TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- During its meeting on December 22, 2020, held via video conference, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $7.45 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 over $18 million.
The BIRD Foundation promotes collaborations 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 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Israel Innovation Authority.
The eight projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to over 1,020 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 43-year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in joint projects is over $350 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.
The projects approved include:
- Aero-Magnesium (Ein Harod Ihud, Israel) and Safran Seats USA (Gainesville, TX) to develop weight reduction solutions for aircraft seating applications based on magnesium technologies.
- AIO ME (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Finastra Financial Technology Corporation (New York, NY) to jointly develop a next-generation Loan-Origination-System to automatically collect and verify customer data while maintaining regulatory compliance.
- Ayecka Communication Systems (Kfar Saba, Israel) and Envistacom (Atlanta, GA) to develop a Satellite Communication and 5G Virtual Modem Edge Device to enable waveform technologists and service providers to input digitized proprietary waveforms for wireless transmission.
- BeeHero (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Tauzer Apiaries (Woodland, CA) to develop a smart pollination platform for better crop yields.
- ContinUse Biometrics dba Donisi Health (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Dell Technologies (Round Rock, TX) to develop a miniature optical module for health parameter sensing.
- Kitov Systems (Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel) and Capvidia NA (Houston, TX) to develop the CAD2SCAN, a process for using the digital 3D CAD model to automate visual inspection in production.
- Marpé Technologies (Haifa, Israel) and Nortech Systems (Wayzata, MN) to develop a total-body Tele-dermatology scanning system.
- Squalus Medical (Caesarea, Israel) and Fortec Medical (Hudson, Ohio) to develop an innovative epilepsy laser treatment.
Dr. Walter Copan, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, Director of NIST and co-Chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors, said: "The strengths of the U.S. and Israeli innovation systems are clearly demonstrated by the diverse proposals the board considered this round. By working together, the successful U.S. and Israeli companies are bringing forth cutting-edge technologies that advance manufacturing, communication and transportation, health, and food security. The global technology leadership of the United States and of Israel is strengthened through our close partnership, and the BIRD Foundation plays a unique and critical role in supporting the collaborative efforts."
Dr. Amiram Appelbaum, Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and co-Chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors, said: "We are proud that our collaboration with the BIRD Foundation has seen such spectacular successes over the decades of its operation. This joint collaboration resulted in groundbreaking technological innovations offered by both Israeli and U.S. recipients of the grant. We are happy to note the increased number of applications submitted and wish much success to the winning teams and companies who were selected to receive the Fund's grants. We are eagerly looking forward to the amazing changes they will make for the benefit of the population worldwide."
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "Year 2020 was a challenging year for companies and entrepreneurs around the globe, who adapted rapidly to doing business 'virtually.' A result is a significant increase in the number of proposals submitted to the Foundation. BIRD will continue to support U.S.-Israel collaboration in order to accelerate the development of advanced technologies in diverse fields for the benefit of both countries."
The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 1, 2021. Approval of projects will take place in June 2021.
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.
The 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.
Deputy Executive Director of Business Development & BIRD Energy
Tel.: +972-3- 6988-315
SOURCE The BIRD Foundation