Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed a cooperation agreement with Kinarot-Jordan Valley Technology Incubator, which focuses on water technologies. Villaraigosa led a delegation of top municipal officials, which includes Los Angeles Department of Water & Power CEO H. David Nahai.
The collaboration will be of great interest to Israeli water technology start-ups, which will be able to use Los Angeles Department of Water & Power facilities for pilot projects. Israel Venture Association chairwoman Dr. Orna Berry arranged the contact between Kinarot and the Los Angeles municipality.
Villaraigosa told "Globes", "Israel is a global leader in high-tech and environmental solutions. As such, we intend to utilize the know-how of our Israeli friends to deal with the challenges we face from drought and global warming."
During his visit, Villaraigosa also met Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, toured Sderot, and signed a security and anti-terrorism cooperation agreement between Ben Gurion Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.
Villaraigosa recently unveiled a 20-year strategic plan to deal with Los Angeles' water shortage. Israel, it turns out, is not the only place suffering from declining rainfall and reduced water sources. The cooperation agreement with Kinarot will include working relations in water R&D ventures and academic studies, which will also encompass the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). The Los Angeles municipality also intends to learn from Kinarot how to set up water technology incubator, which it plans to establish on a 28-acre site in the city.
Vancouver-based Stern Partners acquired Kinarot in 2006. Kinarot's CEO is Assaf Barnea.
"Globes": How will collaboration with Kinarot be implemented?
Barnea: "We offer our ties with Mekorot National Water Company, with whom we cooperate. Israeli companies will have an open door for testing technologies at Los Angeles' water facilities, which will test and install suitable technologies."
Mekorot has not signed an agreement with the Los Angeles municipality, but it cannot be ruled out that the Department of Water & Power may apply Mekorot's water management water reuse know-how.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 18, 2008
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