US-based confectioner Mars has partnered with international venture capital fund Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) to pursue innovative tech solutions for global food, agriculture and nutrition challenges in Israel.

Under the new partnership, Mars will focus on start-ups and support the formation of companies.

The company will work with Israeli academic institutions, such as the Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, Migall and Tel Hai College to further foodtech innovations.

JVP founder and executive chairman Erel Margalit said: “Israel has been a case study for how innovation can change a country and transform the world.

“After building global companies and solutions in cybersecurity, AI and big data, Israel has set its sights on food as the next frontier. As food and nutrition needs change around the world, we need to create more nutritious, accessible and sustainable food solutions.

“And by partnering with Mars, one of the world’s most iconic brands at the forefront of innovation, we are confident in Israel’s ability to be the food tech leader of the future.”

The partnership aims to address sustainability issues with scalable solutions for the challenges of feeding humanity in a way that preserves the environment.

“Mars is passionate about leveraging leading science and technology to innovate.”

As part of this initiative, Mars Edge and the Mars Advanced Research Institute will explore the converging fields of food, health and technology for the next generation of agriculture and nutrition.

The partnership between JVP and Mars is part of JVP’s Foodtech initiative to transform the Upper Galilee region of Israel into the global food-tech epicentre.

Mars Innovation, Science, Technology & Mars Edge president Jean-Christophe Flatin said: “Mars is passionate about leveraging leading science and technology to innovate. Our ambition is to provide people around the world with consumer-centric products, services and experiences.

“One example is personalised nutrition solutions that fit an individual’s lifestyle by reconciling the food they want with the nutrition they need. We are clear that we need forward-thinking partnerships and collaborations to do this.”