Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and PayPal have announced a new partnership to conduct joint research and development in the fields of big data, machine learning and cybersecurity. It is the first such collaboration between PayPal and an Israeli university.

“This partnership will allow PayPal to leverage BGU’s top-notch researchers and years of groundbreaking research,” said Matan Parnes, PayPal’s General Manager in Israel.

PayPal’s involvement in big-data and machine learning technology has been supported by its significant R&D activity in Israel, starting with the acquisition of Fraud Sciences in 2008 and the establishment of a global risk and data sciences R&D center in Tel-Aviv. In 2015, PayPal acquired Israeli startup CyActive resulting in the establishment of a global security products center in Beersheva’s Advanced Technologies Park, adjacent to BGU.

“The collaboration with BGU will further strengthen PayPal’s global leadership in the use of machine learning and big data for cyber security, fraud detection and risk management, allowing us to continue to offer the most cutting-edge technologies that enable safe payments to more than 192 million customers worldwide,” said Parnes.

“We are eager to extend our relationship with PayPal and help them safeguard the privacy of their hundreds of millions of clients. BGU is a recognized global leader in cyber security, big data and machine learning research and we look forward to putting that expertise to work to meet the unique challenges posed by PayPal’s needs,” said Prof. Dan Blumberg, BGU VP & Dean for R&D.

The 2015 Global Technology Emerging Markets study named Beersheva one of seven top cities for high-tech and innovation. 

“Beersheva has become a global cybersecurity hub in recent years, attracting major multi-national corporations,” said Netta Cohen, CEO of BGN Technologies. “PayPal’s presence there allows it to tap into this eco-system’s cutting-edge technology and top talent.”

The new agreement extends the ongoing relationship between PayPal and BGU who already co-operate in training, talent development and recruitment.