The Israel Innovation Authority announced Thursday it has launched a tender to establish a new food tech incubator in the northern Israeli town of Safed, with plans to invest more than NIS 100 million ($28 million) into the facility over the next eight years.
The authority, which is the Israeli government’s support arm for the country’s innovation and R&D policies, will fund the new incubator with an annual NIS 600 million ($167,000 million) operating budget and a NIS 5 million ($1.3 million) grant to every company that takes part in the new space.
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The goal of this incubator is to search for, pinpoint, and grow innovative technology projects in fields that include developing the next generation of food and beverages; converting agricultural land used for animal food; optimizing the food-growing process while maintaining sustainability; shorten the supply chain to preserve food safety and freshness; optimize supply methods and manufacturing to streamline food distribution and prevent surplus and waste; and grow healthier food adapted to consumer tastes. incubator will find these companies and connect them with local entrepreneurs, while also building a regional food tech innovation ecosystem, a statement said.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen says the food tech incubator is a “significant investment in the north of the country” and “crucial to local residents,” providing hundreds of jobs and “economic prosperity.”
“Companies that establish R&D centers in the Upper Galilee will enjoy unprecedented benefits,” he added.
“The global focus on FoodTech is motivated by projections suggesting that there will be 9.6 billion mouths to feed by 2050. It is extremely important to develop solutions to this growing challenge, and one of our responses is the establishment of the new FoodTech incubator in Safed,” Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority said, noting that the new incubator will help “launch new startups, will enable the establishment of an important ecosystem and will strengthen the Israeli food tech industry.”
The new incubator will be added to the growing list of 18 existing incubators supported by the Israel Innovation Authority’s incubator program.
“These incubators have already proven themselves as an important tool for establishing innovative companies based on academic knowledge in a variety of fields,” said Anya Eldan, VP of the Israel Innovation Authority – StartUp Division, “Today, there are some 400 food technology companies in Israel and the Israel Innovation Authority sees great importance in bringing additional innovative companies into this field in order to help them get established, develop and become global leaders.”