Green technology investment in the UAE and Israel could reach “hundreds of millions of dollars” in a few years as the countries focus on developing clean energy, according to an industry executive.
"There is tremendous potential for very large projects and for tailor-made, specific projects as well," Asher Fredman, chief executive of The Gulf-Israel Greentech Ventures, told The National.
GreenTech refers to a broad range of eco-friendly sectors such as recycling, water purification, energy efficiency and the conservation of natural resources. There has been significant global interest in Israel's advanced technology, especially water management systems.
Israel is arid in the south and east and recycles 90 per cent of its water - one of the highest rates worldwide.
Gulf-Israel Greentech Ventures, which provides Israeli start-ups with access to the UAE market, intends to play a bigger role in the financing of start-ups in the sectors of both countries.
Discussions are taking place to create “joint investment funds” that will look at research and development and allow technology developed in one country to be scaled up in the other, Mr Fredman said.
“[We have] to get to the level of co-creation, where it is not just one country producing and the other country consuming but, together, creating the cutting edge technology that [the] two countries in our region and the planet need,” he said.
Israel grows crops such as wheat, sorghum and corn using precision agriculture and drip irrigation, which waters about three quarters of its farmlands.
Mr Fredman said there is interest in Israel’s water management systems after the two countries normalised relations last September.
The UAE, which is largely arid, with only 0.8 per cent of land considered arable, has been looking to develop water and irrigation systems to grow more of its own crops.
“Projects related to utilities and smart meter projects related to oil and gas” are also becoming more popular, Mr Fredman said.
Gulf-Israel Greentech Ventures is optimistic about reverse flows in the future, which will allow it to benefit from knowledge transfers from UAE companies.
The company signed an agreement with the UAE’s United Stars Group yesterday to integrate Israeli GreenTech into a commercial and residential property project.
Mr Fredman declined to name the Israeli companies involved but said the 60-floor, mixed-use commercial and residential development will be retrofitted.
Companies in Israel are also looking at opportunities in Bahrain's green building and energy efficiency market. The kingdom normalised ties with Israel last year.