BIRD Newsletter V


 Dear friends and colleagues,

Enclosed is the fifth edition of the BIRD newsletter. As we are "reaching maturity", we welcome
and encourage 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

Regional Activity

Director's Perspective                                                                                                     

Empowering BIRD and TRIDE through Additional Funding

Here are some of the major issues we are currently promoting:


BIRD’s Empowerment through Additional Funding


BIRD is actively pursuing additional funding power, for the first time since 1984. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, recently signed into law by President George W. Bush, includes a provision for U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation, focusing on alternative/renewable energy and energy efficiency. The provision explicitly mentions BIRD as a successful cooperation model and as a component of the implementation. This is an outstanding development for Israel, being the only country with which there is such a comprehensive provision for energy cooperation in the law, which potentially will increase BIRD’s funding capability for energy projects.

The major funding effort has set as a goal to double the existing endowment. BIRD is cooperating on this matter with BSF (the Binational Science Foundation) and BARD (the Binational Agricultural R&D Fund), two U.S.-Israel foundations focused on more basic, academic research, in a joint effort to increase the endowments of all three foundations.


The TRIDE Fund: Cooperation with Jordan


It is not very well known that the team at the BIRD Foundation has another very important role, assigned to it in 1996, when a joint U.S.-Israel-Jordan fund, named TRIDE, was established. This fund was provided with relatively small amounts of money by the three governments, for the purpose of supporting joint industrial R&D projects between companies from the three countries, following BIRD’s model. I believe this is a very important endeavor, in which the BIRD team has contributed to regional cooperation and economic growth. Last September, the first joint project of the second round of funding was approved by TRIDE’s Executive Committee, composed of senior officials from Jordan, Israel and the U.S., after a technical review carried out in the three countries.


Areas of interest and joint capabilities are: ICT, pharmaceutical products, energy and water technologies. Like Israel, Jordan receives little significant income from natural resources, and therefore must nurture its nation's human capital and its knowledge assets. The Jordanian government has recognized the potential in promoting scientific and technological subjects. Science and Technology (S&T) activities are coordinated by the Higher Council for Science and Technology, founded in 1987, one of its main roles being to encourage interaction between research and production elements. The Council also deals with encouraging innovation, commercializing technologies and fostering international collaborations. A recently published report on scientific and technological activities in Jordan describes various collaborations with the U.S., the E.U., Germany, Egypt and many other countries.


In order to leverage TRIDE as an outstanding platform for regional cooperation, we are looking to include private investors in the next round of funding.

The TRIDE Fund's new website was launched this month. Click HERE to view the website.


Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D.
Executive Director
BIRD Foundation and TRIDE Fund




BIRD News & Updates                                                                                                     

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

2007 A Good Year for Life Science Projects Approved for BIRD Grants                 

2007 proved itself as a rather productive year in terms of the general number of applications evaluated and approved for BIRD grants. Amongst this large number of projects, and compared to previous years, stood out a higher percentage of Life Science oriented projects (both projects submitted for evaluation and projects which were ultimately approved for funding). This increase correlates to the increased activity in the area of Life Science, both in Israel and the U.S.


The global effort geared toward the creation of a new generation of safe, effective and inexpensive medicines for many infectious diseases was well reflected in BIRD's 2007 Portfolio. A wide span of therapy approaches, from innovative concepts for therapy of some of the more devastating types of cancer, to new indication of an approved chemical entity for the treatment of a major dermatologic condition, were sponsored by the Foundation this past year.


In June 2007 the Organization for Econonmic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a high level forum on neglected and emerging infectious diseases in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The forum stressed the need for a global effort towards achieving therapies for ailments afflicting large populations, populations which constitute non-viable commercial markets. We at the BIRD Foundation have been practicing some of recommendations published by the forum for the past 30 years, a fact which is also well reflected in our 2007 portfolio. BIRD has been:


  • Creating incentives for R&D through alternative policy mechanisms to reward innovation
  • Facilitating the development and operation of a sustainable architecture for sharing and exchanging knowledge, data and research tools
  • Exploring collaborative mechanisms for intellectual property management
  • Promoting the transfer of technology, knowledge and technical skills to strengthen innovation systems in developing countries
  • Supporting and providing incentives to new for-profit and non-profit models of partnerships between developing and developed nations to accelerate R&D for neglected diseases


For a full list of projects approved for BIRD funding, please click HERE


BIRD Celebrates 30 Years - A Personal Look                                                                   

On December 17th, 2007, BIRD celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Einav Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, this being the second festive celebration (the first,
“The Future of Technology Cooperation: A U.S.-Israel Perspective,” was a seminar held to commemorate the 30th anniversary in Washington D.C, on June 2007, as reported in the previous edition of the newsletter).

Over 200 Friends of BIRD – both old and new - honored us by joining our Israeli celebration: CEO’s; Academicians; as well as Representatives of the Israeli and U.S. governments, including the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, his Honorable Mr. Richard Jones.


30 years is a milestone any way one looks at it.  When I started working at BIRD, the Foundation was relatively an unknown entity. Back then, it was extremely difficult to convince U.S. companies that something worthwhile existed over the ocean. Throughout the years (yours truly has been with BIRD for over 28 years), I have seen the Foundation grow, by helping to bring new technology to market for the benefit of both countries. BIRD has spread its wings from the traditional hi-tech sectors such as electronics and communications to include emerging sectors such as renewable energy and cleantech.

In short, we were celebrating the fact that BIRD had evolved over the years into an organization that contributes significantly, not only to the development of the hi-tech industries both in Israel and the United States, but also to their respective economies in general.


Chava Doukhan, Tel Aviv Office Manager

BIRD former Executive Directors and current
Executive Director
The Three Israeli Tenors  



Alternative Energy Event Held at Silicon Valley                                                               

On Feb 7th, the BIRD Foundation and the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco held a morning event with Dr. Richard Swanson, President, CTO and Co-Founder of SunPower Corporation, as a keynote speaker. The Event was held at Silicon Valley.

Dr. Richard Swanson - SunPower Corporation  Dr. Richard Swanson & Ms. Michal Miasnik


The BIRD Foundation, the Israel-U.S binational research foundation, held a conference on renewable energy. The conference's keynote speaker was Dr. Richard Swanson, Co-Founder and President of the SunPower Corporation, one of the world's leading companies in the field of photoelectric power. The conference was held in the Silicon Valley area and attracted some 50 senior executives, many of them Israelis working in the region. According to BIRD’s Executive Director Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, the Foundation sees this conference as an important milestone due to the collaborations it promotes between Israeli and international companies in a broad variety of fields, and that it continues the tradition of forging connections between Israeli entrepreneurs and the American business leadership. Renewable energy is one of the Foundation's leading priorities


Highlights from BIRD Southeast's Regional Activity                                                        

Some Highlights from BIRD's Southeast office's regional activity:


A Presentation on BIRD funding options was made to Atlanta-based Cryolife, and an effort was made to identify and propose two potential Israeli company partners.  Discussions are also being held with the electric utility Southern Company's research organization, EPRI, on a potential joint venture R&D project with an Israeli energy efficiency start up.


Oded Distel's (who is the Executive Director of Israel NEWTech) 2-day visit to Atlanta to promote Israeli water technology companies was organized by the southeast office. Meetings were scheduled with local and state governments, water operators, The Coca-Cola Company, and engineering firms and consultants.  Israel NEWTech and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs will support the proposed Israeli delegation to the Annual Industrial Conference & Expo of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, held later this month and planned to feature Israel keynote and technology panel presentations.


The office has also partnered with Amdocs to enact, a platform designed to generate and foster business relationships between Israeli startup companies and Amdocs customers such as AT&T.  A dozen Israeli companies are being selected for the program, and will come to Atlanta on March 24th and to San Antonio on March 26th to meet with key AT&T executives.


Georgia Blue Cross Blue Shield, a subsidiary of WellPoint - America's largest health insurer, is confirmed as the major sponsor and corporate host of the US-Israel TeleHealth Business Exchange to be held June 16-17, 2008. The event will bring up to 20 emerging Israeli companies to Atlanta to meet with potential strategic partners, investors, and customers.



BIRD Upcoming Events                                                                                           

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


From Science to Industry: Successes and Challenges
of the U.S. - Israel Binational Model

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 08:00- 14:00
The National Academy of Sciences Building, Washington, D.C.

The seminar will provide a unique opportunity to hear leaders in government, science and industry from the United States and Israel discuss the challenges and successes of bringing innovations from the lab to the marketplace.
The seminar will explore the path of new ideas, highlighting the
U.S. - Israel binational model and its future impact

This one-of-a-kind program is jointly organized by BARD – U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund; BIRD – U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation; & BSF – U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation

Keynote speakers
Prof. Victor Lechtenberg, Interim Provost, Purdue's University
Prof. Sidney Altman, Yale University, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry
Dr. Eli Opper, Chief  Scientist, Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor
Dr. Ed Mlavsky, Chairman & Founding Partner, Gemini Israel Funds
Dr. Sass Somekh, Founder, Musea Ventures
The Hon. John D. Negroponte, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
The Hon. Sallai Meridor, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.

For registration and further information contact us at



Proposal Deadlines                                                                                                         

The BIRD Foundation’s Board of Governors (BOG) is held twice a year: June and December, in the U.S. & Israel, respectively.  BIRD's last BOG was held December 18th, 2007 in Israel. BIRD's upcoming BOG is scheduled for June 16th, 2008 in Washington, D.C.


dEADLINES FOR bird’S dECEMBER 2008 bog:


September, 2008 – Executive Summary of the Proposal
October, 2008 – Final Proposal


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

For contact details, please click HERE



Newsletter IV                                                                                                                       

Newsletter III                                                                                                                       

Newsletter II                                                                                                                       

Newsletter I                                                                                                                        


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