In a recent interview, I was asked what challenges I see for the BIRD Foundation in the future. It's a good and relevant question.
To answer it, we need to take a look at two different points of view.
From the Israeli point of view, the goal is to support the continued development and growth of Israel’s technology sector, which faces increased global competition. Leaders everywhere understand the power of innovation as a growth engine. Governments are seeking ways to build innovation hubs and attract investors to tap into their local talent. Many of them visit Israel to study the hi-tech ecosystem and the roots of its achievements. Hi-tech and medium hi-tech industries have become a significant driver of the Israeli economy (together they amount to ~$37B of industrial exports in 2013, ~80% of the total industrial exports). However, sustained growth is not assured.
From the U.S. point of view, we can define two different goals. One is to support well established U.S. companies in their constant pursuit of innovation to gain competitive advantage. The other - no less important goal - is to help small and medium size U.S. companies, including start-ups, to access Israeli innovation. The former is a traditional BIRD objective, since its creation. The latter is a relatively new objective and is in-sync with the U.S. Government’s policy to support entrepreneurship ("Startup America"). It has become possible and significant, due to the relative maturity of the Israeli technology sector, which enables successful partnerships between U.S. young companies and Israeli companies. In addition, a U.S. company can access export markets, following a successful R&D project with an Israeli company.
These are our main challenges, derived directly from our mission and its application to present times.
BIRD to invest $9 million in 11 new projects
The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of 3D Printing, Agro-technology, Information Security, Homeland Security and others
During its meeting on June 26, 2014, held in Washington D.C., the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $8.9 million in funding for eleven new projects between Israeli and American companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $25 million.
eyeSight Mobile Technologies and TriLumina Corp Begin Joint Product Development of a Smart Illumination Gesture Control System
Under the grant, TriLumina will leverage its smart IR laser illumination technology with eyeSight’s industry leading image processing technology to implement an integrated solution to enhance gesture recognition and image processing in dark and low light environments. No other integrated solution is available, particularly for the size and power efficiencies offered.
BIRD Grantee Simbionix, the global leader in 3D virtual reality surgical simulation and training, will be acquired by 3D Systems for $120 million. Simbionix (Israel) and Health Professions Conferencing Co. (Florida) received a BIRDF grant in 2010 to develop a simulation module for laparoscopic hysterectomy
The BIRD Foundation together with the Economic Mission in Chicago, NY and the New England Israel Business Council led the 2014 Israeli cyber security delegation to the U.S. September 8th-12th. Fourteen leading Israeli cyber security companies were selected to travel to the U.S. and present their solutions in cyber and data security to industry stakeholders, executives and investors in Chicago, Boston and NYC.
This was certainly a team effort. We thank our partners for their hard work and dedication in helping to make this delegation a success.
December 17, 2014: Capitalizing on Global R&D collaboration - Azrieli Center, Tel Aviv
The half-day seminar, organized by the BIRD Foundation, will focus on ways and methods to create global partnerships and share the experience of Israeli companies and global multinational companies who are active in creating these partnerships.
October 9, 2014: BIRD Funding Seminar at the Ohio Innovation Summit
Featuring: BIRD Recipients CVG/Silentium
October 13-14, 2014: BIRD Funding Presentation The Future of Life Sciences, Philadelphia, PA
October 22, 2014: BIRD Presentation Akron Global Water Alliance (AGWA), Akron
October 27-28, 2014: BIRD Funding Presentation at Israel Technology Conference, Philadelphia, PA
October 28, 2014: BIRD Funding Presentation at the Merage Institute, Irvine, CA
October 29, 2014: BIRD participation at IMPACT 2014 Venture Conference, Philadelphia, PA
November 4,5, 2014: BIRD Energy Executive Committee & Dinner Reception, Jerusalem& Herzliya Pituach
December 7-9, 2014: “Internet of Things: Advancing Energy Efficiency” - A panel discussion organized by the BIRD Foundation at Eilat Eilot Green Energy Conference, December 9, 2014, at 11:40 am
December 17, 2014: Capitalizing on Global R&D collaboration, Tel-Aviv
For additional information, please contact Andrea Yonah - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (609) 356-0305
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