Accelerating Agritech Solutions in Israel, California, and Developing Economies


The global agricultural industry totals $8 trillion annually. Food and food services account for 10 percent of consumer spending worldwide, with 866 million employed in the sector in 2018. For all the economic growth reflected in these numbers, we must contend with worsening food distribution inequality and agriculture’s rising share of greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet challenges present opportunities. In 2014, Israel and California signed a Memorandum of Understanding to leverage Israel’s strengths in climate-smart agritech R&D with California’s pivotal roles in the US food value chain and environmental action. The results are intended to serve as models for the world.

In this context, the Milken Innovation Center convened a Financial Innovations Lab in Jerusalem in 2016 as a next step of the Israel−California partnership to assess developments in climate-smart agriculture. The Lab focused on market-ready technologies, developing funding tools, and reaching investable solutions for both markets.

In the ensuing years, the Milken Innovation Center has responded to the California challenges cited in the Lab with work on real projects that demonstrate proof of concept, with an emphasis on technology transfer to developing economies. This report looks at the results.

Updated/Published August 26, 2020