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Get a chance to win


Israeli Companies

100K NIS

funding for a desert pilot


about the growing desert needs and co-design your pilot with desert experts

British Companies


funding for a desert pilot


with relevant stakeholders and markets from the DeserTech ecosystem, in Israel and worldwide


The Merage DeserTech Competition

Negev - Your gateway to arid markets

The Merage DeserTech Competition is a flagship annual event, designed to accelerate innovative technologies to address global desert challenges.


As climate change hits more areas of the world, there is an acute need to adapt and build resilience to arid climates: adapt our energy systems, agriculture practices, how we build, and how we treat and manage water.

We invite you - Israeli and British startups - to test and develop your solution in the Negev desert - the ultimate beta site for adapting your technology to an increasingly arid world. UK agri-tech centre Agri-EPI and Innovate UK are supporting UK tech companies to participate in this great opportunity.

If it works here, it works everywhere!

Connect with leading research institutes, farmers and experts, and plan a fruitful collaboration to prove your technology is relevant in arid climates!



Connect with a Negev-based partner


Co-design a pilot that can adapt your solutions to arid markets


Submit your pilot proposal

Who can Participate

Startups from the UK and Israel operating in the fields of water, renewable energy, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors, with a solution that could address global desert challenges of:


Extreme Climate


Water Scarcity
& Availability


Land Degradation


Remote & Marginal Living

Find Your Negev Partner



Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy

Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy

Project Wadi Atir

Project Wadi Atir

Yatir Farm

Yatir Farm

Arava Institute

Arava Institute

Frontier Agro

Frontier Agro

Shikma Field Crops

Shikma Field Crops

Central & Northern
Arava Tamar R&D

Central & Northern
Arava Tamar R&D

Gilat Center
Volcani Institute

Gilat Center
Volcani Institute

South Arava R&D

South Arava R&D

Dead Sea and Arava
Science Center

Dead Sea and Arava
Science Center

Institutes for Desert Research - BIDR

Institutes for Desert Research - BIDR

Southern R&D

Southern R&D

Attend the Kick-off

Join the Matchmaking webinar

Ask to connect with one of the

Or ask our matchmaker to help you at:


September 7th
Preparation workshop for Negev resources - Beer Sheva
October 10th
Matchmaking - Online

1:1 to connect with the best Negev partners

November 28th
Finalists Announcement
December 20th
Final Event - Beer Sheva // Hybrid
September 13th
Competition Kick Off  - Beer Sheva// Hybrid

Connect with relevant partners, and get all the information you need to apply

November 19th
Applications close
December 13th
Pitching Workshop for finalists - Beer Sheva// Hybrid

Pitching and Live Winner Announcement!

The winning Pilot will be selected according to

Relevance to global desert needs


Innovation and Prominence of technology


Scalability potential


Judging Committee


Nicole Hod Stroh

Executive Director

Merage Foundation Israel

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Ido Fishler

Managing Partner

Good Company

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Itamar Weitzman

Partner and Head of Climate Tech

First time VC


Doron Meller

Chief Innovation Officer

Netter Center

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Bruce Gurfein


Connect LLC and Abdullah Al Naboodah investment

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Gil Horsky

Founding Partner

FLORA Ventures

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Shahar Cohen

Investment Manager

Q Fund

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Hila Hillary Katz

Investment Analyst

Good Company

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Yaniv Izaki

Angel Investor

Izaki Ventures

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Gili Elkin

Managing Director

ICI Fund

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Vanessa Kacherginsky


The Israeli Forum for Impact Economy


Esteban Socolsky

VP – Head of R&D


DeserTech is an Innovation Community that promotes the development, adaptation and commercialization of technologies that enable sustainable living in arid climates, while simultaneously, turning Be'er Sheva and the Negev region into a global entrepreneurial hub for these technologies.


The DeserTech community is a joint initiative of the Merage Foundation Israel, the Israel Innovation Institute, The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ben Gurion University.


In partnership with:

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Agri- EPI is part of the UK Government’s Agri-Tech Strategy. At the Agri-EPI Centre we are one of four Agri-Tech Centres bridging the gap between industry and academia across the agri-food sector in the UK and globally.

As the go-to enabler, we work with businesses, scientists and engineers to turn their ideas into new products and services that will generate economic growth and help tackle the global issues of sustainability and feeding the world.

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