COPIA Agro & Food Technologies (COPIA), established in 2014, is an Israeli impact fund that leads the transformation of proven Agricultural & Food disruptive technologies, originating from Israeli research institutions and universities, into robust solutions that carry the promise of adding significant value across the food supply chain. COPIA’s impact investments promote technologies that address substantial market potential and global challenges, such as Food Security, Climate Change, and the Negative Impact of Agriculture on the Environment.
COPIA secures early access to a rich funnel of innovative technologies through its extensive network in the Israeli AgriFood Ecosystem. By applying a meticulous screening process, the fund selects the technologies with the highest return potential, funds them and leads their transformation into market-ready products and processes, all in close collaboration form early stage with strategic industrial partners from the relevant verticals and market segments. This process ensures efficient and cost-effective transformation of the technologies into viable products and processes.
COPIA completes its portfolio by investing in seed rounds of Israeli Agricultural and Food start-up companies with excellent teams and disruptive proven technologies.
COPIA contributes to the world’s sustainability by bridging the gap between academia and industry and transforming proven Ag & Food scientific breakthroughs into robust solutions.
COPIA invests in Agricultural and Food technologies in research institutes and universities as well as in start-up companies that address key global challenges related to Agriculture and Food, aiming to reduce the environmental degradation caused by modern agriculture, to increase global food security and safety, and to promote climate change mitigation.
The technologies are transformed into products and processes that can make the global food supply chain safer, more efficient and sustainable in the following areas:
Ag Biotechnology: On-farm inputs for crop and animal ag, including genetics, soil microbiome, breeding and animal health
Novel Farming Systems: Indoor farms, aquaculture, insect, algae and microbe production
Farm Management Software, Sensing and IoT: Ag-data capturing devices, decision support software and big data analytics
Innovative Food: Plant-based meat, cultured meat and dairy, novel ingredients and nutraceuticals or innovative supplements
Bioenergy & Biomaterials: Non-food extraction & processing, feedstock technology, green-chemistry and cannabis pharmaceuticals
Midstream Technologies: Food safety & traceability tech, logistics & transport, processing tech and shelf-life enhancement
These technologies should meet the following criteria:
Meet COPIA’s Impact Strategy
Have passed the proof-of-concept phase
Address a well-defined un-met market need
Have sufficiently large and growing markets
Can be commercialized in a solid business model within two to four years
Have a strong IP position
Are led by a strong R&D team with a proven track record
COPIA’s investments are evaluated and measured according to the following impact indicators:
Reduction of waste in food and agriculture
Reduction of the negative environmental impact of agriculture on soil, water and air, caused by chemical fertilizers and pesticides
CO2 emission reduction
Advanced human impact on agriculture and food (increase livelihood, employment, nutrition etc.)
Platform to develop new molecules to avoid plants’ infection by bacteria
Biological control of Root-Knot nematodes based on soil-borne bacteria
Anti-fungal plant disease products based on bacteria and their extracted compounds
Delivery system of crop protection compounds to the phloem
Anti-insect products based on novel pheromones
Development of environment-friendly crop protection product against pathogenic bacteria and fungi, based on antimicrobial compounds derived from microalgae
Seed & Breeding
Method to breed salt-tolerant plants
Biological seed treatments, which enhances tolerance to pathogenic fungi
Method and device to detect cow pregnancy via milk
Novel Farming Systems
Biological treatment against aquaculture diseases
A reactor for removal of bad taste and odor from aquaculture systems
Viral systems to enable gene-expression in fish for development of novel vaccines and accelerate growth
Active compounds against metabolic syndrome (diabetes and fatty liver)
Bioenergy & Biomaterials
Synthetic cells as personalized functional food for elder population
Natural preservative for food and beverages
Midstream Food Technologies
Biological treatment against bacteria-infected leafy vegetables
Reduction of food waste technology by identifying the ripeness level of stored produce
Device to remove toxic compounds during coffee and wine production
Development of surface anti-biofilm coating for the food, agricultural, healthcare and other industries equipment
Eyal’s expertise and talent for recognizing and exploiting inherent business opportunities as well as his agile project development skills add value to COPIA’s capabilities to transform academic technologies into robust products and solutions. As a multidisciplinary manager with more than 20 years of hands-on experience, managing companies, leading local and global sales, business development, strategic planning, project management and marketing of products in industrial and technological markets, Eyal played an active role in bringing new technologies and innovations to fruition in startups and mature companies.
Eyal holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Economy (TAU), MBA (the Technion).
Ohad, a seasoned manager with a long career in Ag & Food, including managerial positions and BOD membership in vegetable and field crop seeds, microalgae, seedlings and tissue culture companies, brings to COPIA strong leadership and strategic planning capabilities, coupled with vast knowledge in management and deal-making in the agriculture sector. Ohad managed Zeraim Gedera, a leading Israeli seed company, transformed it from a local family business to a multinational company and eventually sold it first to a private equity fund and then to Syngenta at a valuation of USD $95 million.
Ohad holds a BSc. Agriculture (Hebrew University), Executive MBA, joint degree (Kellogg, Northwestern University and Recanati, TAU).
Yoel, who strengthens the team with vast finance experience in the technology sector, has been serving as CFO of VC funds and early stage technology companies in multiple sectors including Eurekify (acquired by CA), Solaredge (Nasdaq: SEDG) and Dynaseq (acquired by Checkpoint). Yoel is an expert in fund formation and administration, international financial management, corporate financing, and deal management from structuring through execution.
Edly, a seasoned private investor in early stage innovative companies, has served as the Chairman of Yad Chaim Weizmann since 2004 and is a veteran trustee of Yeda, Weizmann Institute’s TTO. Experienced in finance & investments and their interface with academia, Edly has been (and remains) involved in several successful investments in the Agro/Food/Cleantech sphere.
Jonathan is the CEO of the The Kitchen, Israel’s leading Food-Tech Incubator backed by The Strauss Group (a USD 2.5B food company) and the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Economic Ministry. In the past, he held various management positions, both in the food and in the hi-tech industries, such as GM of Itzhar Food (an edible oil company active in Israel and internationally). Highly experienced in building and funding early stage companies, Jonathan advised Greylock and Precede (VCs) and was the CEO of Elam LyTec.
Ziv is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur with a successful 20-year track record in a variety of industries, multinational enterprises and small companies. Ziv Co-Founded and was the CEO of GuiMachine, (sold to SAP). Ziv then served as SAP Senior Vice President, responsible for building a developer-partner network. He has also served as SVP & GM of Time-To-Know Inc., an educational technology company that developed a digital learning platform. Ziv has held managerial and business development roles in companies in the medical, service, and energy arenas.
Galit combines professional, business and managerial experience. She gained her industrial expertise in Phytopathology, Biotechnology and Precision Agriculture during her tenure as senior executive Hazera Genetics, Taranis and Morflora. Galit holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Hebrew University, and MBA from the Academic Business Administration, Rishon Lezion.
Daniella is an advisor to food and food supplements companies, specialized in the design of sustainable systems, product development, manufacturing and extraction methods. She gained her experience as EVP of Ran Herbs and EVP and Acting CEO at Mycolivia. Daniella studied Permaculture Design at Talia Schnieder School, Integrated herbal medicine at Wild Rose College, British Colombia, and Introduction of organic agriculture of the Israeli Bio-organic association.
Extensive entrepreneurial, managerial, R&D and business experience, working with both startups and investors in the life sciences and bio-medical industry. Gained his experience at Stockton Group, TK Signal, Peptor, ProCognia (formerly GlycoData) and Collgard Biopharmaceutical. Acts as the Administrative Manager and Business Advisor to the “Root-of-the-Matter” knowledge hub. A Senior Lecturer at Ariel University and an Associate Lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Haifa University and Azrieli College of Engineering, Jerusalem. Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Microbiology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MBA degree from the EMBA Program of the Arison School of Business, the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
Eitan is a multi-disciplinary manager, experienced in leading and developing ventures from idea to product, including strategy formation, product development, operations and business development. He gained his experience in aquaculture, ag-tech, clean-tech and aerospace during his tenure at Latimeria, Kayamut Solutions, Effective Space Solutions and Pisga Engineering.
Eitan holds a Joint MBA from Tel Aviv University and Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, USA) and BA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from The Interdisciplinary Center, Zell Entrepreneurship Program (Israel).
Zvika is a Certified Public Accountant with vast experience in management and business development. Zvika is an acting CEO and CFO at Valentis Nano and Cinnaxole Pharma, Ex-CFO at Capital Nature, an Israeli VC. Zvika is highly experienced in academia-industry cooperation (he is the ex-CFO at the Hebrew University TTO and a BOD member at Ariel University TTO).
Zvika holds a Bachelor degree of Arts in Accounting and Economics and MBA in Finance and Accounting from Tel Aviv University.
Shirley is highly experienced in investments, business development and academia-industry cooperation. Shirley led investment opportunities from deal-flow introduction to exit as VP Investments at Capital Nature, a cleantech focused incubator and Poalim Ventures and serves as a Senior VP Business Development at BGN Technologies.
Shirley holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts and MBA from Tel Aviv University.
Ramon serves as Director – International Business with Brandt Consolidated, USA. He holds a PhD in Zoology/Entomology from the University of Reading, UK and held a Post Doctorate position from the University of California, Berkeley. He served in various managerial positions in research, development, marketing and international business with companies such as Biosys, Thermo Trilogy (Now Certis USA), Valent Biosciences and Brandt. Ramon has global experience in business development & management, product development, negotiating business development and licensing agreements, developing application technologies and training programs and marketing / sales strategies of crop protection and production technologies.
Prof. Gressel, Professor Emeritus, Weizmann Institute of Science, has been awarded the Israel Prize for Agriculture and is considered as one of Israel’s most prolific scientists. He has chaired the Israel Plant Tissue Culture & Molecular Biology Association, the Israel Weed Science Society, and served as president of the International Weed Science Society. He is an editor or a member of the editorial boards of 11 scientific journals. Food security and the reliance of the world population on only four crops for 80% of their calories stimulated him to write a highly-acclaimed book on how under-domesticated and forgotten crops might be further domesticated into widespread cultivation by transgenically assisting them to breach the “Genetic Glass Ceiling” that holds them back.
Prof. Rabinowitch, Professor Emeritus, The R H Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The R H Smith Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been awarded the Rothschild Prize for Agriculture and is considered one of Israel’s most innovative scientists. He led the development of many products commercialized by the agriculture industry. His scientific expertise includes plant physiology, crop improvement including yield, quality disease resistance and tolerance to biotic and a-biotic stress conditions, floral and fertility restoration in garlic, oxygen toxicity in plants, seed production, soil solarization and plant genetic resources. Haim served as head of his department, elected Chair of the Faculty Research Committee, elected Dean of his Faculty, and elected Rector of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He chaired the Scientific Board of the Israeli Gene Bank and represented Israel in numerous professional international committees. He published scientific books and over 140 papers in professional journals, and currently leads one of the largest research groups at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Haim serves on a number of public professional committees.
Prof. Avraham A. Levy, Member of the Plant and Environmental Sciences department and dean of the Faculty of Biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot. Prof. Levy is an expert in plant genetics, genomics and biotechnology. As such, he published dozens of articles and book chapters, he is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences, an inventor of patents in plant genomics and genome editing, an ERC fellow and a recipient of the Landau Prize 2016 in Plant Sciences. He serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Board of Evogene, Inc. and as a consultant to Protalix Biotherapeutics ltd.