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The Merage

Negev - Your gate to global desert


The Merage DeserTech Competition is a flagship annual event, designed to accelerate innovative technologies to address global desert challenges. Taking place for the 3rd time, this year, we offer a unique opportunity to test your technology in a real arid environment- the Negev, and to win a 100K ILS grant for this pilot. 


If it works here – it can work everywhere.


The Negev is a natural pilot site for various arid markets around the world and a center of innovation with key experts in desert technologies. The competition gives you the opportunity to connect, plan and start a fruitful collaboration that will prove that your technology is relevant for arid environments.

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What will you get?

100,000 ILS

to test your solution in the Negev

Adapt and test your technology in arid conditions - if it works here, it can work anywhere


Expand your network to new markets


Collaborate with partners in the Negev – the application process will provide a platform to connect with strategic partners in the local ecosystem


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Who can participate? 

Israeli startups operating in the fields of

water, renewable energy, agriculture, and infrastructure sectors, with a solution that can address one or more global desert challenges



Acute Temperature Shifts | Flash floods, Sand & dust Storms, Wildfires (semi-Arid) | Sun Intensity

Water Scarcity & Availability

Water quality & quantity | Water Contamination | Droughts



Soil Salination | Erosion | Flash floods | Soil contamination

Remote &

Marginal Living

Decentralization | Lack of access to basic needs and livelihoods

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In collaboration with a Negev-based pilot site

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How to apply




Connect with a Negev pilot site

Design a pilot together

Apply your pilot proposal

Sending us an email

You can connect by

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September 12th

Competition launch, Beer Sheva

Meet the participating pilot sites and get all the information you need to apply 

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September 29th

Find Your Match, Online webinar

Do you have a solution and are still looking for your match? Find your one here! 

October 18th

Applications closes 

November 22nd

Final Event, Beer Sheva

Pitching and Live Winner Announcement! 

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Who can you apply with?

Volcani Institute - Gilat Center
The southern branch of the Agricultural Research Organization of Israel's Ministry of Agriculture specialized in Arid & Semi-Arid Agricultural Research.
Central & Northern Arava Tamar R&D
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The R&D aims to serve the development of agriculture in the settlements along the Israeli borders, being 60% of the total Israeli export of fresh vegetables.
Eran Raveh
Eilon Gadiel
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Arava Institute
Frontier is an agro innovations hub, which is a unique collaboration between Arieli Capital and the Ramat-HaNegev Desert Agro Research Center aiming to lead the development of food security through smart farming on a national and international level.
The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies is a leading environmental studies and research institute in the Middle East. It houses accredited academic programs, research centers, and international cooperation initiatives focusing on a range of environmental concerns and challenges.
Lion David
Tareq Abuhamed
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South Arava R&D
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Dead Sea and Arava Science Center
Southern Arava R&D is a regional agriculture R&D center, that hosts various scientific activities including soil and water sciences.
The DSASC aims to conduct applied research based on the region’s relative advantages, within the context of sustainable development and to be a center for cross-border scientific cooperation.
Oren Bar Lavran 
Yael Zeldman Haviv
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BGN Technologies is the technology company of Ben-Gurion University, bringing technological innovation from 
lab to market  and fostering entrepreneurship among researchers and students
Shirley Sheffer
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Judging Committee

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Ofir Gomeh

CEO, Capital Nature

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Prof. Yoav Yair

Dean, School of Sustainability, Reichman University

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Dganit Vered

CEO, Smart Agro

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Galit Ofer

Partner, Shibolet

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Adi Vagman

Investor, E44 Ventures

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Naor Caspi

Head of Innovation

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Roee Forman

Managing Director, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures

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Ethy Levy

Managing Partner, Kinneret Impact Venture

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Galit Shiff

Co-CEO and Founder, Gilad-Shiff Architecture


Avital Eshet

Head of economic policy and climate tech, Ministry of Environmental Protection 

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