Israel is considered a frontier for technological innovations, with a successful track record in hi-tech start-ups and scientific research. The emphasis on research and innovation is apparent in Israel’s academia, industry, and government. Israel invests 4.7% of its GDP in R&D, the highest ratio of any country in the world (IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009).
Start-up companies in Israel are pioneering new approaches to alternative energy, and developing breakthrough solutions in solar thermal and geothermal technologies, bio-mass, bio-fuel, wind, wave and energy efficiency. The Israeli government is committed to supporting and encouraging the growing renewable energy industry in Israel.
To this end, the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor plans to create a Renewable Energy Technology Center in the southern area of the country, in the Negev (or Arava) Desert.
Following the government decision , dated august 2008, for the promotion of the Renewable Energy (RE) technology sector in Israel, a decision for an establishment of an RE R&D center in the southern part of Israel has been taking shape. The Technology Center will focus on entrepreneurship of RE solutions. Its objective will be to enable entrepreneurs to develop R&D projects, and bring them to advanced stages of testing, and ultimately, to marketability and export.
The Technology Center will focus on entrepreneurship of renewable energy solutions. Its objective will be to enable entrepreneurs to develop renewable energy R&D projects, and bring them to advanced stages of testing, and ultimately, to marketability and export.
The center will be lead by a consortium. This consortium will be a joint venture between academia, industry and finance companies, in a model to be designed by the partners. Projects to be developed, will be selected by the Center and a committee headed by the Office of the Chief Scientist. The government’s role will be to provide matching financing, and help create the cooperation between academia, industry and the Center.
The following type of activities are planned to be performed within the framework of the technology center:
- Stage 1 – Identifying promising research and preliminary development: Activity and market research to locate researchers and research work to be developed into commercial solutions and products. The idea phase will then advance to preliminary R&D at the Center, to explore the viability of the idea.
- Stage 2 – From ideas to investment opportunities: The advancement of projects, from the feasibility proof phase to the fund raising phase. This stage will include the creation of a prototype product, functioning in a laboratory environment.
- Stage 3 – On-site testing: Preparation and operation of sites for experimentation, demonstration, and proof of technological feasibility. This stage will include implementation of an advanced stage of the product at the Center where it will perform as a beta-site. At this stage potential customers will be able to review the working product.
The center will be able to host at least eight projects, each of which will be led by project companies, private companies established within the framework of the Technology Center. In addition, the Center may support or sell services to industrial R&D projects other than those projects that are supported under this Directive, without taking any part in the intellectual property ownership or the shares of the supported company.
We are targeting international participation by multinational companies and global financial players to take part in the consortium.
The role of the international partners will be:
· Technological know-how and experience
· Experience in the international business arena – global trends/market reach
· Accessibility to supplementary financing
· Experience in high level management
Projects to be developed, will be selected by the Center and a committee headed by the Office of the Chief Scientist.
Entering into a partnership in the Technology Center represents a significant opportunity for a global player in the renewable energy arena by providing:
- First access to breakthrough developing innovations in the renewable energy arena.
- The ability to support ideas from basic research to mature and proven technologies.
- A unique intersection of accumulated knowledge and skill from academia, industry and government.
- Cooperation and financial matching with the Israeli government for the advancement of new technologies.
The Center will be a meeting point between the quickly developing renewable energy industry, Israeli academia, entrepreneurs and financial institutions, all of whom will work together to create a powerful source of breakthrough renewable energy solutions, with global reach.
For more information on this, please contact The Israel Trade Commission.