ASHALIM, ISRAEL — An innovation center focused on agricultural technology will be opened shortly as a result of an agreement between Arieli Capital and the Ramat Negev Regional Council and Ramat Negev Industries in Israel.
A subsidiary of Arieli, the Eilat Technology Center, will oversee the establishment of the innovation center. The facility will be located near Ashalim, 25 miles south of Beer Sheba, in the Negev region of southern Israel.
Areas of specialization for the center will include general agriculture, desert agriculture, marine agriculture, cannabis and others.
About $5 million will be invested to plan and open the center, with Arieli taking the lead and with participation by the Ramat Negev Regional Council and other investors. Ramat Negev is the largest regional council geographically, but the area is very sparsely populated.
An ag-tech accelerator is planned as the first area of activity for the innovation center.
“From the outset, the entrepreneurs will be offered several options to assist them in facilitating their entry into the global market,” Arieli said. “These include financial support and mentoring by technology and business experts from the agriculture and food industries, access to labs and R&D facilities including the Ramat Negev Agricultural R&D Center.”
The Ramat Negev region has been a source for agricultural innovation over the last 50 years, including in areas of efficient water use and irrigation, addressing soil diseases and pests, acclimatization and techniques for enhancing productivity and profitability of crops. Arieli said tapping into these and other regional capabilities will help the innovation center contribute significantly in the areas of precision agriculture and business development.
“The combination between the agricultural knowhow of Ramat Negev and the extensive agricultural lands of the region and the international business infrastructure of Arieli Capital will lead to the development of major food and agricultural companies on a national and international level,” said Or Haviv, partner and head of innovation at Arieli Capital.
Arieli Capital is a holding company and investment company with offices in New York and Tel Aviv. An innovation arm of the business invests in innovation platforms, hubs, accelerators, technology transfer and commercialization of intellectual property.