Agritech x Israel
In order to help the ecosystem in Japan learn more about Israel and further collaborate with it in the future, we took it upon ourselves to host a bi-monthly “Israel Seminar” in our HQ in Japan. Once every 2 months we invite the ecosystem community in Tokyo to learn more about a selected field of interest! During the event we share some research findings as well as discuss the field and its development together with key players of the ecosystem.
We’ve decided to share some of our findings and further information about the event and speakers in our blog as we believe both ecosystems (Israel and Japan) will find it useful!
Our latest seminar - this time in the Agritech field - had participants from all over the Japanese ecosystem, who were looking to learn further about Israeli technology in the field of Agritech.
Left to right: Koki Ogino, Takahiro Naruse, Seiji Kato
Koki Ogino | Representative Director @ AgVenture Lab
After taking important positions in IT risk management and data management, Ogino became the Executive Officer and General Manager of the Digital Innovation Promotion Department at Norinchukin Bank. In addition, he is the CEO of AgVenture Lab, established in May 2019. The Lab aims to solve agricultural and social issues through social implementation of Agtech / Fintech and new ideas.
Takahiro Naruse | Representative Director @ Legmin Co., Ltd.
After graduating from Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology, Naruse joined IBM Japan. As a consultant, he mainly assisted mid-sized manufacturing customers in improving their operational efficiency, and is currently utilizing his knowledge gained with his experience in order to contribute to Japanese Agriculture. Based on the concept of "vegetables created by humans and robots working together," Legumin, his company, has developed an autonomous farming robot that produces vegetables at the same time as improving productivity.
Seiji Kato | Founder & CEO @ Isratech
Isratech Co., Ltd. supports the business with Israel, which is called “Silicon Valley in the Middle East”. Kato-san first visited Israel in 2006, and has established Isratech in 2009 – he’s been studying the ecosystem and contributing to the Japan-Israel connections ever since.
The Isratech branch in Israel was established in 2012.
Agritech in Israel
The roots of Israel’s Agritech sector are older than the state itself: twelve of Israel’s largest Agritech companies were created before the country even officially established in 1948. Israel is a country with powerful agricultural capabilities, and it has been producing world-leading food technologies for years now.
The strength of Israel’s Agritech sector results from different varied reasons, including government support and the conclusions from the local shortage of natural resources, which cultivated innovative methods and technologies for “growing more with less” long before it became one of the world’s urgent issues. In a hot and sunny country that has historically been severely scarce in land and water, agriculture can only exist if it is highly advanced and efficient. Agricultural productivity is higher than all sectors of the economy, and agricultural output per unit of production, land and water is one of the highest in the world.
Israel is uniquely positioned to utilize sophisticated technological solutions to address the challenges that the world farming community faces at all stages of the food supply chain. Over the past few years, there has been a global move towards data-enabled technology and the IoT, technologies where Israel is acknowledged as a global leader. The range of Israel’s Agritech innovation capabilities is broad and varied, including in-soil and in-tree sensors, cutting-edge swarming robot drones, plant genetics platforms, cultured meat, alternative proteins, smart irrigation, and big data analytics software.
Israeli Agritech Success Stories
The World’s interest (Japan included) in Israeli Agritech startups is only natural and it grows each year. In 2019, Toho, a wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical products in Japan, worked with SNC to see innovation in factory automation and energy technologies for its core business fields. It then searched for Israeli innovation in Agri-tech for its potential new business lines.
In addition, last year, The Israel Innovation Authority, together with KORIL- RDF (Korea-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation) and the FTA (Foreign Trade Administration) in South Korea and Japan, led a delegation of Israeli companies in the Agriculture sector to South Korea and Japan. The delegation participated in one of the largest AgriTech exhibitions in Japan–“Agri Week Osaka,” and unique conferences and seminars in the Republic of Korea.
Also in 2019, A delegation of executives from Shenzhen-listed Chengdu Wintrue Holding Co. Ltd. Came to Israel in search of Israeli Agritech startups.
Last, but definitely not least, in 2018, an Israeli greenhouse company (Top Greenhouses) and an Indian agricultural support company (EPC Mahindra) have agreed to set up a new agricultural joint venture in India. With a large number of Israeli companies having the right expertise to tackle the concerns of the Indian agricultural sector, this deal will serve as a right model for successful cooperation between Indian and Israeli partners.
Agritech & Samurai Incubate Inc.
Samurai is currently looking to meet Agritech startups; we're looking to invest in Foodtech, as well as widen our connections to Agritech companies as part of our Innovation Activities with Japanese corporates.
See our terms and apply for an investment here: https://www.samurai-incubate-israel.asia/investments