Foodtech in Israel is set to receive significant funding over the next five years, following the country listing it as one of its top-five national priorities.
Israel’s list of national priorities helps guide government funding for R&D projects – the highest priority areas receive the most funding.
Moving forward, the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology will distribute NIS 180 million (about £ 45.3M) a year in research grants which have significant emphasis on the priority fields.
Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, presented the list this week. Israel’s National Council for Research and Development was involved in the decision-making.
The selection process for the national priorities considers factors like Israel’s comparative advantages in given sectors and its strategic needs as a country.
Israel has long sought to establish itself as a global hub for foodtech, and many of the world’s most successful start-ups were founded in the country. This includes cultured meat specialists Aleph Farms, SuperMeat and Future Meat, and cultivated milk company Remilk.
The country is also home to a number of innovation hubs and incubator schemes which seek to nurture nascent foodtech ideas, like the NaturaGrowth incubator located in Sderot.
Likewise, many of Israel’s universities have a sharp focus on foodtech. The Technion Institute, the oldest university in the country, is considered a world-leader in the study of agri-food tech.
Also included in the top five list of priorities are renewable energy, space technologies, energy storage, bio-convergence (tech that combines biology and engineering), civilian space tech and so-called ‘bluetech‘, which uses the sea as a resource.
The full list of 14 R&D priorities for the nation includes smart cities, education tech, waste management and the circular economy.
Hilla Haddad Chmelnik, Director-General of the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology said in a statement: “Israel’s scientific-technological leadership is critical for its civil resilience, and it is imperative that we sustain and strengthen it.
“Mapping and defining the national priority areas, based on an understanding of the international arena, as well as the relative local scientific advantages is crucial for strengthening the various sectors of the economy that are based on innovation and advanced technologies.”
Explore the foodtech scene of Israel in this episode of the Food Matters Live Podcast: