from the November 2014 issue

BIRD - Israel - U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to invest $9 million in 11 new projects

The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of 3D Printing, Agro-technology, Information Security, Homeland Security and others.

During its meeting on June 26, 2014, held in Washington D.C., the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $8.9 million in funding for eleven new projects between Israeli and American companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $25 million.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between Israeli and American companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are thoroughly reviewed by evaluators appointed by the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and by evaluators appointed by the Chief Scientist's Office of the Israeli Ministry of Economy.

The eleven projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 889 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 37 year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in these projects has been over $308 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

The approved projects are as follows:

ColorChip (Yokne'am, Israel) and Gigoptix (San Jose, CA) will develop next generation pluggable transceivers
DVP Technologies (Tel Aviv, Israel) and DVTEL (Ridgefield Park, NJ) will develop video surveillance for sea and waterside applications
Evogene (Rechovot, Israel) and Marrone Bio Innovations (Davis, CA) will develop novel agricultural insect control products from microbial sources
Galileo Satellite Navigation Ltd. (Rishon Le Zion, Israel) and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (San Jose, CA) will develop software GNSS implementation
Genome Compiler (Jerusalem, Israel) and Amyris (Emeryville, CA) will develop "Biofab" - synthetic biology software platform-as-a-service
iReveal Design Automation (Nazareth, Israel) and Alphabyte Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) will develop scalable end-to-end verification
Lightapp (Herzliya, Israel) and Pratt Industries (Conyers, GA) will develop resource optimization for paper manufacturing facilities
Mekorot (Tel Aviv, Israel) and ANP Technologies (Newark, DE) will develop an automated test system for detection of pesticides in waters
Stratasys (Rechovot, Israel) and Graphene Technologies (Novato, CA) will develop Graphene enhanced 3D printing materials
TeleMessage (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Sprint (Overland Park KS) will develop secure RCS messaging
ZDF Medical (Tiberias, Israel) and Molex/ Polymicro Technologies (Downers Grove, IL) will develop technology for high energy delivery devices for medical applications

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "This is an impressive list of projects when you consider their technological innovation, diversity of applications, and partnerships: among them are a project that can advance 3D printing, an application to identify infections in water, which includes an American start up and an established Israeli utility, and a system to manage and optimize resources for paper manufacturing facilities."

Dr. Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and co-Chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors said: "Once again we had a very robust set of proposals from which we chose the 11 winning projects. The proposing US companies are from 14 States and range in size from 3 employees to 40,000. As we have seen over the past several years, increasingly small US companies are participating in the BIRD program, learning from their Israeli counterparts in a true partnership. This year 75% of the proposing US companies are under 500 employees."

Mr. Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Israel Ministry of Economy and co-Chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors said: "The United States is a leading R&D partner of Israel in the various programs of the Office of the Chief Scientist. The BIRD Foundation continues to be the central vehicle in implementing strategic cooperation between the countries in the areas of Innovation and Technology. The success of the BIRD Foundation provides a solid base for further expansion of cooperation with the United States, through Federal R&D programs and programs with various States, where the Chief Scientist has finalized agreements during the last two years."

The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is on September 16, 2014. Approval of projects will take place in December 2014.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report November 2014

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