The National Center for Blue Economy

The National Center for Blue Economy

Hicenter, alongside the Haifa municipality and the Israeli government, established the National Center for Blue Economy in January 2022.

The vision of the National Center for Blue Economy is to lead the innovation and entrepreneurship in all aspects of maritime space, in Israel. A crucial component of the vision recognizes that Israel, with its existing development, innovation, and technological entrepreneurial capabilities, can and should be a provider of global solutions for maritime space and climate crisis.

The National Center for Blue Economy's primary goal is to create a framework that will support the development of innovative sea-oriented technologies, based on creating a broad partnership of all infrastructure in Haifa, including knowledge, research and information, institutions, and marine infrastructure.


HiCenter – The Business Technology Entrepreneurship Center in Haifa’s Innovation District


Meet Haifa

Haifa is Israel’s third largest city, home to the largest port in Israel. It is the only city in Israel with 4 hospitals and 4 ports within its jurisdiction. Two of Israel’s leading academic institutions are located within the city: The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and the University of Haifa. Haifa also contains multiple high-tech centers and technology accelerators.  

Our Mission

To accelerate the technological entrepreneurship ecosystem in the city of Haifa in a synergic corporation with the city’s infrastructure. 

Hicenter is leading the entrepreneurial business-technology growth in the innovation district, supporting startups and entrepreneurs in creating excellent companies, and developing the accurate business climate to leverage their success. 

Our vision is to enable these successful companies to grow within the city, as catalysts of Haifa’s technological industry and economy. 

Since its establishment, HiCenter is leading the startup ecosystem in Haifa; initiating and promoting public events and managing an Investors Club, creating a community of investors from all over the world. 

HiCenter is a municipal company connecting the city’s infrastructure (industry, ports, hospitals and universities) to promote startups as the growth engine of the city.

As part of this framework, we support startups in their business and fundraising efforts, and provide them direct financial incentives, through InVENTech and HiFund programs.

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Lior Hanuka
CEO at HiCenter Ventures 

Lior is the CEO of hiCenter Ventures, a business-technology entrepreneurship center in Haifa’s Innovation District. HiCenter operates today through three major units: IN-VENTech is a unique start-up accelerator program that supports 31 technology companies. HiFund is a Technology Investment house that supports Haifa’s start-up companies, raising funds from Angels and VC.The National Center for Maritime Innovation and Blue Economy - leading the innovation and entrepreneurship in all aspects of maritime space, in Israel. A crucial component of the vision recognizes that Israel, with its existing development, innovation, and technological entrepreneurial capabilities, can and should be a provider of global solutions for maritime space and climate crisis.

Launching the National Center of Blue Economy and Innovation

  - Broadcast banner will be published on TheMarker website  - 

 The National Conference of Blue Economy and Innovation

4.7.22 | 10:00-16:00 | The Bahá’í World Centre Golomb 16, Haifa



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About the conference

The prosperity and security of many nations rely on the maritime space in their region. For several decades now, this space has been undergoing major geopolitical and environmental changes. Population growth and rising living standards are increasing the pressure on maritime spaces, due to the need to discover and extract new resources.


In light of these challenges and conflicts, the field of the blue economy has emerged, reflecting the need to realize the great economic potential of marine space in an intelligent and sustainable manner, while maintaining balance and committing to minimizing the damage to marine ecology and conserving marine resources for future generations.


In recent years, the maritime economy has been labeled as a crucial economic sector of coastal countries and a key component of the global economy. The EU expects it to be the fastest growing component, both in terms of its contribution to national accounts (in terms of monetary value) and its contribution to the job market. According to the World Bank, the market value of maritime resources and industries is $3 trillion a year, constituting nearly 5% of global GDP.


Meanwhile, the EU, together with the United For Mediterranean organization (UfM), has promoted a joint initiative to devise a blue growth strategy for the countries of the eastern and southern Mediterranean basins.


The Blue Economy policy (also known as "Blue Growth") was adopted by the State of Israel and implemented in the policy document prepared by the Planning Administration for the "Management of Israel's Maritime Space", which were approved in 2019.


The rise in environmental initiatives has led to a growth of over one trillion dollars in the green bond market! This paved the way for blue bonds, which foster an innovative avenue for financing solutions in the maritime arena, and sustainable business opportunities.


Contents and Seats


First Session: Blue Growth | How to Invest Underwater?
The global blue economy is estimated at about $3 trillion a year, making it the seventh largest economy in the world based on GDP. Blue bonds are today where green bonds used to be a decade ago. In this session, we will discuss the huge potential of the blue economy as a national growth engine, leading economic trends in the field, and planned capital investments.


How can we ensure a well-financed for a sustainable future in oceans and seas? From Blue Bonds to Funds - What financial tools are available to us
to encourage sustainable investment in oceans and seas? What are the
key barriers to financing an ocean economy?


Second Session: Blue Tech | From Altneuland to the City of the Future - 

In 1902, Herzl predicted in his book The Altneuland, that Haifa will be the city of the future. 120 years later, the State of Israel declared Haifa as the capital of Israel's blue economy and innovation.
This session will present, the best Israeli marine technologies, serving as a source of inspiration for further technological development from the National Center of Blue Economy and Innovation in Haifa. The session will also present the key challenges and technological opportunities of the blue economy.


Third Session: Blue Ocean | Resilience of the marine ecosystem

The climate-regulating ocean that supports ecosystem services is vital

for the functioning of the Earth's natural systems.

How to create a layer of protection against anthropogenic pressures and climate change and maintain a healthy ocean that supports a sustainable ocean economy?


Fourth Session - National challenges in the maritime space

How to maintain healthy sources of nutrition while conserving our ecosystems - sustainable fishing or cultured fish? how will our plate look like, by the end of the century?


Fifth Session: Sea sustains

In this session we will discuss national challenges in the maritime space in the worlds of infrastructure, energy, shipping, and security, and examine how they affect the promotion of a sustainable blue economy.


Sixth Session: Waterfront - Leisure, Tourism, Culture, Communities

This session will focus on the unique characteristics of Haifa as a cosmopolitan city, the interaction between city and port, and on the promotion of education and maritime culture, and sustainable tourism in the maritime space.


The conference will be attended by government ministers and senior officials from the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors; representatives of the European Union and international organizations promoting the blue economy in the Mediterranean; mayors, key municipal and government officials, CEOs of leading companies in the maritime space, CEOs of start-ups and top academics and oceanographers; stakeholders in the field and thought leaders.

The speakers

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Maj. Gen. (ret.) Orna Barbivai

Minister of Economy & Industry

The host mayor

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Dr. Einat Kalisch-Rotem

Mayor of Haifa

Galit Cohen

Director General of the Ministry of Environmental Protection

Yuval Admon

Deputy Head of the National Economic Council Prime Minister's Office

Prof. Noga Kronfeld-Schor

Chief Scientist the Ministry of Environmental Protection

Rani Amir

Director of the National Unit for the Protection of the Marine Environment

Josef Melchner

Co.Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Gili Ocean

Eilon Badil

CEO of Aradg and Chairman of Israeli Fish

Naama Kaufman-Pess

Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Lior Hanukkah

CEO of HiCenter

Dr. Michael Levy

Chief Scientist and VP Leith for leveraging R&D and innovation Ministry of Agriculture

Adv. Merav Niv Geva

Head of envorinment & Clean-Tech, GROSS & CO Law Firm

Prof. Avi Domb

Chief Scientist Ministry of Science and Technology

Alon Zask

Director General of the Institute for Marine and Lake Research

Hilla Haddad

Director General - Ministry of Innovation

Mr Ioannis Typaldos

Director Integrate Maritime Ecosystem Directorate Rebublic of Cyprus

Prof. Eric Diamant

Research Fellow, Morris Kahn Marine Research Station, Haifa University

Adv. Bar Rozov

Adam Teva V'Din

Yoni Izakov

Chief Executive Officer Coral Energy Services

Ami Ayalon

ret. Commander of the Navy, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Center for Marine Strategy, University of Haifa

Dr Moshe bareket

Director General, Israel Capital Markets, Insurance and Saving Authority

Dr. David Rutstein

Secretary General of the Bahá’í International Community

Dr. Ami Appelbaum

Chairman of the Board, Israel Innovation Authority

Prof. Rachelle Alterman

Technion and the Neaman Institute for National Policy Research

Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank

Head of the Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa

Ami Daniel

Co-Founder & CEO, Windward

Nachshon zuk

Acting Deputy Mayor

Prof. Shaul Horev

Head of the Center for Marine Policy and Strategy Research, University of Haifa

Dr. Moshe Barkat

Commissioner of the Capital Market Insurance and Savings Authority, Ministry of Finance

Hodeda Sassi

Director, Head of Naval Programs Division

Pini Moria

Sviva Swiss AG

The content managaer of the conference


Hila Ehrenreich

Hila Ehrenreich is an expert in public administration. For the past 15 years she has been involved in coaching and leading public entities in the fields of infrastructure and the environment. She has initiated and run courses and conferences in the field of marine infrastructure, and served as CEO of the Mediterranean Coastal Cliffs Preservation Government Company. Currently, she coaches start-up companies in the field of maritime infrastructure, after founding a company that specializes in smart waste management.

Conference initiator and director

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Benny Moran

Benny Moran is the CEO and owner of "BMP - Benny Moran Management and Production Programs Ltd." The company was established from 1990 and has been operating ever since as a leading content management company, specializing in the creation of international and local conferences, business events and cultural events. BMP is an entrepreneurial company that provides a 360 ° solution for all conference infrastructure: financing, collaborations, content creation, management and operation of the conference.

The conference will be held in the Baha'i Gardens, for pre-registration only.
Hybrid conference, filmed and broadcast live.
Conference Communication:
  • Press ads in TheMarker
  • A comprehensive advertising campaign
  • Mailing newsletter widely to opinion leaders
  • Intensive PR activity
The conference will be broadcast via several platforms:
  • Broadcast banner will be published on The Marker's website  
  • On the official website of the conference
  • Will be published on Infospot
  • In the digital assets of the conference partners
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

For the first time, the conference will be hosted in the city of Haifa | Bahai gardens

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The city of Haifa, built around a port in the early 18th century, has three ports, major naval bases, and top marine research centers of the Technion, the University of Haifa and the Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute. The city is also home to regulatory bodies of the Israel Port Authority, and the Marine environment protection unit, while being a magnet for development and innovation in the maritime space.


Haifa’s title as the blue economy capital of Israel positions its international status as a leading port city in innovation, development and conservation of the marine environment.


At the upcoming conference, the Haifa Municipality will inaugurate its new status as the blue economy capital of Israel, present its strategic vision for the marine economy, and propose directions for realizing the potential in selected areas, including investment in infrastructure, research and technology and recommendations for adjusting the regulation to the existing needs and challenges.


Ha-Namal St 39, Haifa. POB 33316.  

P: 04 – 8622333 F: 073 – 2229333 |  M:

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