Water and solar are amongst the most developed cleantech sectors in Israel but there is investment in a host of cleantech industries. Israeli companies benefit from significant government support, including funding from the Office of the Chief Scientist for research and development. However, a well established culture of venture investment is perhaps the main factor behind the growth of cleantech investment. Israel has historically faced the challenge of water scarcity. In 2006 Israels Government launched the NEWTech (Novel Efficient Water Technologies) programme, which focuses on desalination, water purification, irrigation, sewage treatment, waste water recycling, leakage prevention, water security, usage planning and infrastructure construction. NEWTechs role is to coordinate between government agencies, academic institutions and the private sector to maximise exports of water technology, expected to become one of the main growth engines of the Israeli economy. At the time of NEWTechs launch, Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer described Israel as the Silicon Valley of water technology. NEWTechs target was for exports of Israeli water technologies to reach $2 billion by this year double the 2006 level. The companies which comprise Israels water sector range from early stage start-ups to giants such as state owned water utility Mekorot. Mekorot has established high standards in fields such as waste water recycling and is exporting this expertise through its Mekorot Development and Enterprise subsidiary. Other large players include IDE Technologies (formerly Government owned), a global leader in desalination technology; Tahal Consulting Engineers Ltd; and Netafim, one of the worlds leaders in drip-irrigation. Exports account for over 90% of Netafims sales and customers for its low-volume irrigation systems (which operate through microchips, installed behind tiny drip holes in plastic pipes) include farmers and commercial growers around the world. Netafim, which was founded on a kibbutz, secured investment from Israeli private equity firm, Tene Capital, alongside Markstone Capital Group of the US. Continued: Israel - the "Silicon Valley of water"?