Tnuva - backing new foodtech incubator

Tnuva - backing new foodtech incubator

Tnuva, Israel's largest food manufacturer, is one of the names behind a new foodtech incubator in its home market.

The Fresh Start FoodTech Incubator, based in Kiryat Shemona in northern Israel, will see investment of up to ILS1bn (US$283.5m) pumped into more than 40 "advanced technology start-ups that will drive the food industry".

The move is being backed b y the country's government which sees foodtech as a priority growth sector.

Tnuva, which manufactures dairy, meat and packaged food products, is investing alongside global agrifood business Finistere Ventures, local investment firm OurCrowd and Tempo Beverages, the Israeli beverage company.

The consortium won the tender to operate the incubator from the Israel Innovation authority in June and the first company investment is set to take place in 2020.

Israel's Minister of the Economy, Eli Cohen, said: "The FoodTech incubator in the north marks an important milestone in transforming Israel into a food technology superpower. In light of the success in the field of cybersecurity, medical devices and autonomous vehicles, we are targeting the FoodTech industry as our next goal.

While the incubator will focus on advancing food technologies along the entire chain of the food and beverage industry, it will prioritise milk and protein substitutes, improving nutritional value and personalised nutrition, innovative raw materials, smart food packaging, cannabis and Industry 4.0, including IoT, AI, and Big Data.

Tnuva is owned by China's Bright Food and it too will be involved in the incubator.

The incubator will also work alongside research and academic institutions in northern Israel, including the Migal Galilee Research Institute in Kiryat Shemona, the Tel Hai College and the Northern Research and Development.

Fresh Start will encourage start-ups to relocate from other parts of the country to the Galilee region. A new benefits package has been devised to encourage this relocation process, including assistance for purchasing homes and land, locating employment and child placement in schools.

The consortium will operate the Fresh Start incubator over the next eight years.