BIRD - Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to Invest $7.5 Million in 9 New Projects

The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of agrotechnology, biotechnology, digital healthcare, UAV collision avoidance and others

Jun 27, 2016, 08:59 ET from BIRD Energy

TEL AVIV, Israel, June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

During its meeting on June 8, 2016, held in Palo Alto, CA, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $7.5 million in funding for nine 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 $21.5 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 nine projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 931 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 39 year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in joint projects has been over $330 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

The projects approved include:

  • Cellect Biotechnology (Kfar Sava, Israel) and Entegris (Billerica, MA): Improved stem  cells selection system.
  • Evogene (Rehovot, Israel) and Arcadia Biosciences (Davis, CA): Novel drought tolerant wheat varieties.
  • File X (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Brimrose (Sparks, MD): Real-Time AOTF-based hyperspectral imaging system for pollution detection.
  • Hinoman (Or Yehuda, Israel) and Benchmark Biolabs (Lincoln, NE): Vaccine for Newcastle virus disease from aquatic plants source.
  • Israel Aerospace Industries (Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel) and Honeywell (Morris Plains, NJ): Sense and Avoid for UAVs.
  • Kamada (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Baxalta (Bannockburn, IL): Treatment for prevention of lung transplant rejection.
  • Keystone Heart (Caesarea Business Park, Israel) and SurModics (Eden Prairie, MN): Novel medical device for cerebral protection during cardiovascular procedures.
  • MedAware (Raanana, Israel) and Becton Dickinson (Franklin Lakes, NJ): Prescription Error Surveillance.
  • Mellanox (Yokneam, Israel) and Chromis Fiberoptics (Warren, NJ): Polymer Optical Fibers for data centers.

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: "It was great meeting with our Israeli counterparts in Palo Alto, CA, for a fruitful discussion and selection of new innovative, U.S.-Israel cooperation projects. From the list of submitted projects one can learn of the high level of interest for R&D collaboration, in both countries".

Mr. Avi Hasson, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and co-Chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors said: "The BIRD Foundation continues to contribute significantly to U.S.-Israel cooperation in innovation and industrial R&D, which is a main goal of the Israel Innovation Authority. Six out of the nine selected projects deal with Life Sciences and Digital Health, sectors which bring great benefit to people around the world."

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "The broad range of U.S. and Israeli companies that approach the BIRD Foundation for support and R&D risk reduction is impressive. They include large multinationals as well as smaller companies seeking synergistic alliances to achieve excellence in innovation and commercialization."

The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is September 12, 2016. Approval of projects will take place in December 2016.

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