What is BIRD

 



BIRD is an acronym for Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development. The BIRD Foundation's mission is to stimulate, promote and support industrial R&D of mutual benefit to the U.S. and Israel.

Our activities include matchmaking services between Israeli and American companies in the field of Research and Development. BIRD takes no equity in the joint projects and all our services are free of charge.

The BIRD Foundation was established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between the private sectors of the U.S. and Israeli high tech industries, including start-ups and established organizations. BIRD provides both matchmaking services between U.S. and Israeli companies, as well as funding covering up to 50 percent of project development and product commercialization costs.


BIRD's scope extends to Agriculture, Communications, Life Sciences, Electronics, Electro-optics, Software, Homeland Security, Renewable and Alternative Energy and other sectors of the hi-tech industry.


BIRD supports approximately 20 projects annually. The cumulative sales of products developed through BIRD projects have exceeded $8 billion.


Since its inception in 1977, BIRD has approved over 800 projects with leading companies in the U.S., for example:

ADM, American Red Cross, Applied Materials, Avaya, Bayer Pharmaceutical, Becton Dickinson, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Eastman Kodak, General Dynamics, General Electric, Guidant, IBM, J&J, KLA- Tencor, Molex, Motorola, Procter & Gamble, SanDisk, Spansion, Telcordia, Texas Instruments, Tyco and others.

You too can take advantage of the business opportunities offered by the BIRD Foundation. We can help you find your strategic partner, whether technological or marketing. Furthermore, our financial support and request for repayment only on the basis of actual revenues generated, demonstrates our commitment and our willingness to risk sharing.




How does the BIRD Foundation Operate?

Any pair of companies, one Israeli and one U.S.-based, may apply jointly so long as they can demonstrate the combined capabilities and infrastructure to define, develop, manufacture, sell and support an innovative product based on industrial R&D. 

The key criterion is that each corporate entity shall have the ability to carry out its part of the joint development and commercialization. Their willingness to share in the financial risk of product development as well as in the financial gain of commercialization, are also key factors in BIRD's evaluation.

Typically the role of the larger company is product definition and specification, sales, and service, while the role of the smaller company is in product development and some manufacturing. Up to 35 full-scale projects and 20 mini-projects may be approved each year.

 

The BIRD Foundation offers conditional grants for joint development projects on a risk-sharing basis. The Foundation funds up to 50% of each company's R&D expenses associated with the joint project. Repayments are due only if commercial revenues are generated as a direct result of the project. If a project fails, BIRD claims no repayments.


 

Full–Scale Projects

A Full-Scale Project is defined as one in which the total development cost to the two companies (up to the point of commercial readiness) is at least $400,000. BIRD's cost-share is up to 50% of the total cost of such projects.

Decisions whether to approve or reject proposals for funding full-scale projects are made by BIRD's Board of Governors. The Board of Governors convenes semiannually to act on proposals for full-scale projects.


 

Mini Projects

It is often appropriate for two companies contemplating a partnership to define an initial project of modest size rather than to plunge into a higher-cost, full-scale project of greater risk and duration. BIRD has, therefore, designed and introduced the Mini-Project, which has proven to be a powerful and successful tool for rapid and relatively low-risk involvement of U.S. and Israeli companies in relatively small but meaningful product developments of a cutting edge technology.

The Executive Director is empowered by the Board of Governors to allocate up to 20% of annual conditional grant funds for the support of mini-projects. The budget of a BIRD mini-project is limited to $400,000. Therefore, the grant is a maximum of $200,000, or 50% of actual project costs, whichever is less.


 

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