BIRD - Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to Invest $1.9 Million in 2 New Projects to Foster Advanced Technologies for First Responders

The program was established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) to promote and fund jointly developed technologies for First Responders

Jul 06, 2016, 08:00 ET from BIRD Energy

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

During its meeting on June 7-8, 2016, held in Palo Alto, CA, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation awarded funding to two projects, selected by DHS and MOPS, between U.S. and Israeli companies to advance technologies for First Responders. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of both projects to approximately $4.5 million.

The NextGen First Responder Technologies is a new program established by DHS S&T and MOPS to promote and fund joint U.S.-Israel projects for the development of advanced technologies for First Responders (Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Emergency Medical Services), with significant commercial potential, in order to meet the most pressing requirements of First Responders.  

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 "NextGen First Responder Technologies" program are reviewed by representatives of DHS, the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly, the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry), and experts from the Ministry of Public Security.

The projects approved include:

  • ARTsys360  (Holon, Israel) and  Lion Group (Dayton, OH) will develop a Precision Identification Device (RAPID 3D).
  • SayVU Technologies Ltd (Tel Aviv, Israel and Opto Knowledge Systems, Inc (Torrance, CA) will develop an Indoor Positioning, Locating, and Reporting system.

Mr. Dan Cotter, Director of First Responders Group, DHS S&T , said: "S&T is pleased to continue strengthening our relationship with the Israeli government through this effort with the BIRD Foundation. As an R&D organization, we are constantly seeking non-traditional partners and mechanisms for finding technologies to fill our critical homeland security capability gaps. Our first responders are crucial to helping the public in emergency situations, and their safety is an utmost priority for us. We hope that these technologies will be able to assist in tracking responders and increasing communications for safer operations."

Mr. Eliezer Rozenbaum, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Public Security, said: "In this first cycle of selecting projects relating to first responder technologies, we have created a unique channel for research and development which will promote binational HLS collaborations that will benefit public security in both our countries, for years to come."

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "The joint proposals submitted to this first cycle of the First Responders program are a reinforcing testimony of the level of creativity and innovation that can be achieved by bringing together U.S. and Israeli companies. BIRD is proud to cooperate with DHS and MOPS to develop solutions for the most urgent First Responders' capability gaps."

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 39 year history.

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


Einat Spivak