The first section of the Negev Research Institute opens. Research activities of this world-class scientific research facility include understanding the desert region’s low water supply, developing solar energy programs and seeking ways to use this arid landmass compromising 40% of Israel. Today, the Institute, known as the Institute for Applied Research, leads the country’s agricultural research with state of the art greenhouses, refrigerated seed storage facilities, ten laboratories and a staff of nearly 60 scientists, technicians and student research assistants.