New Report Highlights Israel's Pioneering Approach to FoodTech Innovation and Alternative Protein Technologies


Report lauds Israel’s leadership in driving innovation and shaping the future of the food Industry

Report indicates that with the right support, Israel could establish over 200 alternative protein companies over next decade, contributing 2.5 billion USD to the domestic economy

The Israel Innovation Authority, the World Economic Forum (WEF) through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) network led by C4IR Israel and the Good Food Institute Israel, published today a first of its kind, comprehensive report covering a case study of Israel’s alternative proteins ecosystem: “Creating a vibrant food-tech innovation ecosystem: How Israel is advancing alternative proteins across sectors”.

The novel report highlights Israel’s especially strong standing in the alternative proteins sector. In 2023, Israel saw a record high of 15 new alternative protein startups, joining over 80 active startups in this sector and over 200 startups in food technologies. Moreover, Israel’s alternative protein sector ranks second globally in private investment, reflecting nearly 10% of total global investments in this field, trailing only the United States.

The report predicts that by 2030, with a well-structured national support strategy in place, Israel’s alternative protein sector could see over 200 companies and a dozen manufacturing facilities established, creating 10,000  jobs, one-third in manufacturing, and contributing 2.5 billion USD to the economy through exports, wages, and taxes.

Dror Bin, Chief Executive Officer, Israel Innovation Authority: “Israel’s proactive approach to fostering innovation in alternative proteins reflects our commitment to shaping a sustainable future for generations to come. By investing in applied academic research, fostering innovative startups at every stage and facilitating international collaboration, we are accelerating the growth of Israel’s alternative protein ecosystem. Positioned to drive sustainable and efficient solutions, Israel is poised to redefine the global landscape of alternative proteins technology and make an impactful change for a more resilient food future.”

Bruce Friedrich, President and Founder, The Good Food Institute: “Alternative proteins are the one food systems climate intervention that analogizes to renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs). That’s true in two ways: First, renewables, EVs, and alt proteins are not trying to change the human desire to consume energy, drive, and eat meat; they’re changing the way these products are produced. Second, science and scaling in one part of the world can scale globally, because renewables, EVs, and alt proteins are market-based solutions that – once key challenges are addressed – can shoot up the global adoption curve quickly“.

The report remarks on the first publication of the World Economic Forum in Alternative Proteins, setting the case for significant contribution in fighting climate change, bolstering biodiversity and food security, and being an evolving economic lever. It underscores the critical role of emerging technologies and innovation in transforming food systems worldwide. With proper investment and collaboration, these advancements can serve as powerful tools in safeguarding nature, addressing climate change, enhancing global food security and nutrition, and reducing inequity on a global scale. Israel’s innovation ecosystem, known for its diverse technological offerings and breakthrough solutions, has positioned itself as a leader in tackling various global challenges, including climate change, food security, and economic growth.

The report highlights Israel’s notable standing in the food tech sector and its global Alternative Proteins space leadership. It sets the case for significant contribution in fighting climate change, bolstering biodiversity and food security, and being an evolving economic lever. Notably, the report emphasizes the substantial support from local and multinational entities in tackling key barriers confronting the ecosystem today, including cost competitiveness, regulatory ambiguity, research infrastructures, and scalability challenges. Additionally, it underscores the potential for global cooperation, given the sector’s inherently cross-sectorial nature. The report maps out innovative policies taken by the Israel Innovation Authority, in partnership with the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Health to advance the local ecosystem, offering key takeaways for other countries to follow.

Key Findings of the Report include:
  • Alternative Protein technologies serve as a value-added agricultural sector as  compared to conventional production, and can dramatically reduce emissions, feed more people with fewer resources, reduce public health risks, and free up lands and water around the world for restoration and biodiversity recovery.
  • Leading countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, increasingly acknowledge alternative proteins’ pivotal role in shaping the future of food technology and innovation. By embracing alternative protein sources alongside traditional production methods, these nations are propelling advancements in the bioeconomy while highlighting the potential benefits for both the environment and public health.
  • With their deep-tech nature and high CAPEX requirements, alternative proteins pose investment challenges for some private sector stakeholders. To bridge this gap, governments are stepping in, and leading strategic investment to expedite the adoption of alternative proteins, ensuring a more resilient and sustainable food future. Infrastructure investments, such as the one that the Israel Innovation Authority placed in launching the first Fermentation R&D and scale facility in Israel, are a driver for many early-stage startups.
  • Strategic research, recently initiated by the Israel Innovation Authority with the Good Food Institute Israel (GFI Israel) and Shaldor strategic counseling firm, has recognized that the implementation of a well-structured national support strategy could enable the local alternative protein arena to play a pivotal role in shaping the domestic innovation ecosystem by 2030. In terms of the number of companies, over 200 companies and more than a dozen manufacturing facilities could be established in Israel, opening an estimated 10,000 positions, including one-third in manufacturing roles. A substantial contribution of 2.5 billion USD to the local economy is anticipated, encompassing exports, local wages, corporate taxes, and more.
  • Given the expected benefits, a number of key stakeholders have adopted a  holistic approach to elevate alternative proteins as a national priority for sustainable growth. Policymakers have identified the key levers and constraints, from basic research to initial production, and placed a call for action at each stage. That included cultivating multi-disciplinary research, with over $20M invested in R&D infrastructure, investing in technologies for scale-up, and setting the stage for Novel food regulation. Consequently, Israel was the first country in the world to approve cultivated beef, with the approval of Aleph Farms’ whole cuts, and was the third globally to approve of a  cultivated meat product. 
  • According to a 2021 report, alternative proteins could support 9.8 million jobs and $1.1 trillion in economic value globally by 2050. External forecasts of the alternative protein market size by 2030 vary widely in their estimates – from $58 billion to $570 billion – but they all project robust growth from today’s market size. Such market growth would require unprecedented collaboration, investment, and innovation in the sector.

Embracing the model catalyzed by Israel can help spark innovation, improve food sustainability, and tackle urgent challenges globally, shaping a future where alternative proteins positively impact the environment and public health.

Recommended next steps: 


  • Recent initiatives promoted by the Israel Innovation Authority can serve as a catalyst, inspiring investors to allocate significant funds to Israeli alternative proteins or double down on their existing investments in this space. This report should give investors confidence in the market viability and the long-term public support in the field and encourage them to place more capital into the sector.


  • Bilateral and multinational collaborations, including joint research, development, and harmonization of standards and international support, emerge as powerful instruments for creating a global network of expertise and resources that eventually strengthen local stakeholders.
  • A proactive assessment of market failures hindering the private sector and a strategic plan to address them could empower countries to leverage their unique strengths and assets. This collaborative approach enhances the collective impact on the industry’s evolution.

Food Industry stakeholders:

  • Large corporations should take notice of the findings in the report and either initiate or further explore collaboration opportunities with Israeli alternative protein companies as part of their growth strategies.
  • Partnerships among farmers, food industries, pharmaceuticals, and food-tech startups are key for leveraging their collective expertise to scale up alternative protein production.
  • Projections show surplus agricultural side streams, namely, crops like corn, soy, wheat, sugarcane, barley, rice, canola, and tomatoes. Leveraging these for alternative protein production enhances sustainability and circularity in the food chain, optimizing resources and bolstering agricultural resilience.