Arieli Capital and China Merchants Group to build ocean technology center

The center will be established as part of a huge project of the Chinese government to build a "Science and Technology” city in the Southern China city of Sanyaan at an investment of 3.5 billion yuan.

Artist's rendition of the Innovation Center  (photo credit: CMDSTC)
Artist's rendition of the Innovation Center
(photo credit: CMDSTC)

Arieli Capital, a holdings and investment company, has signed a cooperation agreement with YSBSTC – the official innovation and technology unit of Sanya (Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City Administration) and with China Merchants, amongst China's most robust commercial institutions, which reports an annual turnover of $105B and $1.4T in assets in the shipping industry, banks, insurance companies and more.

China Merchants will invest ¥3.5B toward establishing an international ocean technology ecosystem. In the strategic partnership agreement that was signed, Arieli Capital will lead a world-class state of the art innovation center which will incorporate an investment fund, accelerators and incubators.

The aim of the innovation center, which will focus on ocean technologies and shipping, is to identify and grow Israeli and international breakthrough companies and technologies operating in the field and link them to China's innovation ecosystem in Sanya.

Among the added values introduced by Arieli Capital is it's ability to connect Arieli's innovation centers in Israel and around the world to the innovation center in Sanya. This connection will create a window of opportunity and provide direct access for linking Israeli companies and startups to Arieli’s Chinese partners, including some of the largest industrial and investment organizations in the ocean industry – shipping companies, tourism, agriculture, universities, research institutions, industry brands and more.

Or Haviv, Partner and International Innovation Manager at Arieli Capital (Credit: Hadar Yaakov)Or Haviv, Partner and International Innovation Manager at Arieli Capital (Credit: Hadar Yaakov)

Or Haviv, Partner and International Innovation Manager at Arieli Capital: “According to a Credit Suisse report (2020) the ocean and marine industry market size is estimated at $3T per year (5% of the global GDP). It is an industry that impacts over 200M jobs worldwide. The aim of the collaboration as we see it, is for Israel to connect with the innovation center in China and play a significant role in this major industry of Ocean Tech.

Jiang Zhimin, Member of the Party Committee and Deputy Director of the Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City Administration, Sanya: “I believe that this strategic cooperation will enable us to enjoy high quality international industrial resource for the science and technology city at Yazhou Bay. We have high hopes for the project”.

The innovation center is being built in Southern China, at the Yazhou Bay in Sanya (considered to be the “Hawaii” of China). Sanya is among the fastest growing areas in China with an advanced commercial sea port, innovation centers and laboratories, advanced agricultural areas, universities and international tourist sites attracting over 20M tourists per year.

The innovation center’s first building is already in the process of opening its over 10,000m² of workspaces, labs and business centers. The second phase includes turning the innovation center into a global center for marine industry and research, which leads the development of over 430,000m² dedicated to residential centers, commercial areas, labs and business centers for experts, researchers and companies from around the world and even a special neighborhood for Israelis, with live/work areas adapted to the Jewish culture and habits.

The historic signing ceremony took place digitally and remotely under the Corona restrictions, with the presence of representatives from Israel and China: Mr. Jiang Zhimin, Sanya Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City Administration, Mr. Zhu Wenkai, CEO, China Merchants Sanya Deep Sea Science and Technology City Development Co. Ltd.

Arieli Capital is a holdings and investment company with offices in New York, China and Tel Aviv. Arieli Capital operates a global ventures arm that manages and invests in innovation platforms, hubs, accelerators, commercialization companies and academia, and an investment arm that includes over 430 of the leading family offices in the U.S. In Israel, Arieli Capital leads several innovation centers, including the largest agricultural innovation center in Israel, together with the country's largest regional council (over 20% of Israel's land mass), Ramat Negev Regional Council, as well as the innovation center in Eilat, which focuses on marine technologies, tourism and agriculture.