Innovation Center

Creating a culture and ecosystem of innovation in the Sakhnin Valley

Introducing the North-Med Innovation Center

With the aim of developing an ecosystem that promotes innovation in the overlooked areas of the Startup Nation, the Israeli government, through its Innovation Authority and the Authority for the Economic Development of Minority Sectors, awarded a group led by Portland Israel a grant to encourage entrepreneurship and tech employment in the Arab sector. This grant has enabled the creation of a groundbreaking tech hub for innovation and employment in the north of Israel, at the heart of the Sakhnin Valley.

Portland Israel, together with MEDX Xelerator, Alpha Omega, Galilee Clinical Bio Research and five leading hospitals and medical centers in northern Israel (Ziv, Poriya, Bnei Zion, Galilee Medical Center and Nazareth Hospital), all came together to launch the North-Med Innovation Center to promote entrepreneurship in the area, in domains such as medical devices, life science, and software development. The North-Med Innovation Center also includes an employment center that focuses on integrating technological talent from local communities into leading high-tech and med-tech companies, encouraging employers to open branches in the country’s northern region.

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An Echoing Impact

140

entrepreneurs vetted

7

startups created with the help of NorthMed

5

registered patents

21

jobs opened in the Employment Center

Proud To Partner With

Why North-Med

 

The Wider Perspective

Lacking both the required background and ecosystem to support, promote and boost entrepreneurship in the northern region, outside the geographical and social boundaries of the tech industry, has made it virtually impossible for the local community to even imagine technological entrepreneurship as a life choice and career path. However, despite the lacking infrastructure, this region has a tremendous wealth of talent, especially in the med-tech and health-tech fields. The North-Med Innovation Center was established with the aim of developing the ecosystem required to promote ideation and entrepreneurship, and will enable entrepreneurs to flourish and succeed in this region, while creating a larger tech movement that will encourage more youth to follow this path and more tech firms to open branches in the area.

 

A huge talent pool with vast experience and knowledge in the medical, health, and technology fields, and a rare collaboration between every significant institute in the region – hospitals, clinics, technological academic institutions, as well as the local and global med-tech industry, enable the strong foundations for the center, which aims to impact areas such as medical equipment, digital health, remote medical services and AI, as well as traditional health services, pharmaceutical formulations, food-tech and additives, and more.

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What industry leaders are saying?

“For us, the employment of local talent from underserved communities is strategic. We want to tap into all relevant local talent pools before expanding to offshore centers.“
Oren Marmur
SVP & General Manager, Payments
Finastra
“We believe the programs we have selected have the ability to generate real change and enable an expansion of the number of startup companies seeded in the Arab sector.” “Even though the percentage is below the national average, in recent years we are seeing a positive trend of increased integration of the Arab sector in the tech industry. Among tech entrepreneurs, however, the number of Arab-led startups remains very low compared to the general population, despite the significant potential. The reasons for this are many and varied, including an absence of networking opportunities, physical distance from tech hubs, a lower threshold for risk-taking, a lack of access to mentors and investors, and to sum all of this up – the lack of a supportive local innovation ecosystem. The programs we have selected – innovation centers, accelerators and an angel investors club – include representatives from the tech industry, academia and local partners with significant added value. We believe they have the ability to generate real change, give opportunities to young Arab men and women to realize their entrepreneurial potential, and enable an expansion of the number of startup companies seeded in the Arab sector every year, as part of our commitment to supporting and diversifying the Israeli tech industry as a whole.”
Dror Bin
CEO
Israel Innovation Authority
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