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Negev Desert to Bloom with High-Tech Industry

Israel's Ministry of Finance has approved the government's plans to back a high-tech research and development park in the Negev Desert next to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva. The project is expected to provide hundreds of jobs as well as stimulate investments in the region. Last year, only 0.3% of the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into new Israeli start-up companies reached southern Israel, Beer-Sheva's Mayor Yaacov Terner says the high-tech park will lead to the development of much needed advanced industry in the Negev.

BGU President Aivshay Braverman called the high-tech park "a historic step in the development of the Negev." He predicted the part would facilitate the re-distribution of Israel's population and lessen the widening social and economic gaps in Israeli society.

According to BGU's President Braverman: "The R&D high-tech park will be the only high-tech site in Israel to be developed in conjunction with a university." BGU is doubling its number of computer sciences and engineering graduates and offers Israel's only Communications Systems Engineering degree. Braverman says the park will attract global high-tech industries and students from all over Israel. Mayor Terner believes the new industries the park will bring to Beer-Sheva will persuade the city's young, educated population to remain in the region.

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