To promote entrepreneurship in Israel’s peripheral areas, the government announced a 100 million shekel ($27.6 million) initiative to establish nine innovation centers across the country promoting high-tech solutions for a range of issues such as foodtech, renewable energy, green building techniques and artificial intelligence.
“Diversity of high-tech from a disciplinary, geographic and demographic point of view is a key element of the [Israel Innovation] Authority’s strategy to strengthen Israeli high-tech in competition with other innovation centers in the world,” said Dror Bin, CEO of the Innovation Authority.
“The centers selected in the national competitive process among dozens of excellent applicants, and in unprecedented cooperation with the various government ministries, will enable the expansion of the circle of entrepreneurship and high-tech employment to all regions of the country and to all sectors in it, while demonstrating Israeli resilience and the ability to continue to initiate and innovate, and to grow new growth engines for the Israeli economy,” Bin added.
The initiative is a joint effort of the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the Ministry of the Negev, the Galilee and National Resilience, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and the Innovation Authority.
The Israeli periphery refers to areas of the country that are situated away from the central metropolitan areas of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Centers will be established in the Eastern Galilee (focusing on foodtech and agritech), the Western Galilee (green building technologies), the Golan Heights (agritech, climate and AI issues), Eilat (biotech and aquaculture), eastern Jerusalem (healthtech), the eastern Negev (renewable energy), the central Negev (climate and desert tech), the western Negev (national security issues) and Judea and Samaria (innovation).
Each center will be operated by a local company that specializes in the center’s area of focus. The centers will implement programs to encourage technological entrepreneurship, accelerate ventures, attract high-tech employers and promote quality employment in their communities.
The centers will also cooperate with other figures such as local farmers, companies, academia, research institutions, government bodies, existing industries and investors to encourage high-tech and business growth.
“Israeli entrepreneurship, innovation and research curiosity are things that no one can take away from us, and especially these days there is a necessity to expand government investments in cooperation with the business sector to encourage growth and innovation,” said Economy and Industry Minister Nir Barkat.
On Tuesday, Intel Israel and Israeli government authorities announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Kiryat Gat.
“The global company Intel’s choice to approve the unprecedented investment of $25 billion right here, in Israel, is important and significant,” according to a joint statement by Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich, the Economy Ministry and the Israel Tax Authority.
“Such an investment, at a time when Israel is facing a war against absolute evil, a war in which good is obliged to defeat evil …, is an expression of confidence in the State of Israel and the Israeli economy,” said Smotrich.
The Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and one of the world’s largest and most prominent semiconductor chip manufacturers.
The new factory is expected to begin operating in 2028, and to remain in operation at least until 2035.