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Trendlines' attempt to renew agricultural tech incubator licence in Israel denied

CATALIST-listed agricultural and medical tech incubator Trendlines Group on Wednesday said that its bid to renew its agricultural technology (agtech) incubator licence in Israel has been denied - but this will not materially impact the group's earnings for 2016, and that it will continue to invest in agtech.

"The company's 85 per cent owned subsidiary, Trendlines Agtech Ltd, has on March 15, 2016 received a notice from the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Economy (OCS) that the license to operate an incubator in the Judea and Samaria region of Israel has been awarded to a competitive bidder and not to Trendlines Agtech," Trendlines said in an announcement to Singapore Exchange.

As Trendlines continues to view its agtech investment activity as "important", it plans to continue investing in this field while making "appropriate adjustments" to its activities and operations.

Trendlines has submitted a request to the OCS for permission to expand the mandate of its medical tech (medtech) incubator Trendlines Medical-Misgav Ltd - which has an incubator franchise until Dec 31, 2023 - to include agtech investments. As well, it will continue to apply for financial support from the OCS for its agtech investments.

The company said it expects to realise "certain savings in overhead expenses" by moving its agtech investment activities into the company's main offices in the northern part of Israel. Said Trendlines: "In the event that the OCS will not permit expansion of the fields in the Trendlines Medical, the company believes it will be able to have access to other OCS funding programmes."

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Trendlines currently operates its agtech incubator Trendlines Agtech - Mofet Ltd under a franchise agreement from the OCS which will expire on June 30, 2016. Following the loss of the licence and franchise, Trendlines Agtech (which was set up for the purposes of operating the franchise) will be "wound-up in due course".

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