Newsletter -Feb2014





Dr. Eitan Yudilevich
Executive Director

 February 2014

Another Year of Mutual Benefit

It is our privilege to summarize yet another busy year which included participation in numerous activities and most significantly, the approval of thirty U.S.-Israel collaborative projects.

These projects include a diversity of sectors, among them Life Sciences, Energy and Water, Homeland Security and Cyber Security, Healthcare IT and others.

It is especially interesting to focus on the diversity of the companies involved. Approximately 70% of the U.S. companies are SMEs, which according to a common definition are companies with less than 500 employees. More than half of them are small companies, with less than 50 employees.

From the Israeli side, more than 70% of the companies are small, with less than 50 employees.

The above statistics show how BIRD has adjusted and adapted throughout the years to fulfill its mission of “Mutual Benefit.”  In retrospect, when these two important words were first written on paper, they expressed more of a vision than a reality. The vision is being realized today. Israel has a vibrant technology sector, which has become very attractive to all kinds of U.S. companies, large and small. This is especially important for SMEs, which have limited resources, restricting their ability to pursue collaborations and exports outside the U.S. One way of overcoming these barriers is by cooperating with Israeli companies and winning BIRD Foundation support.  Several of the projects approved in 2013 exemplify this important trend.

Those very young U.S. companies whose projects were approved in 2013 represent sectors such as biotechnology, antennas, semiconductor lasers, alternative fuels and medical devices. Their projects are great examples of BIRD's evolution and increased mutual benefit for both U.S. and Israeli companies.

On the other side of the scale, about one third of the 2013 awardees are large U.S. companies. As stated in a RAND report: “A future in which a significant share of new technologies is invented elsewhere will benefit the United States as long as it maintains the capability to acquire and implement technologies invented abroad. Technology is an essential factor of productivity, and the use of new technology (whether it was invented in the United States or elsewhere) can result in greater efficiency, economic growth and higher living standards.” This statement is in-line with BIRD's role in supporting U.S.-Israeli company-to-company collaborations for mutual benefit. U.S. companies increase their competitiveness by gaining access to Israeli innovation; Israeli companies gain invaluable access to know-how and markets.


Moving on to another aspect of BIRD's activities, in 2013 the "BIRD Energy" program celebrated its fifth year. New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress that expands the BIRD Energy program to include gas and water technologies, and extends the U.S.-Israel collaboration until 2024. The proposal praises the "significant contributions to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency through the established programs of the United States-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation."

Looking towards the future, we are continuing our efforts to expand U.S.-Israel collaboration in areas such as Homeland Security and Cyber Security. A proposal to establish a new program named BIRD HLS/Cyber has been presented to both Governments. The goal is to increase the funding, allowing for more collaboration between U.S. and Israeli companies in these sectors. Another sector of focused interest is Neuroscience and Neurotechnology.


We are hopeful that such additional funding, if approved, will increase the dynamics of collaboration between American and Israeli industry in new and relevant areas and will ultimately have a positive impact on the economies of both our countries.



Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D.
Executive Director 

 Latest Investments


BIRD  Foundation to invest $9 million in 11 new projects


The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of Life Sciences, Electronics, Communication, Cyber Security and Homeland Security.

During its meeting on December 11, 2013, held in Israel, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $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 $23 million.


Click here to read the full article


“BIRD Energy” to invest $3.6 million in Cooperative Clean Energy Projects

The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of wind, fuel cells and energy storage.
Each of the cooperative projects includes a U.S. and Israeli partner and addresses energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries, while focusing on commercializing clean energy technologies that improve our economic competitiveness, create jobs, and support innovative companies. The selected projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of $8.8 million.


Click here to read the full article



 Spotlight on BIRD Projects


Empowering Patients through Social Media: Treato - Healthline Collaboration


“… literacy is a stronger predictor of an individual’s health status than income,

employment status, education level and racial or ethnic group”.

Barry D. Weiss, MD, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson Health literacy and patient safety: help patients understand. Manual for clinicians


Few BIRD funded projects have resonated as much in the public imagination as one of our recent projects which focuses on empowering patients to take control of their health treatment options.
The Israeli company,Treato, uses social networking to offer real time patient voice insights. Through a joint project initiated in January 2011 and funded by the BIRD Foundation, Treato collaborated with San Francisco based company, Healthline, to deliver its drug decision support tools to patients through Healthline’s online drug information center.


 Click here to read the full article


Greenlet Technologies and Viridity Energy partner at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard to Demonstrate Smart Energy in Action

January 16, 2014

The project received funding and support from the from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Israel Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, under the BIRD Energy program.


Philadelphia, PA - The Navy Yard, a dynamic and sustainability-focused urban development in the heart of the Philadelphia region, is demonstrating the smart grid in action through a collaborative effort between Israel-based Greenlet Technologies and Philadelphia-based Viridity Energy.  The BIRD Foundation was intrigued by the opportunity to bring two smart grid companies together from different countries to test out a global solution for consumer energy demand.  The equation was simple - take two innovative companies, one from Israel and one from the United States - and integrate their technology to create one live, demonstrable solution at a customer dedicated to sustainability.  With Greenlet Technologies, Viridity Energy and The Navy Yard, all elements came together to formulate a successful project.


Click here to read the full article


Call for Proposals 




Timetable and deadlines:

Executive Summaries (using BIRD's template - can be downloaded from BIRD website) - March 10, 2014
Full Proposals (following BIRD's detailed instructions) - April 10, 2014
Decisions – June, 2014


For further inquiries please contact:
In Israel: Ms. Einat Spivak,,Tel: 972-3-6988300
In the U.S.: Ms. Michal Miasnik,,Tel: 650-752-6485

BIRD Upcoming Events

Cleantech Conference - March 11-13, 2014 - San Francisco, CA
This annual gathering of the global cleantech innovation community offers a comprehensive, multi-day  program along with exclusive opportunities to present, network and have one on one meetings. This year's forum will feature a regional spotlight on Israel from 15 innovative Israeli companies in the cleantech arena. This conference is in cooperation with The Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast.


For additional information, please contact  Ms. Michal Miasnik - Tel: 650-752-6485

BIRD Funding Seminar - March 13, 2014 - Rockville, MD
Featuring BIRD Grantees: Patriot Technologies and RADiFlow
Hosted by the Maryland Israel Development Center and the Technology Council of Maryland in cooperation with the BIRD Foundation.

For additional information, please contact Ms. Andrea Yonah -  Tel: 609-356-0305

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