BIRD Newsletter III



Dear friends and colleagues, 

Enclosed is the third edition of the BIRD newsletter. As before, we welcome your comments

and suggestions, and hope you find the newsletter informative and useful. 

The Editor



Director’s  Perspective    


Proposal  Deadlines    

  BIRD News & Updates

About BIRD                 


BIRD Upcoming Events

Contact Us 

Director's Perspective                                                                                                     

2006 In Summary 


2006 was a very fruitful year for BIRD. A total of 27 projects were approved (25 full projects and 2 mini-projects) -  about 40% of them in the field of life sciences, nearly as many in the field of electronics and software, 20% in telecommunications, and the remainder in the fields of homeland security, renewable energy and others. The combined budget of the projects was over $70M, while the investments approved passing $23M. 


In addition, the BIRD teams in Israel and in the United States were involved in myriad of activities: Breakfast events sponsored by major companies (Google, Juniper Networks); a life sciences event in Chicago; a business forum in Miami; the NJ-Israel Commission Event; the AICC Philadelphia Reception; the "Life Sciences Road Show" on the East Coast; and the "General Electric Israel Day", to name just a few. Our "focal point" event in 2006 was the Renewable and Alternative Energy Conference, held on November 8th in Tel-Aviv - additional information about this event can be found below. 


As we rapidly approach our 30th Anniversary, BIRD continues to seek renewal by investing in new areas and technologies. Our way of thinking leads us to constantly search for innovation and business potential while fostering US-Israeli partnerships. The “meeting of the minds”, that is, the brainstorming that takes place during encounters between companies from two very different environments, produces new ideas characterized by enhanced “market-match,” which eventually become successful BIRD projects. 


The Israel's attractiveness to U.S. investors is very much based on its hi-tech industry. BIRD is a unique and powerful instrument for this sector, supporting both U.S. and Israeli companies in their joint journey towards success.

Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D.

Executive Director



BIRD News & Updates                                                                                                     

This section features highlights of BIRD's  organized events, hosted delegations and other relevant developments concerning the BIRD sphere

Summing Up the Renewable and Alternative Energy Conference in Israel

"Israeli innovation and foreign needs are creating the potential for significant growth in the underdeveloped sector of alternative and renewable energy, and the Israeli government is ready to help"  


This was one of the conclusions reached by Renewable and Alternative Energy Conference that was held on November 8th, 2006, in Tel Aviv, Israel. The conference, a joint initiative of the BIRD Foundation, the U.S-Israel Science & Technology Commission and the American Jewish Congress, was held within the framework of the Prime Minister’s Conference for Export & International Cooperation, and received the endorsement and support of several government ministries, companies and venture funds. 


As Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, stated: “At no time in modern history has renewable energy played a more crucial role in the development and well-being of nations than at present. The Global Alternative Energy Sector is going to quadruple in the next decade and reach above $150B in 2015. The state of Israel must be prepared to take advantages of the export opportunities".  


Allan Hoffman, Senior Analyst at the US Department of Energy, spoke about energy efficiency as a means of curbing the energy crises, among other subjects. "The US is on an irrevocable course to having an energy-wise society," said Hoffman. "Transition to a society based on more renewable energy is inevitable -- we just want to speed it up as much as we can," he added, noting that currently the United States imports 60% of its oil. 


During the conference, Metrolight, an Israeli energy efficiency company in the lighting market, announced a contract with several hundred US stores from the "Publix" supermarket chain, as well as with the City of New York - reducing the city's street lighting bill by some $90 million per year.  


Furthermore, Solel, a world leader in solar thermal technology, announced during the conference that the company had signed an $890 million agreement with Spanish firm Sacyr-Vallehermoso to build three 50-megawatt solar power stations. This is the first deal that Solel has signed in Spain. 


One of the leading Israeli companies attending the conference was Ormat. CEO Dita Bronicki emphasized the fact that Ormat has been pioneering the field of renewable energy for the past 40 years. Ormat is a vertically integrated company primarily engaged in the business of geothermal and recovered energy power. Ormat constructs facilities for the collection of geothermal energy and has developed a biodiesel fuel that requires no blending before use.

Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Minister for National Infrastructure summed up Israel's renewable energy goals well in his keynote speech: "Israel is committed to a new energy economy" he said. "Israel has reached the point where it sees itself not only as a part aimed at improving the local environment, but rather as a part of the global effort to create a sustainable world."  


Further information on the conference can be found HERE.





Israel Medical IT Mission to Ohio Organized by BIRD's Representative               


BIRD’s representative in Ohio, Howard Gudell, organized together with the Israel export and International cooperation a mission of Israeli medical Information Technology companies to Northeast Ohio from January 21st through January 25th. This delegation of 14 Israeli companies met with high level executives at major healthcare institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, MetroHealth, Akron General, Children’s and Summa Hospitals, all of which are among the top 50 hospitals in the US.  The companies also met with other strategic partners such as health insurers and IT companies, including Cisco and IBM. 


The mission to Ohio could not have had better timing, since on that same week President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, had called for greater use of electronic medical records and other healthcare information technology as part of a larger healthcare plan. He also told Congress that advancements should be made in healthcare information technology, in order to reduce costly medical errors and promote healthcare price transparency. 


Israel has long been a leader in medical information technology, and its healthcare system has utilized “paperless offices” for a decade. Patients in Israel can view their medical records (such as blood test results) via the Internet.  


The scope of this mission is exceptional, said Howard Gudell: "Important introductions were made between the Israeli companies and the health care providers. Now it is time to follow up, since our ultimate goal is to bring Israel's cutting edge technology to Northeast Ohio"







Promoting  Partnerships in  the Southeast Region                                                              




The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region, organized a luncheon to promote partnerships through the BIRD Foundation on February 1st, 2007. The luncheon briefing featured a keynote speech by BIRD's Executive Director Eitan Yudilevich, followed by the presentation of case studies of ARRIS and Life Therapeutics, two Atlanta area corporations that have received BIRD grants in the past two years in support of their joint venture R&D projects with Israeli companies.  


Targeted companies had an opportunity to hold one-on-one meetings with Eitan and Tom Glaser, BIRD’s Southeast representative. The luncheon was hosted at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce with the co-sponsoring support of the Technology Association of Georgia, AeA Southeast, and the Georgia Biomedical Partnership.  

BIRD presentations have also been made to a number of targeted companies in the Atlanta area this quarter such as CR Bard, Patient Care Technologies, DataPath, Internap, Kimberly-Clark and Pathfire.




"Successful Growth Strategies - The Experiences of Retalix and Alon USA"                  Presentation                                                                                                                           


The Economic Office of the Government of Israel in Houston, Haynes and Boone LLP, and the Metroplex Technology Business Council presented "Successful Growth Strategies – The Experiences of Retalix and Alon USA".  Featured Speakers were Eli Spirer, Executive Vice President of Operations, Retalix USA Inc., and Joseph Israel, Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions and Business Development, Alon USA. Eli Spirer told the story of Retalix, which went from a concept thought up around a coffee table in 1982 to a company generating $200 million in revenue in 2006, with offices around the world. Similarly, Joseph Israel described the growth of Alon USA from a single gas station in Israel to a $2 billion company involved in oil refining, convenience store retail and asphalt production.


BIRD Upcoming Events                                                                                                  

This section features information about upcoming events organized by and/or affiliated to BIRD


Israel Life Science Road Show (April 16-19th, 2007) in California                                    

The Israel Life Science Road Show is a series of events designed to facilitate investments and strategic partnerships between U.S. and Israeli companies in the Life Science and Medical Technology sector. The current Road Show will take place on April 16-19th, 2007, at several locations throughout California. For additional information, please contact Eran Doron,
Chief Operating Officer, ILSRS at
Registration and additional information about the event can be found

Springboard: Israel 2007

Washington-based NGO Springboard Enterprises has launched a program, the goal of which is to coach a dozen Israeli companies, each of which has a significant presence of women in its management, and expose them to U.S. venture capital sources.  The program will include a boot camp and personal coaching, as well as presentations to an audience of corporate, angel and venture investors that will take place on April 19th, 2007, at George Washington University in Washington D.C.

his event is the result of intensive efforts by Springboard Enterprises, Virginia Israel Advisory Board, Israel-America Chamber of Commerce & Industry, BIRD Foundation and other organizations that are screening, selecting and coaching the candidates for this event.




ILSI - Boston Bio Device Partnering Event (May 2-4th, 2007)                                         

Prior to BIO 2007 that will take place in Boston, there will be a partnering event dedicated to promote collaborations and alliances between Israeli and Massachusetts companies.
The event provides the following opportunities:
- Israeli companies' presentations of their technologies and products
- American companies' and VCs presentations of partnering trends and needs through panel discussions
- One-on-one meetings between companies and VCs from both countries
- Analysis of overall trends in the life science market in each country
- Significant networking opportunities and access to key service providers to the U.S. life science industry

Israeli companies interested in joining the event, please contact Ms. Yael Rogel-Fuchs, Executive Director of Israel Life Science Industry Organization (ILSI) at

American companies can contact Limor Nakar-Vincent, BIRD representative, at for additional information.


Proposal Deadlines                                                                                                         


The BIRD Foundation’s next Board of Governors meeting will take place on June 20th in Washington, D.C. 


In order for your proposal to be eligible for the Board's review, the following are the final dates for submission: 


Thursday, March 22nd, 2007 – Executive Summary of the Proposal  

Thursday, April 19th, 2007 – Final Proposal 


Please feel free to contact us in order to discuss your proposal, prior to submission of an Executive Summary.


To contact us, please click HERE 



Newsletter II                                                                                                                       

Newsletter I                                                                                                                        


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