A leading Israeli agricultural research center garners accolades for its innovation. 

Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization Volcani Center is among three winners of the prestigious Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences for 2017, awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Volcani Center is a government-run institute in central Israel known for its groundbreaking discoveries in the agricultural sphere.

Israel Hayom reported that this marks the first time an Israeli organization or individual has won the UNESCO prize, which “rewards the outstanding scientific research projects of individuals, institutions or other entities working in the life sciences that have led to an improvement in the quality of human life.”

In a statement announcing the three laureates, UNESCO said the Volcani Center “has successfully developed cutting-edge innovations and methodologies in agricultural research with practical applications as well as capacity-building programs to promote food security in arid, semi-arid and desert environments, advancing human well-being.”

The other two laureates are from Brazil and Portugal.

According to UNESCO’s statement, “Each of the three laureates will receive a statue made by the artist Leandro Mbomio Nsue, a diploma, and a check for $100,000.”

The ceremony will take place in Djibloho, Equatorial Guinea, on December 4.

Volcani Center Director Eli Feinerman said the decision to award his organization the prize was a “great achievement for the state and underscores our contribution not just to science, agriculture and the environment, but also to regional and international cooperation for the sake of ensuring food security for future generations and for the sake of improving everyone’s well-being.”

Israel has gained renown for its wide-ranging agricultural advances, which it regularly shares with the rest of the world.