September 5th, 2018, Jerusalem – The Israel Innovation Authority is launching a tender to establish a new food technology incubator in the northern Israel district of Safed. The new incubator will support the establishment of FoodTech startups and will enjoy the benefits allocated to incubators in the periphery – i.e. a NIS 600,000 annual operating budget as well as the NIS 5 million granted to every company in the incubator.
The new incubator will join 18 existing incubators supported by the Israel Innovation Authority’s incubator program – selected over the past several years via a number of competitive tenders held by the Authority. Previous tenders succeeded in bringing leading entities from Israel and around the world into the program, including venture capital funds, multinational corporations, and others. These entities provide enormous value to the startups, including access to R&D facilities, business and technological guidance including product-market fit, follow-on investments as well as serving as a gateway to international target markets.
Eli Cohen, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry: “This significant investment in the north of the country is crucial to local residents. The incubator, together with a proposed food institute in the area, will be life-changing, providing hundreds of jobs and fostering economic prosperity and productivity resulting from technological innovation. Companies that establish R&D centers in the Upper Galilee will enjoy unprecedented benefits. We aim at generating a real technological revolution in the north and look forward to enjoying its fruit for years to come.”
The FoodTech incubator is expected to foster local entrepreneurship and help build a regional FoodTech innovation ecosystem by joining strategic partners, startups and other local players. The incubator’s goal is to pinpoint and nurture innovative technological projects in the following fields: Developing the next generation of food and beverages; converting agricultural land used for animal food and husbandry to food production for humans; optimizing the food-growing process while maintaining sustainability; shortening the supply chain in order to preserve food safety and freshness; optimizing supply methods and manufacturing in order to streamline food distribution and prevent surplus production and waste; and growing healthier food and adapting it to consumer tastes. The incubator will help establish companies in these fields in Israel, connect them with local players, and penetrate international target markets.
Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority: “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. Academic studies on the subject are already being carried out in the Safed District and there are joint efforts between these research institutes and the country’s leading food companies. This, along with our new incubator helping launch new startups, will enable the establishment of an important ecosystem and will strengthen the Israeli FoodTech industry.”
Anya Eldan, VP, Israel Innovation Authority - StartUp Division: “The technological incubator program is a key platform for value creation in both academia and Israeli industry. These incubators have already proven themselves as an important tool for establishing innovative companies based on academic knowledge in a variety of fields. Among the 18 incubators already in the program, only The Kitchen FoodTech Hub in Ashdod owned by the Strauss Group focuses on investments in the field of food and beverages. Over the past four years, the Strauss Group in general and the Kitchen Hub in particular, have done great work helping build a local FoodTech ecosystem. 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.”