Government allocates NIS 75 million for innovation centers in Israel's periphery

The inter-ministerial effort could be instrumental in incorporating more Israeli demographics into its high-tech industry.

Coronavirus & Israeli Tech (photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)
Coronavirus & Israeli Tech
(photo credit: JERUSALEM POST)

In a widespread ministerial collaboration, multiple Israeli ministries and authorities have joined forces to launch an initiative aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and high-tech employment in Israel's geographical periphery. 

The Economy and Industry Ministry, the Negev, Galilee, and National Resilience Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the Regional Cooperation Ministry, the Innovation, Science and Technology Ministry, and the Israel Innovation Authority have collectively allocated NIS 75 million for the establishment of up to five new innovation centers.

Under this program, Israeli companies, corporations, and non-profit organizations will have the opportunity to apply to become franchisees and operate technological innovation centers in the periphery. The initiative aims to stimulate sustainable economic growth in these areas by focusing on various fields, including agriculture, food, energy, and climate change.

Selected winners will receive grants of up to NIS 15 million over a period of five years to support their operations. The innovation centers will play a crucial role in promoting entrepreneurship by offering programs, training initiatives, and resources to foster local innovation and employment in the high-tech industry. 

Moreover, the centers will create an ecosystem conducive to the establishment of innovative ventures, facilitating collaborations with academia, research institutions, local government bodies, existing industries, and investors.

  (credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

Climate concerns and economic growth

“These are important and long-term engines of growth, which will provide local entrepreneurs with the necessary and optimal conditions to achieve economic prosperity and help turn the Negev and the Galilee into independent economic centers,” said Yitzhak Wasserlauf, Minister of the Negev, the Galilee and National Resilience.

“In these innovation centers, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to engage with the trailblazers in the high-tech industry, academia, and research, as well as finance and funding opportunities,” he added.

With the allocation of substantial funding and the collaborative efforts of multiple ministries and authorities, the innovation centers in Israel's periphery are poised to become thriving hubs of entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and economic growth, while bridging the gap between different regions of the country.

Idit Silman, Environmental Protection Minister, emphasized the significance of addressing climate challenges and promoting Israeli technologies through the innovation centers. “Dealing with the climate crisis is a global challenge, but also a tremendous economic opportunity for Israel,” Silman said. 

Bringing the periphery into the fold

“The support we are announcing today is a significant step for the Israeli periphery, and comes hot on the heels of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Israel Innovation Authority’s work to promote the ecosystem of innovative Israeli climate technologies along the technological value chain.”

Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, noted that the majority of high-tech activity in Israel is concentrated in the central region, primarily in software-oriented fields. 

The initiative to establish innovation centers in the periphery reflects the Authority's strategy for diversifying high-tech in terms of focus areas, geography, and demographics. “The development of high-tech in the periphery will strengthen the local areas, and the entirety of the Israeli high-tech industry,” he said.

It remains to be seen how the establishment of these innovation centers in the periphery will unfold and what impact they will have on the overall economic landscape of Israel.

As the centers begin operations and entrepreneurs engage with the resources and opportunities provided, their effectiveness in fostering innovation, creating employment opportunities, and driving regional development will become clearer.

The success of these centers will be closely watched as they strive to fulfill their mission of promoting entrepreneurship and technological advancement in various sectors, ultimately shaping the future of the Israeli economy.