Our Team

Our team comprises a diverse group of independent professionals who share a common vision: to establish the Jordan Valley as a “Living Lab” and an engine of economic growth for the region, stretching from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea and encompassing the adjacent areas of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. We aim to provide an environment that will cultivate, foster and enable innovative thinking and result in the creation of new, pragmatic and potentially profitable Agriculture and Food technology solutions and businesses that will in turn create new technology based employment opportunities in the region.

The Board of Directors

Ret. Gen. Ilan Biran

Chairman of the board at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, director at Israel Discount Bank, chairman of Plana Sasa Ltd, chairman of Melodea Bio Based Solutions, and a director at Itamar Medical Ltd. Ilan is a seasoned public officer with an illustrious career of 35 years in the Israeli Defense Forces. Ilan’s business career began as CEO of Bezeq, the Israeli Telecommunications infrastructure and services company. He also served as chairman of the board of Yes, chairman of the board of Bet Shemesh Engines, and held directorships with companies such as Israel Aerospace Industries, Netafim, Massad Bank and Delta 3. In 2003, Ilan was awarded an honorary PhD by the Technion for his contribution to the defense industry. For the past 9 years, Ilan serves as chairman of the management committee of the Kinneret Academic College and on the board of the Kinneret Innovation Center.

Mr. Kalman Kaufman

A leading figure in Israeli industry, a senior executive, a visionary, a seasoned entrepreneur and an experienced investor. Kalman founded a large number of companies in the field of electronics. He serves as a member of the Management Board of the Kinneret Academic College and as chair of the Israeli Institute of Innovative Science and Technology Policy, and other NPOs designed to promote education in Israel. Kalman is chairman of the board of Medasense Biometrics and Invisia Ltd, and also serves as a Director at Tower Semiconductors and Jordan Valley Semiconductors. Previously he served as chairman of the board at the Kinneret Academic College, Corporate VP for Applied Materials USA and as President of KLA Tencor Israel. Kalman is the driving force and Chairman of the Kinneret Innovation Center.

Mr. Miki Lev

CEO of the Kinneret Academic College since 2016, Miki comes from a business background and with extensive experience as a senior executive at some of the largest retail organizations in Israel (e.g. Tnuva, Blue Square/Mega). Prior to his position at the Kinneret Academic College, Miki was Head of the Learning Division at the Institute of Leadership and Governance (JDC). Miki acquired a Masters degree from the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. USA. Prior to that Miki served as a fighter pilot and commander of squadrons in the Israeli Air force.

Mr. Gur Shahar

Gur is well versed in the financial realm, having served as CFO in private and public companies in diverse areas of commerce both in Israel and the USA. Gur is business driven and deeply involved in substantial business activities. He contributes and participates in private and public capital raising operations, as an investor or as an employee. Gur has proven success in corporate recovery during financial crises and is currently the CFO of the Zemach Regional Industries Ltd.

Mr. Menashe Shalom

CEO of Zemach Regional Industries Ltd, a cooperative owned by 32 Kibbutzim and other agricultural businesses in the Jordan Valley, Israel. With over 30 years experience in agriculture management, Menashe is an expert in the sale, marketing and financial management of agricultural businesses. He led the agricultural business management of several kibbutzim over the last two decades, innovating and driving through significant change in traditionally conservative businesses and communities. After managing the businesses of Kibbutz Amiad for three years, Menashe was appointed chairman of the Kibbutz, where he served until 2015. Menashe also managed the businesses of Kibbutz Ashdot Yaacov (Ihud) in the Jordan Valley for 5 years, until his appointment as CEO of Zemach Regional Industries. Menashe is a significant driving force behind the creation of the Kinneret Innovation Center and is an executive member of its board.

Team Members

Elad Shamir

CEO of Kinneret Innovation Center
Mail: elad@kic.co.il

Married +2 ,lives in kibutz yifat.

BSc in biology, B.A in international relations, MBA in business..

Elad is a Major in the IDF special forces and is currently serving as an active reserve commander.

In the past decade Elad was an entrepreneur and a CEO in both commercial, social and public spheres. Including: owner and CEO of a tourism company in Argentina, CEO of a commercial company in TLV, Director & founder of national programs for integrating youth at risk and youth with disabilities ,Entrepreneur & Senior manager of the national services for the Arab society in Israel (in charge of 6000 volunteers at more than a 120 municipalities) and a CEO of a regional municipality.

Currently elad is the CEO of K.I.C, an innovation company that leads a strategic economic and social change in the north of Israel creating a new hi-tech & agro-tech ecosystem.

Elad loves Israel, people, partnership, making “impossible missions” possible and creating change in large scale.


Mrs. Hilla Barkan

Experienced in business negotiations and conflict resolutions, Hilla serves as Director of External Relations and Management at Kinneret Academic College on the Sea of Galilee. Previously, Hilla led the Bandnet Program for the Joint (The Jewish Federation) to promote and provide support to immigrant youth in Israel’s education system. Prior to that, Hilla coordinated the Ofek Program which provides support and guidance to immigrant youth. Hilla has solid experience in corporate organization and administration, budget management, resourcing and fundraising. Hilla serves as an advisor on strategy to the Kinneret Innovation Center.

Dr. Ran Suckeveriene

Group leader of the Laboratory of Polymers, Composites, and Nanocomposites at Kinneret Academic College, Ran is an experienced lecturer, scientist and faculty member of the Water Industries Engineering Department at the Kinneret Academic College since 2013 . A Technion graduate with extensive industry experience, Ran has been an industry consultant for many years, leveraging his vast multidisciplinary expertise in polymers, composites, electro-chemical and electro-mechanical sensors and nanomaterials. More recently, he joined the management team of the Kinneret Innovation Center as Academic Liaison and works as CTO at Obvislim LTD.


Yardena Taylor-Arzi

Coordinator at the Kinneret Innovation Center

Mail: yardena@kinneret.ac.il

Office Phone: 04-6653725

Mr. Nachshon Av

A senior lecturer on electrical engineering at the Kinneret Academic College, coordinator of industry engineering relations at the Kinneret Innovation Center and owner of a private company specializing in event production. In 2016, he ran for office as Head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council. Nachshon currently coordinates industry-academia collaborations on behalf of the Kinneret Innovation Centre.