Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi say their farewells as India's leader leaves Israel to fly to the G20 summit in Germany

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week launched a bilateral innovation challenge calling on Israeli and Indian startups to combine forces to develop solutions to some of the world’s most critical challenges in agriculture, water and digital health.

The challenge is to be hosted on the new India-Israel Innovation Bridge, an online platform to facilitate bilateral collaboration between Israeli and Indian startups, techhubs, corporations and other key innovation ecosystem players.

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The initiative aims at leveraging Israel’s strengths in technology, with Indian market access to develop technology solutions for the world’s most critical challenges.

As part of the challenge, a joint panel of judges will select entrepreneurs from India and Israel who will get the opportunity to further develop their solutions through a unique accelerator, with the participation of iCreate (Ahmedabad, India), T-Hub (Hyderabad, India) and additional Israeli partners.

The selected startups from both countries will have the opportunity to interact with end users, investors, corporations and other potential partners in India and Israel.

The Innovation Bridge will promote knowledge-exchange by providing comprehensive guides and toolkits to help startups explore expansion opportunities, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The India–Israel Innovation Bridge is a joint initiative of the Israel Innovation Authority and the India Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, to bring together the startup ecosystems of India and Israel.

Invest India, Pears Program, iCreate and T-Hub have already committed to the startups that will be chosen at the innovation challenge.

The platform can be accessed by clicking here.

The “Israel-India Innovation Initiative Fund” was among the agreements signed on July 4, the first day of Modi’s historic 3-day visit to the Jewish State.

The fund is to be run by the Israel Innovation Authority and the parallel executive agency under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology, and will be a platform for diverse technological cooperation between the two countries, leveraging the technological strengths of both nations.

Each country will allocate $4 million per year over a five-year period for the fund’s activities, for a combined total of $40 million.

During Modi’s visit the two prime ministers toured an Israel Innovation Expo on cleantech, medicine, water and agriculture. The expo, organized by the Israel Innovation Authority and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, showcased leading Israeli innovation of interest to India.

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