During its meeting on December 19, 2012, held in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $9 million of funding for ten 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 $24 million.
BIRD promotes collaboration between Israeli and American companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development. Specifically, the Foundation assists by locating strategic partners from each country, making the necessary introductions, and providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects.
The ten projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 853 projects which BIRD has approved for funding over its 35 year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in these projects has been $295 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $8 billion.
Approved projects include:
BRF Engineering Ltd. (Israel) and InfraScan, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA) will develop a device for early detection of abdominal Hematoma.
Elbit Systems Ltd. (Israel) and TraceWorldwide Cooperation (Palos Verdes Estates, CA) will develop advanced aerial firefighting tools for U.S. helicopters.
Foresight (Israel) and Net Optics Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) will develop solutions to ensure business continuity for websites.
GONET Systems (Israel) and Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) will develop an analog WiFi beamformer.
LifeOnKey (Israel) and Target Health (New York, NY) will integrate clinical trial electronic data capture databases with electronic medical/health records systems.
Polysack Flexible Packaging (Israel) and Applied Extrusion Technologies (Wilmington, DE) will develop sustainable materials enabling recycling of shrink packaged food containers.
Silentium (Israel) and Johnson Controls (Glendale, WI) will develop an ambient active noise reduction solution for the automotive industry.
Stream Control Ltd. (Israel) and American Water Works Company (Voorhees, NJ) will develop an advanced water leakage control system.
Ubiqam Ltd. (Israel) and Global Wireless Technologies (Morris Plains, NJ) will develop a mobile relay station for LTE with mesh capabilities.
Vayyar Imaging Ltd. (Israel) and Agilent Technologies (Santa Rosa, CA) will develop a high performance low cost network analyzer.
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "The diversified projects approved address the market need for innovation in every area of our daily life such as water technologies, environmental recycling, cyber security and fire fighting. BIRD's support of U.S.-Israel partnerships reduces the risks of joint projects and contributes to the U.S. and Israeli economy."
Mr. Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Co-chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors, said: "The participating U.S. companies reflect the full spectrum from start-ups (InfraScan), to small (Trace), medium (Applied Extrusion Technologies), and large established firms (Johnson Controls). Continuing the trend we have seen over the past few years, fully half of the U.S. companies are small-medium, benefitting from Israeli technology that will lead to increased domestic American jobs."
Mr. Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and Co-chairman of the Board, said: "BIRD continues to be a prime example of the importance and potential of international R&D collaboration. The benefits for both the U.S and Israeli economies show that it is a worthwhile effort. The technological diversification of projects that were approved in this round reinforces the continued economic value that this program continues to bring."
The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 6, 2013. Approval of projects will take place in June, 2013.
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in the various areas of technology, and provides free assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products.
The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. The financial assistance is repaid as royalties from sales. The Foundation provides support of up to 50% of a project's budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not demand that the investment be repaid if the project fails to reach the sales stage.
The BIRD Foundation works in full cooperation with the Chief Scientist's Office at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor in Israel, and with the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).