AB InBev is setting up a new technology hub in Tel Aviv, Israel. As the brewer announced on Wednesday, the new unit, dubbed The Beer Tech, will initially focus on cybersecurity, but will expand its operations in the future to domains including foodtech, agtech, and industry 4.0.
Based on its USD 80 million acquisition in 2018 of Tel Aviv-based beverage analytics startup WeissBeerger, AB InBev will expand its Israeli research and development center in the short term from 100 to 130 employees but has announced not to put a cap on the number of employees. WeissBeerger is so far focused on other topics. The company has developed analytics tools including sensors in the beer taps, refrigerators and other important points in the supply chain to provide bar and restaurant owners as well as brewers and beverage manufacturers with a full picture about the quality of their products, the inventory situation, consumer habits and more (inside.beer, 24.4.2018).
The new focus on internet security is an important step for AB InBev because of increased cyber-attacks. Luis Veronesi, vice president of global solutions security and compliance told Reuters that the company, as well as the whole industry, is already facing multiple threats ranging from attempts to disrupt operations to “financially motivated” hacks. "With increasing digitalization, we have to be prepared to defend against anything coming," said Veronesi.
AB InBev has been partnering with Israeli companies for several years now and is currently sourcing services from five Israeli cybersecurity companies, Veronesi, told Calcalist, an Israeli daily business newspaper, on Wednesday.
Israel is already known for a long time as a center for cyber security in the world. Based on data from 2013, about one-quarter of the world’s venture capital-funded cyber-security startups were based in Israel.
Israel is not the only global research and development center for AB InBev. The beer giant operates other hubs in the Silicon Valley, USA, and in Bangalore, India.