Studies & Numbers

Israel’s Alt Protein Industry Poised to Generate 10,000 Jobs and $2.5 Billion by 2030, New Report Predicts

A report has been published by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), the World Economic Forum (WEF) through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) network led by C4IR Israel, and the Good Food Institute Israel. The paper examines the role of government support for alternative proteins and presents the Israeli ecosystem as an innovative blueprint for other nations to adopt.

The report’s promising projections suggest that by 2030, with a well-coordinated national support strategy, Israel could support over 200 alternative protein companies and establish a dozen manufacturing facilities. 

This growth could create 10,000 jobs — one-third of which would be in manufacturing — and contribute an estimated $2.5 billion to the economy through exports, wages, and taxes.

In addition, the report’s figures show that Israel ranks second globally in private investment in alternative proteins, reflecting nearly 10% of total global investments in this field, following only the USA. In 2023 alone, 15 new startups joined over 80 active alt protein startups.

Imagindairy
© Imagindairy

Advancing alternative proteins

According to the report, the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) fosters an innovation ecosystem by investing in applied academic research, innovative startups, and international collaboration to expedite the adoption of alternative proteins and ensure a more resilient and sustainable food future. The government has also made significant progress by establishing a novel food regulation system. 

The IIA has supported the food tech industry over the past decade with over NIS 230 million in grants, over 140 million of which has been in alternative proteins. In 2022, the Israeli government declared food tech and alt proteins a national priority in consultation with GFI Israel.

Significant infrastructure investments include an  $18 million investment in the Israeli Cultivated Meat Consortium, a collaborative effort between academic institutions, large companies, and startups, including Aleph Farms, Tnuva, and SuperMeatIn 2023, IIA announced it would invest NIS50 million (approximately $14 million) in an R&D fermentation for local and foreign food tech companies.

Moreover, in partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Health, the IIA’s policies are advancing the sector, with Israel being the first to approve cultivated beef and the third to approve a cultivated meat product.

Dror Bin, CEO of IIA, comments on the report, “Israel’s proactive approach to fostering innovation in alternative proteins reflects our commitment to shaping a sustainable future for generations to come.”

aleph farm's cultivated meat
© Aleph Farms

Accelerating adoption

The authors highlight the report’s implications for global policymakers, industry leaders, and innovators. According to them, the Israeli food tech model helps assure investors of the market’s viability and inspires confidence in channeling capital into these technologies.

For policymakers, the authors highlight that bilateral and multinational collaborations, joint research and development, and the harmonization of standards are powerful instruments for constructing a robust global network and resources that eventually strengthen local stakeholders. They suggest that this cooperative approach can enhance the local industry’s strength and address market failures that hinder private sector growth, thereby boosting any country’s assets.

Regarding food industry stakeholders, they emphasize that large corporations should seize opportunities by initiating or expanding collaborations with alternative protein companies. Partnerships among farmers, food industries, pharmaceuticals, and food-tech startups can leverage collective expertise to scale up production and innovation in alternative proteins.

Lastly, the report emphasizes the potential for leveraging surplus agricultural side streams for alternative protein production to promote circularity in the food chain, optimize resources, and strengthen agricultural resilience.

Bruce Friedrich, president and founder of the Good Food Institute, comments, Alternative proteins are the one food systems climate intervention that analogizes to renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs).

“That’s true in two ways: First, renewables, EVs, and alt proteins are not trying to change the human desire to consume energy, drive, and eat meat; they’re changing the way these products are producedSecond, science and scaling in one part of the world can scale globally, because renewables, EVs, and alt proteins are market-based solutions that – once key challenges are addressed – can shoot up the global adoption curve quickly.

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