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April 18, 2019 10:37 am

Israel Sets Up Innovation Incubators in Country’s Rural Areas

avatar by Meir Orbach / CTech

Israel’s Negev area. Photo: Ramat Negev Regional Council.

CTech – The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), the government’s tech investment arm, is launching another venture intended to encourage local entrepreneurship in Israel’s rural areas. With an overall budget of NIS 180 million ($50.4 million) over eight years, IIA is looking to set up innovation incubators that will receive a budget of up to NIS 1.5 million ($420,000) a year for operating costs. Initially, IIA will hold a tender for three incubators.

Tender winners will be required to provide participating entrepreneurs with technological and business-oriented mentoring, and with work space. The operators will also collaborate with academic institutes, industrial hubs, investors, and potential clients. Each operating contract will be awarded for five years, with an option to extend the contract for another three.

Startups taking part in the incubator programs will be eligible for grants of up to NIS 1 million ($280,000) for a year, and for IIA’s various support programs.

The venture is part of a larger strategy intended to develop the tech industry outside of Israel’s tech-dense center, and stop the relocation of talent to the greater Tel Aviv area, Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said in a statement.

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