Colombia’s President Visits Start-Up Nation Central in Search for Innovation Inspiration in Israel

President Duque coins new word: ‘Sus-tech-nability,’ combining sustainability and technology, invites Israeli companies to join Colombia in seizing innovation-based opportunities

President Duque coins new word: ‘Sus-tech-nability,’ combining sustainability and technology, invites Israeli companies to join Colombia in seizing innovation-based opportunities

TEL AVIV, Nov. 9th, 2021 — Colombia’s President Ivan Duque concluded a three-day diplomatic visit to Israel on Tuesday with a meeting with Israeli innovation leaders at Start-Up Nation Central Headquarters in Tel Aviv. Duque met with Start-Up Nation Central’s CEO Avi Hasson and other senior executives to hear from them about what it takes to develop an advanced ecosystem like Israel’s.

Duque was in Israel with a delegation of senior cabinet members, government officials and business executives to study its innovation ecosystem with an emphasis on technology for solving sustainability, agriculture, and healthcare challenges. During his visit he also oversaw the launch the Jerusalem office of Colombia’s national entrepreneurship and innovation agency – INNpulsa.

Hasson led a panel discussion with experts in the fields of healthcare, biotechnology, and agrifood-tech. They discussed the roles of the private and public sectors and that of the academia and how they interact with each other to create technological solutions that are revolutionizing the world.

The panel included Prof. Ran Balicer, the founding director of the Clalit Research Institute and director of health policy planning at Clalit, Israel’s largest healthcare organization; Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Incubators, which specializes in innovation-based agricultural and medical technology companies; and Prof. Oded Shoseyov, an expert in plant molecular biology and nanobiotechnology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Each of the panelists discussed the ways their respective organizations collaborated with other local and international market players to take solutions from the ideation stage to commercialization, making the case for the necessity of an aligned ecosystem.

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque: “This country has taught the world that you may be limited in terms of land, that you may not have a lot of water resources to produce food, but that you are able to solve these challenges through innovation…. I’m very passionate about the goals that Israel is setting, and I appreciate your passion for collaboration. I want to invite you to join us in connecting two words: sustainability and technology and help us merge them into one word ‘sus-tech-nability.’ That’s what we want to do with Israel and with Start-Up Nation Central.”

Start-Up Nation Central CEO Avi Hasson: “I would like to thank President Duque and the senior Colombian delegation for meeting with us. We are happy to be working alongside the Colombian government in an effort to tackle some of the most substantial challenges of our times by connecting them to the Israeli innovation ecosystem and its problem-solving capabilities. Collaboration is a vital ingredient for successful innovation and as we approach today’s biggest challenges, such as food security and climate change, it is essential that we all pool our strengths to help ensure a sustainable future and improve the lives of the people of Colombia and all over the world.”

The Colombian government and Start-Up Nation Central will collaborate on two key initiatives: agriculture and climate. The first program is LatAm Agripad, an agrifood-tech initiative of Start-Up Nation Central and Start-Up Mexico (SUM) International, headed by Ron Oliver, in which iNNpulsa will participate. The program is meant to solve key challenges in Colombia’s coffee industry and Mexican agricultural business by employing Israeli-made innovative solutions. In an effort to foster collaborations between the two countries, SUM Bogota, led by Acanof Startups, will highlight the pain points of the Colombian coffee corporations, while Start-Up Nation Central will identify the most relevant tech solutions in the Israeli ecosystem to help them overcome them. Meanwhile, senior officials in Colombia will lend governmental support and their network of innovation mentors and facilitators. Together, the partners will help Israeli technologies successfully adapt to the Colombian agricultural needs and scale in the market, through a tailor-made 10-week program.

The Colombian officials also expressed interest in the Climate Solutions Prize, an initiative of JNF-Canada, Start-Up Nation Central, KKL-JNF, and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, to leverage Israeli Impact-Tech innovation to reduce carbon emissions. Both countries recently committed at COP26 in Glasgow to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with innovation being a key factor towards reaching those sustainability goals.

About Start-Up Nation Central

Start-Up Nation Central is the address for corporations, governments, and investors to connect with the Israeli tech ecosystem. Start-Up Nation Central catalyzes growth opportunities by bringing Israeli tech innovation to global business and societal challenges. Established in 2013 and headquartered in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Start-Up Nation Central is a not-for-profit organization funded by philanthropy.

Start-Up Nation Finder is a free online platform for identifying and engaging Israeli tech organizations based on customers’ specific interests. This innovation business platform is a comprehensive knowledge hub on Israeli start-ups, investors, acceleration hubs, multinational corporations, and technology-based innovation associated with academic research. The open-source platform provides up-to-date information and insights on thousands of active Israeli tech companies.

Read more about us