Samsung Electronics opened a branch of its early-stage technology investment program in Tel Aviv to tap into the innovative engineering Israel is known for.

Investment in individual companies will typically be about $1 million with no limit on the number of beneficiaries or the funding amount, Eyal Miller, Samsung Next Tel Aviv’s general manager and chief executive, said at a news conference.

“Everyone is trying to leapfrog the competition,” said Kai Bond, general manager and chief executive of Samsung Global Innovation Center in New York. “But for us to continue to innovate three, five, seven years out, we want to play with individuals who are very, very early on, at a concept phase with a vision, as opposed to something that is fully established.”

Apple, a top Samsung competitor, acquired India’s Tuplejump Software this year to expand its expertise in artificial intelligence. The purchase was Apple’s third acquisition this year in an area that has become a key investment for tech giants as they compete to develop virtual assistants.

Samsung Global Innovation Center has invested in more than 40 technologies and acquired 11, including one that powers the Samsung Galaxy mobile phone payment software, Miller said.

— Bloomberg News

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