interest (initial call for proposals):

1. Innovative robotic technologies in the fields of flexible robotics, biomimetics, miniaturized systems, all-terrain capabilities and silencing solutions, for land, sea, and air.

2. Innovative energy harvesting and self-powered systems providing solutions for increased performance and/or miniaturization.

3. Innovative technologies for encrypting information at high speed (100 Gbps or higher), using unconventional and groundbreaking methods.

4. Innovative technologies for automatic identification of personality characteristics (Personality Profiling) based on online behavior and activity.

5. Various automatic methods for summarizing documents, cataloging, extracting entities and semantic connections, using machine learning and other areas, in Hebrew and other languages.

Additional areas of interest of the Mossad will be released from time to time as calls for proposals in the framework of Libertad.

 

FAQ

What does the name Libertad mean?

Libertad translates from Latin as “freedom” – this is the principle on which the fund we created is based: the freedom of companies and entrepreneurs in the Startup Nation to create innovative and groundbreaking technology with our help, and the Mossad’s freedom to realize this bridge with technological innovation.

Libertad is also the name of a ship that carried Jewish emigrants, which departed Bulgaria in June 1940 and reached mandatory Palestine about a month later.

What are Libertad’s Areas of Interest?

Innovative, groundbreaking technologies in a variety of fields are of interest to us. You are invited to closely observe Libertad’s areas of interest on our website. From time to time, a new Calls for Proposals will be posted to the public.

How does the Mossad plan to leverage Libertad’s portfolio?

Libertad will finance R&D programs of entrepreneurs and selected companies. In return for the financing, we do not expect shares in the company, the financing is equity-free, we put no restrictions on the IP, and do not demand a repayment in royalties. At the end of each development project, the Mossad receives a non-commercial and non-exclusive license to use the developed IP, as stated in the contract signed between the sides.

This means that at the end of the funded development program, the IP will be available for the Mossad to use. The company that developed the IP remains the owner, and can do with it as it sees fit.

What does Libertad expect in return for the investment?

Our investment is equity free. The only thing the Mossad receives in return for its investment is access to the intellectual property created during the funded development program, by means of a non-commercial and non-exclusive license to use the IP.

Do companies need to be frightened of collaborating with the Mossad?

The Mossad wants to encourage innovation and creation of groundbreaking technology, to realize its R&D challenges. We have built a simple contractual process. We openly publish the principles of working with us, and the technology developed will be implemented by us, in cooperation between the parties.

Our model can ensure initial financing that will boost entrepreneurs at a stage when many ideas are not realized because investors do not rush to pour in funds so early, while we embrace such challenges.

We are striving for a WIN-WIN situation, and feel we have built a model that will serve both us and the entrepreneurs.

Are there restrictions on companies eligible to receive funding from Libertad?

Anyone can apply. Companies and entrepreneurs must have innovative, revolutionary ideas that meet our technological requirements, and a strong team. Materialization of the approved program can only be made with an incorporated entity.

Libertad is not obliged to accept any submitted proposal. All proposals will be examined and evaluated by Libertad under its sole discretion and in accordance with the applicable rules.

Does Libertad publish a list of companies it invests in?

No. We are committed to mutual commercial discretion and do not publicize the names of companies we invest in.

Is it possible to raise capital from additional investors, besides Libertad?

Of course. Libertad does not restrict additional fundraising. We position ourselves as a unique partner in the Israeli capital investment ecosystem, thus we provide as much assistance and encouragement in raising additional funding as possible.

Government bodies are known to be bureaucratic and take a long time to make decisions. Is this an issue when dealing with Libertad?

Not at all.  A clear procedure for applying, being considered and receiving a response is published on this website; Libertad thinks and acts like a commercial institution in every way.

How do I make contact with Libertad?

Libertad is open to everyone. Have you read our Call for Proposals? Do you think you have an idea for innovative groundbreaking technology that could solve one or more of the problems presented, and a strong relevant team? Email us at apply@libertad.gov.il.

Can anyone be in touch, or must you know someone on the inside? Is there preference for retirees or former employees of the Mossad or the defense system?

Prior acquaintance with the defense system is not necessary; it is neither an advantage or disadvantage. From our point of view, anyone can apply, it all starts and ends with excellent technology and a strong team.

 What do Libertad’s contracts look like?

We have created a simple contract of six clear pages in English. We understand that this is the way to work with startups.

How much money does Libertad actually invest?

We offer up to NIS 2,000,000 (~$500,000) for an R&D project. In unusual cases, we may approve larger projects.

The investment is materialized upon the signing of the agreement in four predetermined technological milestones, over a two-year period – at most.

What do I need to do in order to receive funding from Libertad?

If you are an entrepreneur who wants to develop an innovative technology that provides an excellent solution to one or more of the problems presented in the Call for Proposals, or a similar problem that you have identified, send us an email to apply@libertad.gov.il, and we will take it from there.

 

 

 

 

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