Mars, Incorporated Partners With Jerusalem Venture Partners to Foster Foodtech Solutions In Israel

New collaboration with leading Israeli academic research institutions will focus on food, wellness, agriculture, and nutrition.

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JERUSALEM and MCLEAN, Virginia, May 15, 2019 (PRNewswire) — Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), a leading international venture capital fund, announced Wednesday a new partnership with Mars, Incorporated, on a first-of-its-kind research and development agreement in Israel aiming to pursue innovative tech solutions for global food, agriculture and nutrition challenges.

By collaborating on R&D investment, Mars will support Israeli start-ups and the formation of companies, and will work together with leading Israeli academic institutions, such as the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, Migall and Tel Hai College, among others, to further Foodtech innovations. Mars Edge and the Mars Advanced Research Institute, representing Mars, will explore the converging fields of food, health and technology fueling the next generation of agriculture and nutrition. The partnership will tackle major global sustainability issues by providing scalable solutions to the challenges of feeding humanity in a way that preserves and protects the environment. It has the potential to unlock opportunities in the emerging space of personalized nutrition.

"Israel has been a case study for how innovation can change a country and transform the world," said JVP Founder and Executive Chairman Erel Margalit. "After building global companies and solutions in cybersecurity, AI and big data, Israel has set its sights on food as the next frontier. As food and nutrition needs change around the world, we need to create more nutritious, accessible and sustainable food solutions. And by partnering with Mars, one of the world's most iconic brands at the forefront of innovation, we are confident in Israel's ability to be the food tech leader of the future."

"Mars is passionate about leveraging leading science and technology to innovate. Our ambition is to provide people around the world with consumer centric products, services and experiences. One example is personalized nutrition solutions that fit an individual's lifestyle by reconciling the food they want with the nutrition they need. We are clear that we need forward-thinking partnerships and collaborations to do this," said Jean-Christophe Flatin, President of Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge at Mars.

George Graham, Vice President, Mars Advanced Research Institute said: "We are eager to partner with JVP and tap into the innovative ecosystem of the Israeli food, health and technology community. This exciting collaboration will help us access and be part of solutions specific to global challenges in the food system related to ag tech, nutrition and food security."

Mars brings its legacy of scientific rigor, commitment to science and technology, and track record of convening partners to address complex societal issues, particularly those intensified by climate change.

For twenty-five years, JVP has served as a world-renowned international venture capital fund based out of Israel, and now identifies Foodtech as one of the most impactful spaces of tomorrow. Around the world, agriculture and foodtech startups raised $16.9 billion in 2018, which represents a 43% increase over the previous year, according to a 2018 AgFunder report. And Israel is continuing to grow its presence in the ecosystem, with over 230 active AgriFood tech startups. As such, JVP has made the strategic decision to invest in and build globally disruptive technologies in this field.

The JVP-Mars R&D Partnership is part of JVP's Foodtech initiative to transform Israel's Upper Galilee region into the global Foodtech epicenter. Israel's connection to other global "tech" hubs, ranging from the U.S. East Coast to Singapore, will help Mars further its efforts to drive global conversations and help lead the industry toward solutions for a more sustainable and healthy future.

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