Upgrading the Economic System of the North

In mid-2014, SNI joined a venture with the Ministry of Economic and Industrie, aimed at drafting a plan for substantial improvement of the economic status of the North. During 2015, the project was completed and a summary report, which includes an analysis of the socioeconomic situation in the north, and recommendations to realize change-generating infrastructure anchors and non-linear growth generators, was submitted to the Government. The program's outline was approved by the government in 2015, and in 2016 the government discussed in detailsthe recommended subjects, with the support of the Samuel Neaman Institute.

The plan’s goals, as drafted, were to achieve growth of the economic system in the North, generate a significant improvement in the socio-economic status of the population in the North, promote a joint collaborative economy of the Arab and Jewish populations in the north, realize the potential of the Arab population as leverage for growth, change the negative migration trend from the North, and attract a strong population.


Game changers - infrastructure anchors: Moving the IDF's VMSs to the North, the extension of the Haifa Port (the northern port), the construction of an international airport, and promotion and leveraging of transportation projects in the North as a socio-economic lever for all sectors.

Growth engines: Establishment and promotion of a life sciences cluster in the North, promoting a water industry cluster; promotion of innovation and productivity in the classical industries of the North; integration of the Arab sector into a united economy of the North as a common economy and growth engine; promotion of tourism and pilgrimage in the North; development of the ultra-Orthodox population in the North as a productive community; and promotion of small and medium-size businesses in the North.

At the end of 2016, supporting decisions were made and a budget was submitted for some of the recommended growth engines, including part of a cluster of life sciences in the North, promoting innovation and productivity in the classical industry in the north, strengthening the Arab sector as a growth engine, and business promotion. Most of the recommended infrastructure anchors (change generators) have already been implemented; for example, the expansion of Haifa port, leveraging and expanding the transportation infrastructure, and its completion. Also, the establishment of the International Airport has been approved but has been delayed because of the residents' opposition, and the transfer of armour production and maintenance centers to the North is currently under detailed study by all relevant government bodies.

Some of the overall system recommendations have not yet been realized by government decisions, including the integration of the Arab sector in the northern economy as a joint economy, the development of the ultra-Orthodox population in the north as a productive community, and the expansion of life sciences development to the entire northern region.

During 2016, a team of the Neaman Institute supported the process leading Haifa University, led by its new president, to formulate a challenging strategy that is expected to strengthen the north of the country and the city of Haifa.


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