Kibbutzim are increasing their investments in start-ups. – Israel Valley

Israel’s kibbutzim have increased their investments in Israeli start-ups. These investments were made through the “Hamashtela” fund, dedicated to the development of technology and innovation in kibbutzim.

Hamashtela is operated by KIA Kibbutz Industries Association (KIA) and the Kibbutz Movement, an umbrella organization for kibbutzim.

Kibbutzim are keeping an eye on new technologies. In addition to agriculture and industry, recent years have been dedicated to the development of the third “pillar”, technology.

After playing a key role in the country’s creation, kibbutzim sank into social and economic malaise during the financial crisis that rocked the country in the 1980s. by embracing wage labor and by privatizing certain sections, which allowed certain members of the kibbutz to emancipate themselves from it and some non-members to work there.

Kibbutz Industry Association CEO: “We want to encourage kibbutzim to create their own start-ups, introduce technologies into their manufacturing processes and invest in start-ups. After all, we were Israel’s first start-ups.

Business sales across all of Israel’s kibbutzim reached a record $12.8 billion.

Netafim, founded in 1965 on Kibbutz Hatzerim is the flagship of the kibbutz industry. But alongside Netafim, there are many other successful kibbutz businesses, such as armored vehicle manufacturer Plasan at Kibbutz Sasa in northern Israel; and Plasson Industries Ltd., at Kibbutz Maagan Michael, a manufacturer of plastic fittings for plastic pipes.

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A. KIBBUTZ SHAMIR. “Israel Essilor”. Shamir was the first kibbutz to introduce a company to Wall Street on Nasdaq. Shamir Optical specializes in the design of progressive lenses.

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B. ECOTECHNOLOGIES. Kibbutz Ketura, once a simple agricultural kibbutz, has become a leader in innovative environmental technologies.

Founded in 1973, it has the particularity of being a multinational community and following a progressive religious policy. Headquarters of the Arava Institute (arava.org), recognized worldwide for its research and awareness campaigns on ecological issues in the region, brings together several businesses, such as a date plantation, a dairy farm, a photovoltaic plant and a seaweed that produces the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin.

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C. GIVAT BRENNER.

Israel’s Equinom develops high-protein soybean and pea varieties non-GMO. It is expanding its plant protein production platform called “Manne” and developing new varieties of chickpeas, fava beans, mung beans and black-eyed peas at its R&D center in Kibbutz Givat Brenner.

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D. GALILÉ. URTICARIA. In Israel, robotic hives watch over bees. Kibbutz Bet Haemek.

In a kibbutz in Galilee, an Israeli start-up is building robotic hives that monitor bees 24 hours a day and reduce the mortality of these great pollinators, guarantors of food security. “There are two million bees here,” said Shlomki Frankin as he stepped into a 12-square-metre white container, sitting among the avocado trees at Kibbutz Bet Haemek in northern Israel.

The container called “Beehome” can house 24 hives, explains the beekeeper. These bee houses work like normal wooden hives, except that they are managed by a robot placed inside that monitors these insects, controls their habitat and takes care of them, specifies Mr. Frankin, who works for the Beewise company on the origin of the mega hive.

Artificial intelligence.

“The robot is equipped with sensors that allow it to know what is happening in the frames”, explains Netaly Harari, director of operations at Beewise. “Thanks to artificial intelligence, our software knows what the bees need,” she says in the workshop where the large metal hives are assembled.

The robot can also automatically dispense sugar, water and medicine. In case of a problem, it alerts the beekeeper through an application. The latter can then intervene remotely from his computer and move if necessary.

The mega hive, which runs on solar energy, can also regulate the temperature, eliminate discomfort and even extract honey, thanks to an integrated centrifuge. A hundred of these robotic hives have already been deployed in Israel and a dozen in the United States. Beewise is eyeing a European market entry within two years. The start-up has more than 100 employees, raised around 76 million euros in investment to develop its exports.

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