Economic Development
in the Negev

Economic Development
in the Negev

Since 2005, the Merage Foundation has been actively involved in the Negev’s development, highlighting the region’s enormous potential and its critical need for growth.

The foundation has supported and led many high impact initiatives, including the establishment of the Dimona Medical Center and the Rehabilitation Center in Sderot. It has promoted employment and entrepreneurship as well as funded dozens of festivals and cultural events reaching hundreds of thousands of people. It has also supported local municipalities in the development of growth plans, including demographic growth, urban planning, economic development, health, and transportation.

New Developments: We have recently completed a new strategic plan aimed to accelerate regional economic prosperity by strengthening key economic clusters where the Negev has a significant competitive advantage. These are DeserTech (Ag-tech, WaterTech, and renewable energy), and AgriTourism.

Clusters enhance productivity and spur innovation by bringing together technology, information, specialized talent, competing companies, academic institutions, and high-quality jobs.

The Merage Foundation serves as an integrative body to convene and mobilize the different stakeholders, and nurture an environment where these clusters can mature and flourish.

With the support of key partners and anchors in the region,
the foundation focuses on five key areas:

  • Map & Convene main stakeholders, pooling collective resources, encouraging interdisciplinary learning, strategizing and mobilizing for action
  • Attract national & international investors while supporting local companies and cooperatives to grow their operations in the field
  • Expose & position the Negev as a global hub for desert innovation by partnering with international organizations, hosting international conferences, global awards, internship programs, and having a powerful media presence
  • Advocate & facilitate advocacy efforts with the national government to increase resources and investments.
  • Include & create mechanisms to ensure the participation of the Bedouin and other minority communities as active players in the Negev’s ecosystem

In addition, we continue to promote the development of vibrant, busy, walkable cities across the Negev region by raising awareness about the need for urban renewal and offering a learning platform for municipalities to engage in.

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