Crossborder alliances: What does the future hold for the regional cleantech sector- Gulf Business
By Zainab Mansoor
July 26, 2021
Asher Fredman, CEO of Gulf-Israel Green Ventures, discusses all thing sustainable with Gulf Business in the aftermath of the Abraham Accords
Tell us a bit about your partnership with UAE’s United Stars Group.
The United Stars Group (USG) is a private national multi-faceted group of companies, based in Abu Dhabi, which is committed to contributing to the economic development of the UAE, especially of the younger generation. Gulf-Israel Green Ventures and USG share a desire to realise the tremendous potential inherent in the Abraham Accords, as well as the understanding that sustainable development and greentech will be extremely important sectors in the coming years.
We are working together to bridge between the greentech ecosystems of our two countries, as well as to bring innovative Israeli technologies to the UAE. We are already pursuing several projects in the construction, hotel and oil & gas sectors.
What is the future of sustainable development projects in the GCC region?
On a global level, the international market for environmental technologies is expected to surpass $6 trillion by 2025. The GCC – and particularly, the UAE – has been a leader in implementing advanced sustainable technologies at scale, for example, in the fields of solar, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. At the same time, sustainable development will become increasingly important throughout the GCC, due to challenges such as water scarcity, rapid urban development, and climate change.
In addition to the impressive projects already being developed in the UAE, we are seeing new large-scale initiatives in the region, such as the recently- announced Saudi Green Initiative and the construction of NEOM. I believe that we will see similar large-scale projects in additional GCC countries such as Bahrain and Oman in the near future.
How can the two countries collaborate to develop the local cleantech ecosystem?
In the last Global Cleantech Innovation Index, Israel was ranked second in emerging cleantech innovation. In addition to hundreds of cleantech startups, Israel is home to a large number of successful incubators, accelerators, innovation hubs, R&D centers, and government-support mechanisms focused on cleantech. Beyond sharing knowledge, best practices and experience, we can create collaborations and joint ventures between entrepreneurs, accelerators, corporations and institutions in order to help develop and expand the cleantech ecosystems in both our countries.
What are the company’s long-term plans in the region?
Our vision is to create vibrant links between the leading entrepreneurs, companies and innovation hubs in Israel and the UAE. From the UAE, we plan to branch out both to other Abraham Accords countries and to other countries in the GCC. We believe that mutually-beneficial people-to-people cooperation on sustainable development issues can help lay the groundwork for a warm peace.
On the business level, we hope to ultimately mobilise and facilitate joint investments and funding, which will support UAE-Israel cleantech partnerships from early-stage research and development to commercialisation and scaling.