The Ramat Negev Regional Council has teamed up with Ramat Negev Industries and venture capital firm Arieli Capital to establish an agriculture tech (agtech or agritech) innovation center within the jurisdiction of the regional council in southern Israel, the entities announced this month.
The investment in the planning and establishment of the center will be around $5 million.
Arieli Capital signed a cooperation agreement with the other groups as part of a plan to expand the economic potential of the region’s agricultural sector and the agricultural research and development capabilities developed in the region in recent decades, a statement from the group said.
The Eilat Technology Center (ETC), a subsidiary of Arieli Capital, will lead the planning. The center will be located near the southern community settlement of Ashalim and focus on areas of specialization in the region, including general agriculture, desert agriculture, marine agriculture, and cannabis.
Five to 10 startups will be selected by senior officials in the agricultural and investment fields to participate in the center’s ag-tech accelerator.
Entrepreneurs will be offered several assistance options facilitating their entry into the global market. These include financial support and mentoring by technology and business experts from the agriculture and food industries, access to labs, and R&D facilities including the Ramat Negev Agricultural R&D Center. Other resources will include direct access to leading Israeli and global agricultural and food industry brands, participation in the future plans for business development and capital raising for investment, as well as possibilities for conducting pilots in the regional council’s agricultural fields.
The Ramat Negev region is the largest municipality in Israel. It covers 1.050 million acres and accounts for about 22 percent of Israel’s total land area.
“The combination of the agricultural know-how of Ramat Hanegev and the extensive agricultural lands of the region and the international business infrastructure of Arieli Capital will lead to the development of major food and agricultural companies on a national and international level,” said Or Havviv, partner and head of innovation at Arieli Capital
“For many years now R&D in the Ramat Negev region is at the forefront of advanced agriculture and applied agricultural research,” added Yankale Moscowitz, R&D director of the Ramat Negev Regional Council and of the council’s Agricultural Center. “The establishment of the innovation center in the Ramat Negev regional council, with the project being backed by highly experienced strategic partners with proven experience in advancing startups, is a much-needed effort in these times.”