The Israeli Track of the Merage
DeserTech Competition

Israeli Startups solving Desert Challenges

Climate change increases the size of deserts globally and by 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience" absolute water scarcity. It is necessary for humanity to adapt to living under extreme climate conditions.  The Merage DeserTech competition invites Israeli startups to participate and offer their novel solutions to desert challenges, which will affect more than 9 billion people by 2050.

Explore how your solution can address desert challenges and how you can engage in this emerging sector.

Why Should You Apply?

Win a Grant

The 4 winners will receive a NIS 25,000 grant +
The winning Negev-based company will get a $75,000 equity investment


With the DeserTech vibrant ecosystem


Gain global exposure and expand your network


With leading companies from the UK and the Netherlands looking to collaborate with Israeli companies

Who Can Apply?

Israeli startups in the sectors of water, renewable energy, agriculture, infrastructure, or other sectors that have an impactful solution to solve desert-related challenges The competition invite both early and advance stage companies!

Evaluation Process

The startups solution will be evaluated by:​​



Companies are requested to show how their solution can address one of the four challenges: extreme climate, water scarcity and availability, land degradation and remote & marginal living



Of the company’s solution to be implemented in arid environments



Degree of positive environmental, economic, and social impact of the company's solution to the given challenge

Scalability & commercialization


potential of the company's solution in the global market

The evaluation process will be conducted by an international judging committee consisting of leading experts from the industry and academia.


The judging committee will select 4 winning companies with the most promising solutions and readiness to implement their technologies in arid environments

Judging Committee

Eli Ben Simon

General Partner,



Dr. Inbar Maymon Pomeranchik




Yosef Abramowitz

Solar Pioneer; CEO,

Energiya Global Capital

Andrea Carignani-Di-Novoli

Minister Counsellor, Head of Research & Innovation Section,

Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel


Louise Baker

Managing Director,

The Global Mechanism of the UNCCD 

Jasper Van Mastrigt

First Secretary Water & Climate,

The Netherlands Embassy in Israel

Prof. Naftali Lazarovitch

Director, French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands,

Ben Gurion University

Amalia Paz

Co-Founder and Managing Partner,

Bricks Proptech Innovation

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Avital Eshet

Head of Economic Policy and Tech Innovation,

Ministry of Environmental Protection

Boaz Kantor

Managing Partner,

Gordian Climate Ventures

Denis Tkachuk

Head of BIRAX and Higher Education,

British Council Israel

Revital Levi

Head, R&D dpt.

Netive Israel

Yigal Erlich

Founder and chairman of Yozma management & investment and Yozma Asia,

Board Member-MATA

Dr Eli Abramov

Executive advisor, Chairman of the Innovation committee of the Israeli Manufacturing Association,

Board member - MATA

Liat Sverdlov

Investment Partner,


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