An international innovation center dedicated to the application of food science and food technologies was launched in northern Israel last week by Erel Margalit, the founder and executive chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), the international venture capital firm.
The hub, called Margalit Startup City Galil—the International Foodtech Center, developed with the Jewish National Fund, debuted in the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona at an inauguration event that drew Israeli entrepreneurs and investors, Israeli officials, leading academic researchers, investors, and multinational organizations.
While this is Margalit’s fourth Startup City innovation center—he has hubs in New York, Beersheba, and Jerusalem, and is planning centers in Paris and Dubai—it is the first one that focuses solely on food tech and agritech innovation.
The International Foodtech Center in the Galilee operates in strategic cooperation with a host of ecosystem players, public bodies, and corporations, including the Kiryat Shmona Municipality, Upper Galilee Regional Council, and the Galilee Development Company. It also works with local and international business and technological bodies that are opening a branch the Galilee for the first time, including JVP, Cisco, Deloitte, Luzzatto Group, Bank Hapoalim, and Fischer & Fischer Law Firm.
Academic institutions such as the Tel Hai Academic College and the Israeli Science and the Technology Ministry’s Migal Galilee Research Institute will also be active in the new food tech center, along with many food and agriculture technology companies, and community organizations.
“Food tech is the next cyber, and I believe Israel is on its way to becoming a superpower in the field,” Margalit said at the inaugural event on Thursday. “We are creating an economic growth engine which will change the lives of young people and families, with 30,000 high-paying technology jobs in the center of the country and another 70,000 ancillary positions.”
Margalit Startup City Galil will address the burning problems of the world, including global warming, hunger, drought, and a shortage of healthy food, according to a statement.
The center’s launch event involved a food festival where 14 food tech and agritech startups presented their ideas and technologies.
The event saw the attendance of members from the Israeli government and the high-tech scene. In total, the two-hour event saw 14 startups in the food tech space presenting their ideas at “Foodtech Street,” and close by, “Innovation Avenue” saw a showcase of innovation projects from schools in the local area. Finally, “Interior Building” saw a showcase of joint projects between multinationals. The companies included Innovopro, Kinoko, Green Eye, Agrint, Solato, Blue Huna, Hargol Foodtech, Witi, Blue Tree, PleanTeam, Solveat, OrganOzone, Verstill, and Save-it.
Schools from the Galilee presented their innovation projects, including education institutions from Kiryat Shmona, Majdal Shams, and kibbutzim and moshavim in the area.
“Together with our wonderful partners, including Cisco and Deloitte, we are creating an economic growth engine that will change the lives of young people and families, with 30,000 high-paying technology jobs in the center of the country and another 70,000 ancillary positions. All of this is happening together with the area’s schools, as part of the process of building an incredible and ground-breaking ecosystem because the pupils of today are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.”
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The article was originally published by NoCamels, a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience.