BIRD - Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to Invest $7 Million in Eight New Projects


The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of autonomous vehicles, biotechnology, digital health, homeland security, nanotechnology and others

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

During its meeting on June 14, 2017, held in Washington, DC, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $7 million in funding for eight new projects between U.S. and Israeli companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $18.5 million.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between U.S. and Israeli 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 reviewed by evaluators appointed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and by the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist- OCS - at the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry).

The eight projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 940 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 40 year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in joint projects has been about $340 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

The projects approved include:

  • Atvio (Nesher, Israel) and Secant Group (Telford, PA): 3D culture platform of therapeutic cells manufactured using advanced biomaterials.
  • C4 Systems (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Churchill Navigation (Boulder, CO): Airborne AR Mission System for First Responders.
  • Check-Cap (Isfiya, Israel) and GE Healthcare (Marlborough, MA): Development of C-Scan colon cancer screening system for high volume manufacturing.
  • Isorad (Yavne, Israel) and Synrad (Mukilteo, WA): Development of new laser technologies for industrial applications.
  • Melodea (Rehovot, Israel) and ICL Performance Products (St. Louis, MO): Development of Cellulose Nanocrystal (CNC) based formulations for innovative environmentally friendly architectural and industrial water-based coatings.
  • Nutrino Health (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Welltok (Denver, CO): Creation of personalized nutrition recommendations for employers and health plans to support consumers in their daily lives. 
  • OpSys Technologies (Holon, Israel) and sdPhotonics (Orlando, FL): Innovative development of solid-state miniature Lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles.
  • Pill Tracker (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Target Health (New York, NY): Medication Tracking  - Drug Compliance Save Lives.

Mr. Eli Cohen, Minister of Economy and Industry said: "Since the establishment of the BIRD Foundation, hundreds of successful joint projects have been launched creating opportunities for Israeli companies and Israeli innovations to enter into new markets, in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Foundation's support of these R&D ventures is evidence of the strong bond that exists between Israel and the U.S. and is an important expression of trust that will enable Israel to continue to advance in these areas around the world."

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: "The BIRD Foundation just celebrated its 40th anniversary in Washington, DC. We at NIST are proud to co-chair the Foundation's Board of Governors and contribute through our expertise to the selection of high quality cooperation projects between U.S. and Israeli companies. For the future, it is our goal to continue the expansion of the Foundation's contribution by further exposure to U.S. companies all across the country and by establishing new relationships with other U.S. agencies, as was done with DOE (BIRD Energy) and DHS (BIRD HLS/First Responders), for mutual benefit to the United States and Israel."

Mr. Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority said: "The BIRD Foundation is undoubtedly a major anchor in the international activity of the Israel Innovation Authority and in its 40 years of activity has contributed greatly to the development of valuable collaborations for hundreds of companies. The BIRD Foundation continues to implement a successful model for cooperation in industrial R&D, on the basis of which the Authority operates dozens of cooperation frameworks with partners in the U.S. and around the world."

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "The BIRD Foundation celebrates 40 years of supporting innovation building on the special relationship between Israel and the U.S. Based on its proven funding model and procedures, the Foundation will continue to create competitive advantage by collaborations between U.S. and Israeli companies in diverse technology sectors."

The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is September 7, 2017. Approval of projects will take place in December 2017.

About the BIRD Foundation 

The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects. BIRD has approved over 900 projects over its 40 year history.

The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights in the participating companies or in the projects, themselves. BIRD funding is repaid as royalties from sales of products that were commercialized as a result of BIRD support. The Foundation provides funding 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 require repayment if the project fails to reach the sales stage.

Limor Nakar

SOURCE The BIRD Foundation

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