In July 1977, at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the BIRD Foundation’s Board of Governors (BOG) held its inaugural meeting, marking the beginning of what would become a tradition of collaboration between U.S. and Israeli officials to discuss and select promising innovations, jointly presented by U.S. and Israeli companies.
After 40 years, on June 13, 2017, the BOG met at a U.S. State Department facility, in Washington, D.C., followed by a great 40th Anniversary celebration at the National Museum of American History (more on the celebration in a dedicated article below). The day before the BOG meeting, representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) met to discuss joint U.S.-Israeli projects submitted to the second annual cycle of the BIRD First Responders program. At the BOG meeting, 11 projects were approved, three of them for the DHS-MOPS First Responders program.
In general, first responders are in great need of solutions to support safe, efficient and effective response to everyday emergencies. One important element of any modern solution includes the use of advanced technologies, properly developed or adapted to the varied and special circumstances in which first responders operate. The use of technology is now ubiquitous in the missions of individual infantry soldiers from advanced armies. However, the cost of equipment is still very high. For first responders, the need is not only to develop hi-tech solutions well matched to their missions, but also to take into consideration the affordability of such solutions.
First responders are on the job 24/7, during routine and, especially critical, during catastrophic natural or man-made disasters, something we see happening every day in different parts of the world. For entrepreneurs and companies this can be a significant market. The next Call for Proposals for the BIRD First Responders program is expected to be published in November 2017.
As demonstrated by the BIRD First Responders program, after 40 years, the BIRD Foundation continues to find new avenues to enhance the power of innovation through U.S.-Israel collaboration, bringing important solutions for global needs.
In its first bi-annual cycle of 2017, BIRD selected eight new projects for a total investment of $7M in the areas of autonomous vehicles, biotechnology, digital health, homeland security, nanotechnology and others. See Press Release for names of companies and project titles.
BIRD Approves Three First Responder Projects in Second Annual Cycle
BIRD completed its second annual cycle of funding for advanced technologies for first responders, approving three new projects with an investment of $2.75M. See Press Release for names of companies and project titles.
There is much buzz of late revolving around the topic of Advanced Manufacturing. Both the U.S. and Israeli governments have prioritized this area in order to increase their global competitiveness and strengthen each country’s existing manufacturing base through innovation. Recently, BIRD’s Limor Nakar-Vincent, authored an article entitled , Israel Can Help Lead the Advanced Manufacturing Revolution which takes a look at how Israel is contributing to this area and highlights specific Israeli companies and technologies as well as relevant projects BIRD has funded. As with all new areas of innovation, BIRD looks to promote and ultimately fund new projects relating to advanced manufacturing by actively seeking out companies with relevant technologies in both countries and bringing them together.
On November 12-14, 2017, BIRD is partnering with other Israeli government organizations to host a symposium in Tel Aviv, “Driving Prosperity through Industry 4.0” which will explore how Israel’s vibrant innovation ecosystem can usher in the next phase of industrial production and economic growth. Interested U.S. and Israeli companies should contact Ms. Limor Nakar-Vincent at email@example.com for more information.
A new organization, the Rhode Island Israel Collaborative (RIIC), was recently formed to strengthen the relationship between Israel and Rhode Island. The RIIC will work to connect businesses as well as academic and research organizations. They will also serve as BIRD’s official representative to Rhode Island, which though the smallest U.S. State, already boasts several successful BIRD funded projects. For more on the RICC, see their new website .
Left photo: Avi Nevel, CEO and President, RIIC, Ella Hood, Board Member, Limor Nakar - Vincent, Deputy Executive Director of Business Development & BIRD Energy, Misha Joukowsky, President, Crawford High Performance Composites and Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director, BIRD Foundation