The program's budget is NIS 25 million, but it will require the approval of the finance committee when this committee is established
The Innovation Authority is launching a new program to promote technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the Beer Sheva area in the areas of cyber, fifth generation (5G), health, artificial intelligence and more. The program, which will also work to promote R&D infrastructure, strengthen local entrepreneurship and encourage the arrival of multinational and local hi-tech companies to the region, will be budgeted at 25 million NIS for a period of four years and its goal will be to turn the Beer Sheva region into a hi-tech metropolis in the Negev.
Dr. Ami Appleboom, Chairman of the Innovation Authority: "In recent years, the Innovation Authority has been working in favor of leading an innovation-oriented economic strategy in the periphery, which will allow promoting and benefiting the economy at the local and national level. The program to promote entrepreneurship in the Beer Sheva area will focus on establishing research and development infrastructures, strengthening local entrepreneurship as well as encouraging the arrival of large hi-tech companies (multinational and local) to the region. High-tech has emerged in the last year as a major engine for exiting the economic crisis, focusing on the periphery during this period may be a real lever for the economic strengthening that is required in the region."
Anya Eldan, VP and head of the start-up arena at the Innovation Authority, said: "The program will focus on technological areas with significant growth potential, including cyber, fifth generation (5G), health, industry, sustainability and more. Also, the program will focus on strengthening the entrepreneurial community in Beer Sheva, and integrating the minority population into the technological entrepreneurship ecosystem."
"The goals of the program are to bring about an increase in the number of start-up companies and the number of people employed in the start-up companies in the Beer Sheva area, an increase in the activity of R&D and innovation centers of established technology companies, an increase in the knowledge and innovation centers in the city, an increase in the number of technology companies in the city that employ at least 100 employees, an increase in the number of entrepreneurs in the population In underrepresentation, encouraging technological entrepreneurs and the establishment of start-up companies in the city and more," Eldan emphasizes.
The program to promote technological entrepreneurship in Be'er Sheva will be expressed on several levels:
- Building technological infrastructure and knowledge centers, including - Innovation centers in the field of cleantech (CleanTech), a synthetic data center (Sandbox) for examining algorithms in the field of cyber and more.
- Strengthening the entrepreneurial community - Building a basket of benefits for entrepreneurs (recruitment incentive and relocation programs), recruiting expert mentors, connecting the entrepreneurs of the city and the area with investors, entrepreneurial communities, academia and established companies.
- Encouraging the establishment of R&D and innovation centers of established high-tech companies - Building human capital programs in collaboration with Kiryat Hakashut, encouraging established technology companies and other bodies to establish innovation centers by means of encouragement and support grants, cooperation with local placement companies and more.
- Promotion, branding and marketing of the Beer Sheva region as a hi-tech metropolis in the Negev - Holding professional events, meetups and conferences (including international conferences), opening municipal databases and promoting Beer Sheva as a "beta-site" for entrepreneurs and more.
The city of Beer Sheva has a significant advantage - it has about 220 residents and is a metropolis that serves about 750 residents in the Negev region, in an area that makes up about 60% of the territory of the State of Israel. However, the great potential inherent in it has not been realized, and today it has several dozen start-up companies (less than 1% of the total start-up companies in Israel), and it suffers from a lack of R&D infrastructure and knowledge centers aimed at promoting the activity of entrepreneurs and young companies.
By law, due to the geographic focus, the route requires the approval of the Finance Committee of the Knesset.