BIRD Newsletter VI

 



Dear friends and colleagues,

Enclosed is the sixth edition of the BIRD newsletter. As always, 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 Updates

Director's Perspective                                                                                                        

A Leadership Challenge

 

The importance of partnerships for both emerging companies as well as for established firms is well understood nowadays, and is considered an integral part of global business culture. On the one hand, small, growing companies are always seeking fast, low cost options for penetrating markets, while established firms, on the other hand, are in urgent need of innovation, a need which sometimes cannot be realized when seeking only within the limits of their own operation. When these types of companies come together, the basis of the win-win equation of a typical BIRD partnership is created.

 

In spite of ups and downs, the U.S. is still the largest and most influential country for high tech research and development. According to a National Science Board report (January 2008), most of the immense R&D expenditure in the U.S. (about $340B in 2006) is borne by the private sector (about 66% in 2006). Although Asian countries are reducing the "technological innovation gap", the U.S. still dominates the knowledge-intensive service industries, which are considered key contributors to global growth. The conclusion is that the rationale for seeking partnerships with U.S. companies is as strong as ever.

 

Israel is a well recognized source of talent and innovation, and when combined with the existence of a relative affinity of values and culture, makes it an attractive place for U.S. firms in a "technology scouting" mode. Moreover, in making new partnerships happen, U.S. and Israeli firms can take advantage of the unique mechanism provided by the BIRD Foundation. BIRD works proactively with U.S. companies seeking technologies in Israel. No wonder we are often approached by representatives of other countries to learn about the “BIRD Model”.

 

The success and value of the BIRD Foundation has been recognized numerous times. However, as I have stated before, we now need to translate this recognition into additional funding in order to enhance BIRD’s contribution in the future.

 

In an event held on June 17, 2008 at the National Academies in Washington, D.C., Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte referred to the BIRD Foundation and to its “sister” Foundations focused on academic research, stating that “U.S.-Israeli cooperation through the BIRD, the Bi-national Science Foundation (BSF), and the Bi-national Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) is contributing valuable research and innovation to all mankind”.

 

In the same event, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Sallai Meridor posed a challenge, by stating: “…...the thought I would like to put on the table is whether it would not make sense for our two governments to consider doubling or tripling the volume of the funds to enable the scientists of our two countries to do much more”.

       

Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte  Ambassador Sallai Meridor 

I am sure the readers of this Newsletter will agree with Secretary Negroponte and Ambassador Meridor. Encouraged by them and by many others, we have undertaken their leadership challenge to increase BIRD's funding capability, so we can be responsive to the rising funding needs from entrepreneurs and firms seeking our support.


 

  

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

                                                                                      

 

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BIRD News & Updates                                                                                                     

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

BIRD Initiated Session Focusing on Collaboration at BIO 2008                                       


The BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) International Convention is the world’s foremost gathering spot for the biotechnology industry, well known for offering thought-provoking sessions and innovative networking opportunities for all levels of biotechnology professionals.

 

BIO 2008 took place on June 17th-20th, 2008 in San Diego, California. As part of the BIRD Foundation's continuous promotion of U.S. - Israeli Industrial Collaboration, we initiated a unique session titled: “Technology Transfer and the Biotech/Pharma Industry -Establishing a New Era of Collaboration”.

 

The background for the session is a reality of a diminishing pipeline of new products, of rising R&D expenses, of expiring blockbuster patents and increased pricing pressures (The first quarter of 2008 was the third consecutive down-quarter in every financing aspect and the lowest since Q3 2006). This reality has led large pharma companies to turn to buying-in of both technology and new molecular entities as alternative ways to secure success. Biotech companies, on the other hand, are trying to secure higher value for their shareholders by postponing out-licensing until a more mature stage, while academia’s push to “go for it alone” further exacerbates the problem.

 

BIRD brought together speakers from the Industry, Tech Transfer Arms and Venture Funds for the session. Positive and Negative impacts of the convergence of abilities and of cross-border collaborations on value creation and innovation potential were discussed. One of the main themes of the discussion, up front or behind the scenes was how to increase value at various deflections points during the life of an idea.

 

Mr. Marc Kessel, Founder and Managing Partner of Symphony Capital of NYC, discussed various forms of alternative financings, amongst them the well known deal Symphony Capital had with ISIS Pharmaceutical (collaborative development financing).

Dr. Dalia Cohen, CSO of Israeli Rosetta Genomics, discussed her company's cross-border collaboration with ISIS Pharmaceuticals (sponsored in part by the BIRD foundation) as a strategic cooperation & financing tool.

Mr. Tom Bliss, just leaving his office as Executive Director of External R&D Affairs at Amgen, discussed partnership issues from the "big biotech company" perspective. Mr. Bliss has recently stated that “At times, for smaller biotech companies, partnerships may seem like a necessary evil. But at Amgen Inc. they are viewed as tremendous opportunity”, and referred to this quote during the session.

Dr. Ronald W. Lennox from CHL Medical Partners captured the audience with his insightful presentation on the facilitation of early technological opportunities and what it takes to turn them into mature companies.

Dr. Lennox was followed by Mr. Amir Naiberg, CEO of Yeda Research & Development Co. (the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute), who discussed the technology transfer executive’s perspective on maintaining long-term Industry-Academia cooperation.

Concluding the discussion was Dr. Yael Weiss from MSD, who talked about enhancing pharmaceutical productivity through collaboration. Dr. Weiss stated that as there is a high risk of failure in drug discovery, multiple programs are critical to help increase the probability of success. Merck (and other big pharma companies) recognizes that various types of partnerships help increase productivity; alliances, at all stages of discovery and development, are seen as complementary to its therapeutically diverse pipeline.

 

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15 Leading Israeli Financial Information Technology Firms Visit Chicago                       


Chicago, Illinois hosted 15 leading Israeli financial information technology companies on March 11th-12th, 2008, seeking new business, partnership and investment opportunities.

 

The visiting companies included leading Israeli Information Technology firms such as Aladdin Knowledge Systems, Insightix Ltd., Intellinx Ltd., Kidaro, Sentrigo, Finjan, Safend, and Amdocs. The mission included a breakfast seminar with banks, insurance companies and local IT executives, and one-on-one business-development meetings with representatives from Chicago-area firms. In addition, the mission concluded with an insider tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

 

Noa Asher, Economic Consul to the Midwest, stated that "the mission participants presented state-of-the-art technology solutions to some of the hottest business IT issues today, including data security, data storage and management, as well as applications and software for banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, governments, integrators and software developers". Limor Nakar-Vincent, BIRD Foundation’s representative in Chicago noted that Israel’s high tech sector is famous for critical IT innovations like text messaging and the USB flash drive.

 

The Israeli companies came to Chicago because of its status as a major financial center for the United States and the world. Chicago is home to the world’s largest derivatives market, including options, futures, and other financial products, and is also home to over 2,300 commercial banks, nearly 1,000 savings institutions, over 500 credit unions and more than 2,000 insurance carriers. Statewide, Illinois is home to 4,349 bank branches, 66% more than in 1994. This extraordinary growth is nearly triple the nationwide growth average of just 23% between 1994 and 2006.
                          

 

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New Jersey Hosts BIRD for a Roundtable Focusing on Funding Water Technology              Partnerships                                                                                                                                


The New Jersey-Israel Commission welcomed Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD's Executive Director, to a business roundtable in Newark, NJ, on September 18th, 2008. The roundtable focused on funding technology partnerships in the water industry and offered an overview of water technology coming out of Israel, providing information on opportunities for technology partnerships with Israeli companies. Participants exchanged ideas and discussed the issues and challenges involved in water technology and management.

 

During the course of the discussions, Dr. Yudilevich presented the BIRD funding model and gave an overview on Israel’s water industry. Adam Zellner, Policy Director to the Governor of the State of New Jersey, described New Jersey’s plans for adopting new water policies that will lead to the implementation of new technologies for the state’s sustainable growth. Dr. Rengarajan Ramesh, General Manager, Global Technology & Dr. David Polizzotti of GE Water & Process Technologies presented GE’s strategic direction in adopting new technologies and pointed out what makes Israel a good partner from GE's point of view.


Further participants included executives from New Jersey water companies and engineering firms including American Water, United Water, Komline-Sanderson Engineering, Control & Power Systems, Inc., and others. Also in attendance were representatives from state departments and utilities including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Water Supply Authority, New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology and North Jersey District Water Supply Commission. Local research institutions (NJ Institute of Technology and Rutgers University) and business commercialization centers and incubators were also represented.

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"Building Massachusetts-Israel Economic Partnerships" Seminar                                    Focused on Alternative Energy and Water Technologies                                                         


“We stress the great importance of cooperation with Israel and the BIRD Foundation in advancing the Cleantech Industry” (Ted Carr, Chief of Staff of the Massachusetts Executive office of housing and economic development, at the "Building Massachusetts-Israel Economic Partnerships" Seminar)

 

The “Building Massachusetts-Israel Economic Partnerships” Seminar, held in Boston on September 10th, 2008, was organized by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) and the BIRD Foundation, with the support of the New England-Israel Business Council and the Consulate General of Israel to New England, in order to present opportunities for cooperation between Israeli and Massachusetts-based companies in alternative energy and water technologies.

 

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, discussed the vibrant Cleantech scene in Israel and the BIRD partnership funding model.

 

Israeli Consul Rony Yedidia and Phil Giudice from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources spoke about the governor of Massachusetts', Patrick Deval, upcoming visit to Israel in November 2008, a visit that is planned to focus on advancing the investment and partnership relationships in alternative energy and life science.

 

Assaf Barnea, Kinrot's CEO, briefed the audience about Israel’s position as a global leader in the water market and the need for new, innovative technologies to confront challenges such as water shortage and quality.

Yuval Malinski, President of the New-England Israel Business Council, emphasized that Israel’s new policy initiatives make it a potentially strong market for clean technology developed by Boston-based companies.

Carry Bullock, Vice President for Business Development at GreenFuel Technologies Corp., headquartered in Cambridge, MA, described their partnership with Israeli Algatech to develop cost effective, energy efficient fuel made from micro-algae that feeds off of carbon dioxide emissions (A partnership funded by the BIRD Foundation).

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Delegation of Israeli High Tech Companies Visits Texas-based Corporations                             

The Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Israel Venture Association (IVA) and the BIRD Foundation, organized a delegation of Israeli high tech companies and ventures capital firms to meet senior level executives from Dell, IBM, AT&T Labs and Texas Instruments. The visit also included a meeting at the Austin Technology Incubator. The two-day visit (April 9th-11th, 2008), taking place in Austin and Dallas, provided these major Texas-based corporations and institutions a unique, condensed exposure to Israeli high tech and opened the door to cooperation with promising Israeli start-up companies.


Regional Updates                                                                                                          

Israeli Delegation Reception for ASIS International SecurityConference: September 14,    2008, 6:00-8:00 PM, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce                                                   


ASIS will be holding its annual international conference this year in Atlanta---the most important event in the world of homeland security, and Israel will have a large and influential company delegation.  Reception guest speaker is Major General David Tsur, a leading security figure worldwide who has served as Tel Aviv District Police Chief, commander of an elite counter-terrorism unit in the Israel Defense Forces, the Coastal Plain District Police and Border Police and was also a special security consultant for the Atlanta Olympics.  Purpose of the event is to welcome the Israel's security industry delegation and provide a more intimate forum, away from the commotion of the conference, for US and Israeli companies to network and for member professional firms and companies to meet.



US-Israel Web 2.0 Business Exchange: September 24-25, 2008                                             
IBM Northside Dr. Campus
                                                                                                                                         


Based on the Chamber's acclaimed "business exchange" matchmaker model, this event will bring 20 pre-selected Israeli software companies to Atlanta and leading technology companies and their corporate customers to meet and explore Web 2.0, the breakthrough new internet tool that is empowering the connected enterprise.  In addition to each of the Israeli companies making presentations of their novel technologies, the exchange will offer keynotes by IBM's top experts in this field, a VC panel, and prearranged one-on-one meetings to explore business relationships such as investment, R&D, and representation in the US market.  A highlight will be the gala reception to welcome the visiting Israeli and US companies and hear IBM's view of Web 2.0 and how it is changing the way we do business.  For complete information including sponsorship packages, visit www.usisraelexchange.biz 



US-Israel TeleHealth Business Exchange: February 24-25, 2009, Blue Cross Blue Shield   of Georgia                                                                                                                                   


Rescheduled, this matchmaker event organized by the Medical Committee will bring 15  pre-selected Israeli medical device and software companies to Atlanta to present and meet potential strategic partners, investors, customers including leading device, disease management companies, and insurers.  Program will feature keynote by Dr. Paul Keckley of Deloitte’s Center for Health Solutions, case study of McKesson’s acquisition of Medcon, perspective of Healthways, and presentation of Georgia’s TeleMedicine initiative by Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and the projects executive director.  Highlight will be the gala reception to welcome the visiting Israeli companies.  For complete information including sponsorship packages, visit
www.usisraelexchange.com 

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BIRD Upcoming Events                                                                                               

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

Israeli Pavilion at WEFTEC, October 19th -22nd, 2008                                                   

WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, will be held at Chicago during 18-22 October 2008. The conference attracts thousands of water and wastewater professionals each year. Coinciding with the technical conference is WEFTEC’s exhibition – the largest in North America – which draws buyers and representatives of leading water and wastewater companies from around the world. The exhibition will host, for the first time, Israel’s national pavilion to showcase Israel’s innovative technologies and solutions for the water industry.

 

BIRD Foundation together with Government of Israel Economic Mission, NewTech, Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, and America-Israel Chamber of Commerce, are organizing the Innovation Forum on Monday, October 20, 2008.

 

This forum will bring together leading municipal managers and industry experts from the United States and Israel to examine the potential role of innovative water technologies in addressing the toughest challenges utilities face today.

 

The forum will also include a presentation of Israeli companies offering cutting edge solutions. The forum will be followed by one-on-one meetings with a select group of Israeli water companies addressing key challenges: from onsite wastewater treatment to real-time water monitoring and advanced membranes

 

For more information: CLICK HERE

If you are interested in attending, contact Limor Nakar-Vincent at limorn@birdf.com


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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 June 16th, 2008 in Washington D.C.
BIRD's upcoming BOG is scheduled for December 8, 2008 in Israel.

 

The deadlines for this CYCLE are:

 

Friday, September 12, 2008 – Executive Summary of the Proposal (PASSED)

Monday, October 13, 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

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Newsletter V                                                                                                                

Newsletter IV                                                                                                               

Newsletter III                                                                                                              

Newsletter II                                                                                                                

Newsletter I                                                                                                                  

 


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