BIRD Newsletter IV


Dear friends and colleagues, 

Enclosed is the fourth 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    


Call For Proposals

  BIRD News & Updates

About BIRD                 


BIRD Upcoming Events

Contact Us

Spotlight On...

Director's Perspective                                                                                                     

30 Years of BIRD – Looking Into The Past, Securing The Future 

The first half of 2007 was a hectic time that culminated in the events held in Washington, D.C., commemorating the 30th Anniversary of BIRD, and in the approval of 15 additional great projects at the Washington Board of Governors meeting
(see reports below for further information). 
In light of the 30th Anniversary celebrations, the BIRD team undertook a very significant project: recording some of the history of BIRD. The outcome of this work is a book entitled: Partnering for Progress; BIRD: 30 Years of Collaboration; 1977-2007. The book design and production was consigned to littlebig, supported by the BIRD team. A copy of the book can be downloaded HERE. 


Searching for and preparing the material for the book was an adventure and a very rewarding experience. We had the satisfaction of finding and interviewing people who were deeply involved in the formation of BIRD 30 years ago; who had not been in touch with the Foundation since then. The research efforts lead to rich material being uncovered by members of the BIRD team in the archives. In its appendices, the book contains comprehensive lists of people and projects, as well as enlightening financial data. 


The second half of 2007 is expected to be just as busy as the first. We are planning to hold an additional 30th Anniversary celebration, this time in Israel, scheduled for December 17, 2007. On December 18, 2007 the BIRD Board of Governors will meet in Jerusalem to consider another round of projects (the deadlines for proposals are, as usual, included in this newsletter, and posted on our website). 


It is true that we have invested much energy in recording our legacy and celebrating past performance, which in my view are very important activities. However, a good deal of time and effort has been dedicated to the future. Encouraged by Israeli government officials, we have undertaken an important initiative to increase BIRD’s endowment (which has not been increased since 1984), focusing in the areas of Sustainable Development and related enabling technologies, such as Nanotechnology and Biotechnology. As you can imagine, this is not an easy road and we expect significant hurdles. We are going to persevere, because we strongly believe that increasing the endowment and focusing on sustainability will open a new era of mutual benefit for U.S.-Israeli cooperation. This initiative has been very positively received, since many people on the Israeli side understand the importance of giving in addition to receiving (mutual benefit) and many people on the American side have great appreciation for what Israeli technology can contribute to the U.S.  


Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D.

Executive Director



BIRD News & Updates                                                                                                     

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

BIRD Foundation to Invest $13 Million in 15 Advanced Projects                 

At its Board of Governors meeting held June 20, 2007 in Washington, D.C., the BIRD Foundation approved investments totaling approximately $13 million in 15 new, joint U.S.-Israeli projects, with a combined budget of more than $36 million. Projects approved are from diverse technological fields: Telecommunications, Life Sciences, Homeland Security and Environmental Protection. 


Participating Israeli companies include promising young firms such as AeroScout, ColorChip and AgentVi, as well as more mature Israeli companies, such as BigBand and Opgal. Many of the participating American corporations are mid-sized (less than $100 million in revenues and fewer than 500 employees). Larger corporations engaged in the projects funded this time include B. Braun Medical and Donaldson Company (The complete list of projects approved can be found by clicking "READ MORE" at the end of this article). 


Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD's Executive Director, emphasized that BIRD is proactively looking for quality cooperation projects in the broad area of sustainable development, which includes Renewable Energy, Water Treatment and Environmental Protection. Click HERE to read more about the approved projects… 



BIRD Celebrates 30 Years of Successful High-Tech Innovation               


On June 19th, BIRD celebrated its 30th anniversary with a stimulating and successful Seminar held at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. The event, “The Future of Technology Cooperation: A U.S.-Israel Perspective,” was organized in cooperation with The National Institute of Standards and Technology, The National Academy of Sciences, Israel’s Office of the Chief  Scientist, and the Embassy of Israel. 


The 30th anniversary celebration provided a unique opportunity to hear senior government and industry leaders from Israel and the U.S. discuss successful technology cooperation and the future of innovation. 


Four joint projects funded by the BIRD Foundation were presented during the seminar. These were:    

  • GE-DxRay, which are developing “two color” CT (Computed Tomography) capability 
  • Opgal-Kollsman, a cooperation that led to the revolutionary EVS system, which greatly assists in the landing of business jets on low-visibility runways 
  • CByond-ACMI (now called Gyrus ACMI), two firms that developed a compact endoscope with an integral miniature camera and internal LED illumination 
  • RaySat- iDirect, which developed a satellite antenna for in-vehicle entertainment 

Keynote speakers included Dr. Mark M. Little, Senior Vice President and Director, GE Global Research and Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google.


Dr. Mark M. Little, who leads GE Global Research, discussed global trends and challenges, due to growing population and life expectancy, that will demand more electricity, clean water and access to quality and affordable healthcare. He also mentioned growing security concerns and the need to protect the environment, saying that our actions today drive our future. “Eco-magination is a big thing at GE,” said Little, “GE has some 45 ecologically oriented products. They include a cleaner coal burner and a hybrid locomotive train. GE has already spent more than $5 billion on getting energy from wind". 


Dr. Vinton Cerf, Google’s “Chief Internet Evangelist,” closed the program. He said that in 1997 there were 50 million Internet users and today, there are 1.1 billion of them. Even so, Cerf said, that number represents barely 17% of the entire world “leaving plenty of opportunities for innovation and more internet penetration, especially in the underdeveloped parts of the world.”  Dr. Cerf‘s striking talk included a summary of “Unsustainable and Sustainable Trends”. Among the unsustainable trends he mentioned increasing carbon emissions and the percentage of the world population that lives in poverty. The sustainable trends mentioned included increasing computing power, network capacity, storage capacity and increasing lifetime and productivity. 


The program also included the following speakers & guests:

  • John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State 
  • Dr. William Jeffrey, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology  
  • Dr. Eli Opper, Chief Scientist, Israel's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor  
  • Ron Dermer, Economic Minister to North America, Embassy of Israel
  • Dr. Sam Baldwin, Chief Technology Officer, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Dr. Orna Berry, Chairperson, Israel Venture Association  
  • Yoel Gat, Chairman and CEO, RaySat™

That same evening, closing a great day, a reception was held at the DAR Headquarters, with the participation of Congressman Steve Israel as keynote speaker.

Congressman Steve Israel (D - NY) Dr. Vinton G. Cerf - VP & Chief Internet Evangelist,  Google







Dr. Mark M. Little 

Senior VP &  Director, GE Global Research  

Dr. Eli Opper  

Chief Scientist, Israel's Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor  


Presentations and more pictures from the seminar can be found HERE










More than 60 Companies Attended U.S.-Israel New Media Business Exchange in Atlanta, Co-sponsored by BIRD               

Twenty emerging Israeli and Southeast companies joined more than 40 leading North American companies in the new media industry for the first-ever U.S.-Israel New Media Business Exchange, which took place July 25-26, at the Atlanta corporate campus of Turner Broadcasting. The event presented an unparalleled opportunity for the emerging companies to present themselves and have pre-arranged and pre-qualified meetings with leading companies from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to foster joint venture R&D, investment, content and marketing alliances.  


The event was hosted by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.) and organized by the Atlanta-based American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region (AICC) in partnership with Microsoft. The Exchange offered a unique peer-to-peer networking experience and innovative business matchmaking framework, and for the North American companies, a very concise and productive forum to gain advanced exposure to a wide range of cutting-edge technologies from Israel.   


Tom Glaser, President of AICC and Southeast representative for BIRD, addressed the attendees on the Foundation’s incentives to support joint venture R&D projects between U.S. and Israeli companies.  Previous BIRD grant recipient, Arris, was a sponsor of the event and active participant. 

Attendees expressed strong praise for the New Media Exchange: “The New Media Exchange was a unique opportunity for us to meet with a number of excellent companies in the new media arena.  The fact that these companies were all pre-qualified to attend meant that most were extremely relevant to our business,” said David Rudolph, SVP, Strategy and New Products, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (a Time Warner company based in Atlanta that is a major producer of news and entertainment products around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry). Uri Admon, co-founder and CEO of Dyuna (Tel Aviv, Israel-based):  “In less than two days, we met 17 companies, every one worth a trip alone.  A key point was that we met the right people who received information on Dyuna in advance and came prepared for our meetings.  We left Atlanta with a number of strong open leads.”

“This event showcased Israeli companies and their innovative technologies to this important business sector. Israel is a hotbed for these technologies, and we had an abundance of compelling companies from which to choose,” said Laurie Olivier, board chairman of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Atlanta-based partner of Veritas Venture Partners of Herzliya, Israel.  


Attendees expressed strong praise for the New Media Exchange: 


·         Dyuna, Uri Admon, Co-Founder and CEO (Tel Aviv, Israel-based):  “In less than two days, we met 17 companies, every one worth a trip alone.  A key point was that we met the right people who received information on Dyuna in advance and came prepared for our meetings.  We left Atlanta with a number of strong open leads.” 


·         AOL Music Network, Moviefone, AOLTV, Director of Products Grant Cerny (New York):  “The New Media Business Exchange was a hit in my book.  The spirit of genuine, positive conversation was alive and actually stirred a sense of inquiry in me that I haven't fully felt since graduate school.  I have a few takeaways with companies that are logical matches for me and my work.” 


·         Arootz, Sivan Tafla, VP Content and Adverting (Netanya, Israel-based): “This event gave us the opportunity to meet relevant companies and potential investors.  The event was very well organized and it opened a number of doors for us at major companies.” 


Participating North American companies included Turner Broadcasting, Microsoft, Time Warner, AOL, Warner Brothers, HBO, Intel Capital, Time, Inc., Time Warner Interactive, Arris, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, Veritas Venture Partners, IDG Ventures, Weather Channel, Intent Media Works, Cox Enterprises, Ericcson, Pulvermedia, Cablemas, and Comcast Interactive Capital. 


The Israeli and Southeast emerging companies were selected for participation based on their expertise and innovation in specific technology categories that were identified by the major US companies including Web Applications, Community Tools / Collaborative Software, Security and DRM, Analytics,  Emerging Ad Technologies, Advanced Video Applications, Wireless and Mobile Technologies, Gaming and Virtual Worlds, Consumer Electronics, and  Content / Rights Aggregation.   The companies included 5min, Arootz, Asankya, blogTV, Digitalsmiths, Dyuna, Exent, Gumiyo, Hingi, i-Mature, MuseStorm, Oversi, Pando, Playcast, PLYmedia, Radvision, Scopus Video Networks, SimplyGen, SpeedBit, and VBox. 


New Media Event Builds on Previous Successful Exchanges 


In 2006, 27 emerging Israeli companies joined eight emerging Southeast companies who came to Atlanta to attend the second annual U.S.-Israel Broadband Business Exchange, organized by the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region in partnership with Cox Communications and CableLabs®. In less than 24 hours, the innovative matchmaker event produced more than 600 one-on-one meetings for them with major U.S. companies producing business relationships, investments, joint ventures, and the decision of several Israeli firms to establish their US headquarters in Atlanta.  AICC invented the Business Exchange economic development model in 1994, and subsequently has organized 13 matchmaking events in Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, and Huntsville in various fields of telecommunications, medical technologies, software, automotive, and aerospace.  


“The New Media Business Exchange was a great opportunity to bring together emerging technologies with the communications industry,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, managing director for the Media and Entertainment Group in the Communications Sector at Microsoft Corp. “We look forward to establishing key relationships with potential media partners and were pleased to sponsor this event. 


Atlanta is a major center for telecommunications and new media entertainment such as gaming, with significant leadership in cable broadband,” said Christopher Klaus, CEO & Founder of Kaneva and Vice Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s technology marketing council.  “With access to world-class research universities, high-tech companies and a talented workforce, Atlanta is continuing to attract emerging businesses.” 


Additional sponsors of the event included the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (Platinum), Delta Air Lines, CarterBaldwin, Vyyo, and Greenberg Traurig (Gold), ARRIS and Consulate General of Israel (Bronze), and MIT Enterprise Forum, Atlanta Venture Forum, GlobalEXECWomen, and BIRD Foundation (Organization Co-Sponsors). 


The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce is a bi-national business association with the mission of increasing economic development by fostering understanding, cooperation, and business relationships between Israel and the Southeast. AICC is a proud affiliate of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Since its founding in 1992, AICC has been involved in completed transactions valued at more than $900 million, creating jobs and benefiting the economies of both Israel and the Southeast. AICC targets a range of projects involving import, export, research & development, direct investment and joint ventures. Key areas of focus include Software, Telecommunications, Energy, Medical Technologies and Security.

Ohio Israel Chamber Hosts First "State Innovation Forum"                

The Ohio-Israel Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Ohio Department of Development to present the “Ohio Israel Innovation Summit”. The program was especially designed to assist early stage Israeli companies find strategic partners in Ohio, raise early stage capital, find customers and assist in doing business in the U.S. 


The event was a "horizontal program" (in contrast to most events of its type, which usually focus on a particular "vertical" industry) for companies in a wide range of non related businesses, including instrumentation, controls and electronics; polymers; biomedical devices; and IT, for which Ohio has particular strength. 11 carefully selected Israeli companies were invited to come to Akron to present to a large group of VC’s, investors, strategic partners and other companies looking to do business with Israeli companies. Over 180 attendees registered for the four day event, which included speeches by the Ohio Lt. Governor, state and local officials and meetings with the Ohio BIRD representative. Event organizers coached the companies on how to present,

arranged one on one meetings and further assisted with their business development plans.   


Two potential BIRD projects, conceived during the meetings, are currently being evaluated for funding.

As a result of the successful meetings, the Ohio BIRD representative was invited to Columbus, Ohio to meet with other private investment groups and companies to further discuss the BIRD program, including a special presentation to companies and investors at the Columbus Technology Center on July 20, and to the Akron Round Table on October 29, 2007. The Akron Round Table is a major forum in Northeast Ohio that discusses international and national issues and routinely draws audiences of 400 people.  Howard Gudell’s talk will concentrate on Israel’s high tech economy and the special Relationship Israel has established with Northeast Ohio.  


On another note, the Akron, Ohio offices of BIRD, after months of development, will officially open at the end of August, providing staff support, information, technical assistance and marketing of BIRD’s programs and activities.


Israel Homeland Security Trade Mission to Illinois                                                           

Advanced Security Technologies and "Best Practices" from Israel and Illinois were the focus of the Israel Homeland Security (HLS) Trade Mission to Illinois that took place June 26-28, 2007, jointly organized by BIRD, Israel’s Economic Mission to the Midwest and the Illinois Homeland Security Market Development Bureau. The event brought together leading technology firms, government agencies, federal officials and venture capitalists with some of Israel’s most innovative homeland security technology companies, including NICE Systems, Svivot, Visual Defence, and others. As part of the three-day visit, the delegation took part in the "Israel Homeland Security Symposium" at the Illinois Science & Technology Park that included networking and business development opportunities. 


“The globe is getting smaller every day, and it’s increasingly important for Illinois to continue cultivating innovative partnerships all over the world.  We’re very proud of Illinois’ long history of working closely with Israel, and this trade mission highlights our growing collaboration in the HLS market and the real opportunities for Israeli HLS companies in Illinois,” Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said. 

Limor Nakar-Vincent, BIRD Foundation representative, stated that the goal of bringing the Israeli companies to Chicago was to focus on fostering meetings with HLS integrators and creating opportunities to work directly with local HLS agencies, both in the federal and the state level. "Chicago is the third largest city and a number one transportation hub in North America, with O'Hare Airport, being the second largest airport in the country, Midway International Airport and many other critical sites that require high security. Because the local HLS agencies are very technologically advanced, they are well positioned to benefit from the solutions provided by the Israeli companies and are willing to adopt innovative technologies". 


Noa Asher, Israel’s Economic Consul to the Midwest, summarized: "Recognizing that security is not something that can be achieved through technology alone and that it must be addressed across all facets of an organization’s network environment was one of the main conclusions that came out of the symposium. Israeli companies have extensive experience in bringing innovative products to the market, which have been tested in real life in Israel. Since Illinois wishes to see itself as a testing center for many of these innovative technologies, our goal is to bring more Israeli companies to work in this market which is evidentially less known to the industry in Israel".

This trade mission follows an Illinois trade mission to Israel last summer, which focused on the homeland security industry and allowed Illinois companies to explore the Israeli homeland security industry and establish market opportunities.


The Israeli companies attending the mission included:  

  • NICE Systems - provides audio and visual surveillance systems for private and government clients. The company recently added 15 employees to its office in Reston. 
  • Svivot - develops and implements software technology, methodology, products and solutions that enable law enforcement, intelligence and other government agencies and commercial enterprises to infer better intelligence from huge quantities of raw data from disparate sources.  
  • Visual Defence - the security convergence company - provides advanced solutions that manage mission critical systems for leading organizations around the world. The company provides customers with public safety and security solutions that increase management efficiency while leveraging existing security infrastructure. 
  • RISCO Group - develops, manufactures, and sells a comprehensive line of advanced integrated security solutions for the Global security market. RISCO Group’s four divisions- Integration, Intrusion, Access control and CCTV – provide integrated security, building management and IP/GSM communication technologies, for commercial, industrial, institutional and residential applications. 
  • MATE - is a global leader in video content analysis software for automated, proactive video surveillance.  MATE designs solutions according to our tri-layered protection shield philosophy for perimeter, site and access control layer requirements. 


Girish Rishi, General Manager of Data Solutions Operations at Motorola, was a key note speaker at the Illinois-Israel Homeland Security Symposium, and reminded the audience that Motorola was the first to provide two-way radio communication for public safety before World War II. Nowadays, Motorola Public Safety's vision is to provide integrated solutions that will include voice, data and video applications in order to supply the most updated information for the decision maker. He stated that "Israel has been a great source of innovative technologies for Motorola, and our team in Israel is a major source of products and solutions for us".





Executives Forum - Sun Microsystems                    

On March 21, 2007, Silicon Valley Executives were hosted by Sun Microsystems and the BIRD Foundation for a breakfast event that took place at the Sun facilities.  

Juan Carlos Soto, Vice President, Market Development at Sun gave an enlightening presentation about Sun's business strategy and advised on possible strategies for partnering with Sun Microsystems. 

The current executive gathering is one in a series of such meetings, which bring together entrepreneurs with industry leaders. Previous meetings included Executives from Google, SAP and Juniper Networks.


BIRD Upcoming Events                                                                                                  

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

BIRD's 30th Anniversary Celebration  

Monday, December 17, 2007

BIRD’s 30th Anniversary – a celebratory event is being planned

Prominent speakers and guest speakers will take part in the celebrations




nanoTX’07 - International Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Expo                        


The Promise of Tomorrow - The Business of Nanotechnology
October 2-4: Dallas Convention Center


Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD's Executive Director, is invited to speak at the nanoTX'07 International Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Expo, presented by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), which will be held at the Dallas Convention Center
Click HERE for more info




Spotlight On...                                                                                                                    

This section features insightful looks into various core BIRD activities.

Time Temperature Indicator (TTI) Technology                 


In this edition, we have chosen to direct our spotlight on a promising technology being jointly developed with the aid of a BIRD grant.


Imagine a packaging label that changes color when the contents spoil.  Meat, medicines, blood and milk are just some of the products whose freshness can be measured with the Time Temperature Indicator (TTI) technology currently under development by Israel’s Freshpoint Quality Asssurance Ltd. and Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp. through their Newport, Delaware facility, with funding from the BIRD Foundation. 


Each company brought its unique expertise to the project. Freshpoint patented a novel photochromic chemistry which can measure the time-temperature history of a perishable throughout the supply chain. Ciba’s expertise in inks, printing, UV technology and color analysis is being utilized to create an application that will penetrate multiple markets. 


After meeting with a BIRD Foundation representative from its Tel Aviv headquarters and with a representative from the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Central Atlantic Region, which represents the BIRD Foundation in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the companies submitted a proposal for funding and received a grant.  In 2005, the two companies commenced product development and are currently continuing collaboration as the roll out of the technology progresses.  The TTI is called OnVu™ and is slated for sale and distribution initially in various grocery sectors. 


With a multi-billion label market potential, the future indeed looks promising for Freshpoint, Ciba, the BIRD Foundation and consumers around the globe. The new technology will improve the effectiveness of quality control and the safety of perishables as freshness becomes immediately ascertainable from manufacture to consumption. (see picture below) 
Vacuum pack meat



Proposal Deadlines                                                                                                         

The BIRD Foundation’s Board of Governors (BOG) meet twice a year: June and December, in the U.S. & Israel, respectively. BIRD's last BOG meeting was held June 20, 2007 in Washington, D.C.
BIRD's upcoming BOG meeting is scheduled for December 18, 2007 in Israel. 


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


Tuesday, September 18, 2007 – Executive Summary of the Proposal  

Thursday, October 18, 2007 – Final Proposal 


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


For further details, please click HERE 






Newsletter III                                                                                                                       

Newsletter II                                                                                                                       

Newsletter I                                                                                                                        


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