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May 21, 2020 9:23 am

New Israeli Agtech Innovation Center to Focus on Desert and Marine Agriculture, and Cannabis Cultivation

avatar by CTech Staff

Ziva Gilad, a researcher in agricultural research-and-development in the Jordan Valley, at a date farm in the Jordan Valley. Photo: Eliana Rudee.

CTech – Arieli Capital has signed a cooperation agreement with Ramat Negev Regional Council and Ramat Negev Industries for the establishment of an agritech innovation center within the jurisdiction of the regional council in southern Israel, the entities announced Thursday. The total investment in the planning and establishment of the center will be around $5 million.

The initiative is part of a plan to expand the economic potential of the region’s agricultural sector and the agricultural research and development capabilities. The Eilat Technology Center (ETC), a subsidiary of Arieli Capital, will plan and lead the establishment of the innovation center. The center will be located near Ashalim, and will focus on areas of specialization including general agriculture, desert agriculture, marine agriculture, and cannabis cultivation.

The initial stage of activity will entail an agritech accelerator. Five to 10 startups will be selected by senior officials in the agricultural and investment fields to participate in the first accelerator cohort. From the outset, the startups will be offered financial support and mentoring by technology and business experts from the agriculture and food industries, and access to labs and R&D facilities.

The Ramat Negev region is the largest municipality in Israel, accounting for about 22% of Israel’s total land area. Vegetables are the main crops grown in the region and the total annual output is about $177 million.

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