On March 13, 2019, a round table event took place at the King Solomon Hotel in Eilat as part of the “Growing Israel” Project led by Nir Barkat, former mayor of Jerusalem, and today a Likud Knesset candidate together with the Porter Institute of Harvard, the Israeli Kohelet Policy Forum and a number of philanthropists.
The idea on which the project is based is to advance growth engines for the Negev, Judea and Samaria and the Galilee, taking into account the relative geographical advantages of each region.
After learning and tours of the Negev, Nir and his team raised the possibility that the field of DeserTech will be the generator field in the Negev. This field relies on development of the cyber center in Beersheba, desert agriculture in the Negev, marine biotechnology in Eilat and renewable energy in the region of Eilat and the Arava.
Senior city and council officers and leading professionals in the field of renewable energy and biotechnology participated in the event in Eilat.
At the event we dreamed together about how to develop these two fields in our region, while turning the area into a leader in these fields at international level. In the field of energy, we presented the genuine aspiration that the entire region will become energy independent by using renewable energies, and how the area can turn itself into a unique microgrid that will be a demonstration center for all the Israeli technologies in the field and thus strengthen the field of exporting Israeli knowledge and technologies. Self-management of production and delivery systems can create an unprecedented focus of growth for the area and we will learn and map the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges that will help us to realize this vision.