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HP Labs Israel celebrates 20 years of innovation

Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology  journalist




HP Labs Israel this week marks the twentieth anniversary of one of the key sites of HP’s famed central research arm.


The lab, located on the campus of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and overlooking the city of Haifa, is globally recognized as a leader in innovation, most notably in imaging, printing, and analytics research.


“HP Labs Israel is a shining example of HP Labs’ focus on making research real. The team has delivered a steady stream of innovations and technologies partnering with HP’s businesses, especially in Printing and Software.” said Martin Fink, EVP, HP CTO and Director of HP Labs, in marking the occasion. 


“We’ve always been recognized for our strong technologists, but our special strength is the relationships we cultivate with HP’s business units,” added Ruth Bergman, director of the Israel Lab. “In pursuing our research, we try to understand early on what our businesses need in a new technology, prove that capability quickly and then move to working on a joint project. That’s really allowed us to have an impact.”


In its first fifteen years, HP Labs Israel worked primarily with HP’s Imaging & Printing business teams. Numerous technologies developed in Haifa are now used in cameras, scanners, printers, and in HP’s commercial printing solutions. Among the Lab’s more recent notable breakthroughs have been Automatic Image Enhancement for commercial printing (which led to the HP Indigo Photo Enhancement Server) and the Automatic Alert Agent, the first Quality Assurance system for digital commercial printing.


Many additional locally-developed innovations were highlighted on a 10m long timeline displayed at a special celebration of the anniversary at the lab this week. The event also featured a panel discussion and a dinner attended by HP Labs executives, current and former lab managers and employees, colleagues from HP’s businesses, and partners from academia and industry.


Bergman welcomed the guests and noted “the special environment that we have fostered here; that feeling of family that makes us glad to go into the office every day.”


She was followed by Abraham Lempel, retired HP Senior Fellow and the founding director of HP Labs Israel. “It gives me great pleasure to see colleagues from HP’s local business units, especially our friends from HP Indigo, HP’s first acquisition in Israel, and one initiated and led by HP Labs,” he said. “20 years ago, we were the only HP legal entity in Israel. Now we have a broad base of local customers. Thank you very much for joining the HP family.”


In addition, Lempel paid tribute to former HP Labs directors Joel Birnbaum and Richard Lampman, under whose leadership the lab was established, and Doron Shaked, the Haifa lab’s other former director. Both Lampman and Shaked shared remarks of their own, as did Martin Fink, HP Indigo CTO Pinni Perlmuter, Raffi Margaliot of HP Software and Jaap Suermondt, VP & Director of HP’s Analytics Lab.


As HP Labs Israel looks to the future, Suermondt noted, it is focused primarily on new approaches to analyzing ‘Big Data.’  “I’ve had the privilege of working closely with the HPL Israel team since we created the Analytics Lab,” he said. “The team exemplifies the HP spirit – get great people, work as a team on innovative projects, and make it matter.”


“We’re really interested in algorithms and how to connect business users with their data so that they can get value from it without having to do that complex work themselves,” added Bergman. “And, if we can point out some things in the data they didn’t know they should be asking about – even better!”



Abraham Lempel, founder and first director of HP Labs Israel 



From left to right: Pinni Permutter, CTO of HP Indigo; Richard Lampman, former director of HP Labs; Abraham Lempel; Doron Shaked, former director of HP Labs Israel, and Ruth Bergman, current director of HP Labs Israel



From left to right: Raffi Margaliot, HP Software; Jaap Suermondt, Vice President and Director of the Analytics Lab; Martin Fink,  Executive Vice President, CTO and Director of HP Labs, and Ruth Bergman, Director of HP Labs Israel



Timeline of 20 years of contributions by HP Labs Israel

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Awesome research stuff....very cool.

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