Mars, Inc., McLean, Va., partnered with Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), an Israel-based venture capital fund, to develop what is said to be the 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. Meanwhile, Mars Edge and the Mars Advanced Research Institute 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.

"Israel has been a case study for how innovation can change a country and transform the world," says Erel Margalit, founder and executive chairman of JVP. "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," says Jean-Christophe Flatin, president of innovation, science, technology and Mars Edge at Mars.

"We are eager to partner with JVP and tap into the innovative ecosystem of the Israeli food, health and technology community,” adds George Graham, vice president, Mars Advanced Research Institute. “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."