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Insects in the Service of Man: Review and Recommendations for the City of Afula as a Hub to Promote the Field - English version

Researchers
Dr. Gilead Fortuna , Idan Liebes , Shiri Freund-Koren
Cite As:
Fortuna Gilead , Liebes Idan , Freund-Koren Shiri . Insects in the Service of Man: Review and Recommendations for the City of Afula as a Hub to Promote the Field - English version Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2016. https://www.neaman.org.il/EN/Review-Recommendations-City-Afula-Hub-Promote-Field-En

Insects are of fundamental importance to the ecosystem on Earth and their existence is critical for human survival. Insects play a variety of roles in the service of man, while the full potential of using this option is found in various stages of research. In general, it can be estimated that the market for insect applications in the service of humans is on the rise worldwide, and has the potential for significant growth in the coming years. In this study, we classified the different aspects of insects in the service of humans into three main areas:

  • Insects in agriculture and public health
  • Insects as a source of food and feed
  • Insect-based systems and materials

In Israel, the interest in insects for the service of mankind is scattered across a number of small centers in the academe, industry, and the world of entrepreneurship. The international review that has been conducted and the interviews that took place with key people in the field seem to indicate that the areas of agriculture and food have the greatest potential in the immediate to medium term.

As part of developing an action plan, we examined a number of possible alternatives for founding a center to promote insect activity in the service of man. Afula, as an urban center surrounded by agriculture, is suited to serve as a basis for activities related to insects in the service of man, and its leaders have even expressed a willingness and desire to promote this issue as part of the continued development of the Entrepreneurship Centre recently established there. At the national level, an examination of the Israeli angle shows that dealing with insects in the service of humans has a positive momentum and shows signs, even if preliminary, of a healthy mix of research, development, and manufacturing. Although it is necessary to move through the breakthrough phase, which may take several years, Israel is well positioned to build industry-leading capabilities in this area at the global level, in both the academic and business spheres.

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