BIRD Newsletter IX


Dear friends and colleagues,

Enclosed is the ninth 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

Director's Perspective                                                                                                        

Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director

For Mutual U.S.-Israel Benefit


In December 2009, Israeli Ministers of Finance and of Industry, Trade and Labor announced the Israeli Government’s decision to increase the three U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations’ (BIRD, BSF and BARD) endowment. Pending a similar decision by the U.S., this will be the first increase in the Foundations’ endowment funds since 1984. I would like to dedicate my `Perspective’ in this newsletter to this important development. For obvious reasons, I will focus on BIRD.


BIRD’s mission is to foster collaboration between U.S. and Israeli companies by serving as a catalyst for R&D and innovation. BIRD provides conditional grants to fund joint projects developed by Israeli and American companies who agree to combine their know-how and competitive advantages to bring an innovative technology or product to market.


BIRD’s contribution to progress in Israel’s industrial sector in general, and in particular to Israel’s hi-tech sector, is undisputed. A most recent historical reference can be found in the now best-seller book “Start-Up Nation” (By Dan Senor and Saul Singer), which states that “the impact of BIRD far surpassed mere revenues”. Other countries have tried to mimic Israel’s model with the U.S., understanding the importance of such a relationship with the most powerful technology centers in the world.


The benefits to Israeli companies and the Israeli economy are clear and one can even say, in hindsight, obvious. However, BIRD is all about mutual benefit. Therefore, I would like to shed light here as to the U.S. side’s benefit in the equation, which is less straightforward.


Today, innovation is a main growth engine of nations and firms. Most firms today have adopted an “open innovation” environment, seeking to increase the inflow of creative ideas, understanding that their competitive edge depends very much on internal and external innovation. Through BIRD projects, U.S. companies gain easier access to Israel’s innovation machine, giving U.S. companies a competitive advantage over other potential global partners. The combination of U.S. and Israeli talent not only increases opportunities to access cost-effective innovation brainpower, it also provides U.S. companies a competitive advantage, by reducing time-to-market from innovation to product.


Employment and job creation have become main concerns in the United States. BIRD’s proven mechanism produces tangible results and creates jobs. Every BIRD project is a source for employment opportunities - from the R&D phase, in which engineers, scientists, technicians and others are employed, to the commercialization phase, which brings with it marketing and manufacturing jobs. Furthermore, Israeli companies often find it convenient to set-up and expand operations in the U.S., creating additional jobs of a diversified character. The actual quantification of the number of jobs produced is a difficult task, but we can estimate that many thousands of job-years have been created, directly and indirectly, by BIRD projects.


The U.S. Government has recently launched a National Export initiative. It is obvious that BIRD projects support Israeli exports, but it may be less obvious that they can also help increase U.S. exports, through the reduction of time-to-market and even by using the Israeli partner’s market presence in Israel and in other global markets.


We at BIRD are proud to be a significant element of the strong relationship between the United States and Israel.

We are even prouder that everything we do is for mutual benefit.


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




BIRD News & Updates                                                                                                     

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

America-Israel Chamber of Commerce Embraces Israeli Cleantech

A delegation of 14 Israeli Cleantech companies, chaired by Mr. Binyamin "Fuad" Ben-Eliezer, Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, spent two days in Philadelphia this fall at the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce’s (AICC) first U.S.-Israel Cleantech Conference. 

The Conference, held as part of a three-day tour throughout the mid-Atlantic United States, included expert panels dealing with ways of penetrating the U.S. market and maximizing public and private investment, as well as presentations by Israeli companies representing a wide cross-section of Israel’s Cleantech industry. Hosts were assigned to each of the Israeli companies’ representatives, facilitating focused meetings with the nearly 200 regional Cleantech professionals who attended the conference.


The Conference served as a catalyst for continued initiatives by AICC in the Israeli Cleantech arena:  Participating Israeli companies continue to pursue opportunities in the Greater Philadelphia Region with support from their hosts, and AICC’s Cleantech Committee is planned to meet with Dr. Shlomo Wald, Chief Scientist, Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures in May, exploring the option to hold a Sustainable Transportation conference featuring Israeli companies in the fall.


Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance Opens Business Development Office in Haifa

The Dayton Region Israel Trade Alliance (DRITA) has established a business development office in the Matam Advanced Hi Tech Park in Haifa. The office’s establishment is the result of an official economic and business cooperation Memorandum of Understanding signed in Dayton in September, 2009 between the Director General of the Municipality of Haifa, the Mayor of Dayton, and the Dayton Development Coalition, a regional business development organization representing 16 Ohio counties. Other Partners include the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Wright State University, University of Dayton Research Institute, IDCAST, National Composite Center and the State of Ohio, which had designated Dayton as a Center of Excellence for the aerospace and UAV industries in Ohio.


At a gala dinner held at the Dan Carmel Hotel on February 8th honoring the newly established partnership and the Dayton group’s visit, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav stated, “Haifa couldn’t ask for a better business partner, and we are all looking forward to much success from this cooperation.”  Jim Leftwich, CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, expressed similar views: “this partnership has already resulted in a number of exciting joint projects, and with the opening of our office in the Matam Advanced Hi Tech Park, we can only be excited over the prospects of this wonderful new relationship with the City of Haifa”. 


Uri Attir, the new Business Development Director of the Office (and former Programs Director at the BIRD Foundation) stated, “I believe the framework for cooperation between the Dayton Region and the Municipality of Haifa will create new and exciting joint opportunities for companies, academic institutions and civic organizations. It is my privilege to take part in this challenging endeavor as DRITA’s liaison in Israel.”  


During the February 2010 mission, the Dayton group met with  high level executives at Intel, Philips, Rafael, Microsoft, Elop, Elbit, Cyclone, Urban Aeronautics, Technion, and Tel Aviv and Haifa Universities, among others, to discuss joint development of projects, R&D cooperation and co-location opportunities for both the  Haifa and Dayton regions.


Howard Gudell, Ohio BIRD Representative and a Partner in SGI Global Business Advisors acted as consultant to the Dayton group and Municipality of Haifa to develop the cooperation agreement, establish the office and create the business strategy. The new Office is the result of past missions, discussions and ongoing cooperation dating from 2008 to the present.




Nine Israeli Companies Featured at the Water Technology Business Exchange

Despite recent rains, water leaders from Israel and the Southeastern US met to explore how Israeli technologies can help assure that there will be adequate resources for the region’s growing population at the Southeast-Israel Water Technology Business Exchange, held October 15th, 2010.  The matchmaker event was coordinated by the Cleantech Committee of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region.

Participating Israeli companies were AGM, Amiad, CheckLight, Lesico, Mapal, Mekorot, ODIS, Puritec-GES, and Vortex.  The event featured presentations by them and one-on-one meetings with municipal operators, industries, integrators, engineering firms, and technology companies from throughout the Southeast region. In all, there were over 60 one-on-one meetings, and subsequent business deals have been reported.

"We're pleased to have brought these companies together, and trust that the event will produce business for the Israeli companies and solutions for the Southeast operators and companies," said Gene Rubel, then-chairman of AICC's Cleantech Committee.




April Life Science Mission to Israel Promotes Emory University

The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region organized a delegation of life science researchers and entrepreneurs who came to Israel the week of April 11th, 2010.  The delegation was led by Dr. Raymond Schinazi, director of Emory’s Center for AIDS Research and co-developer of an AIDS drug that was licensed to Gilead Pharmaceuticals for over $500 million.

The purpose of the mission was to promote Emory University-one of the major medical and life science centers in the Southeast US - exploring the potential for collaboration with Israeli colleagues and companies. The itinerary included visits to noted Israeli universities, medical centers, major companies such as Teva, and meetings with promising start ups.


Israeli Innovation Weekend Program in Boston – “Healing the World Through Technology”

BIRD Foundation supported the 3rd Alan J. Tichnor Memorial Weekend: Israeli Innovation – “Healing the World Through Technology”, held April 30th - May 2nd, 2010 at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill and The Museum of Science in Boston, MA. This year’s weekend program was held in conjunction with the Office of the Consulate General of Israel to New England.
The weekend included technology exhibits at the Museum of Science featuring Israeli innovations, and presentations on innovation and technology being developed in Israel.
For further information, please click

Breakfast Meeting with Young Jordanian and Israeli Women Entrepreneurs

On April 30th, 2010, a special breakfast meeting was conducted in Chicago to welcome a group of ten young female entrepreneurs from Israel and Jordan, who are developing and launching their business ventures. The entrepreneurs traveled to the United States for a training program that includes workshops, site visits, job shadowing, cultural activities and networking.  The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.


The primary objective of this breakfast meeting was to bring together Chicago area business people to meet the entrepreneurs, giving the women the opportunity to grow their business network. The audience was deeply inspired by the entrepreneurs from Jordan and Israel, who presented their ventures and aspirations. Keynote speaker was Major General (Retired) Charles Tucker, Executive Director of the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI) of DePaul University College of Law, who discussed their programs in empowering women and entrepreneurship throughout the world. Additional speakers who welcomed the group were Ms. Orly Gil, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest and Mr. Omar Sweiss, representing the Consulate of Jordan in Chicago, who commended the participants and the University of Wisconsin for organizing the program


The breakfast meeting was a joint effort and was sponsored by the Amman & Petach Tikva Committees of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program, the Consulate of Jordan, Chicago, Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the America Israel Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and the BIRD Foundation.


Ruti Baum Retired after 25 Years at BIRD

After almost 25 years of working at the BIRD Foundation, Ruti Baum has retired. We trust that she will enjoy her retirement and wish her much health and happiness in doing so.

Joining the Foundation is Asaf Keren.

Asaf holds a B.A. in Accounting and a L.L.B certification both from the Tel-Aviv University. Asaf has a C.P.A. qualification and experience in the accounting profession as a senior Auditor in one of the “Big 4” accounting firms as well as in the private venture capital market in a global private corporation.


BIRD Upcoming Events                                                                                               

US-Israel Healthcare IT Business Exchange Planned for June 2010 in Atlanta

The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region is making plans for the US-Israel Healthcare IT Business Exchange, June 8th-9th, 2010, that will be hosted by IBM at their Atlanta corporate campus (the Atlanta area is known as the leading center of Healthcare IT in the U.S.).  The 2-day matchmaker event is being designed to provide major US stakeholders in Healthcare IT (such as payers, providers, government and industry) with access and introductions to leading Israeli technology companies in this sector.  Dr. Yitzhak Peterburg, author of a recent Milken Institute study of Israel’s Healthcare IT industry, is the Israeli chairman of the event.  Up to 20 Israeli companies, out of over 100 identified, will be invited to participate.  Major US companies expected to meet with them include McKesson, Eclipsys, GE, Intel, Cerner, Siemens, Epic, AllScripts, AT&T, Cox Communications, Polycom, Medtronic, NextGen, and more.


The Chamber worked with the Israel Economic Office to the Southern U.S. and the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute to welcome 8 Israeli companies to Atlanta during the first week of March to participate in HIMSS, the international conference in Healthcare IT.  The intention was to elevate the Israel “brand” in this sector and encourage participation in the planned June event.

Personalized Medicine World Conference in Israel on June 2010

The BIRD Foundation is supporting the Personalized Medicine World Conference to be held on June 21st in Herzliya and organized by Silicom Ventures and ADVANTEST.
The conference will bring together professionals from global corporations, startups, clinicians, regulation specialists, investors and academia, to discuss the innovations and challenges facing Personalized Medicine. Examples of topics include: molecular and companion diagnostics, pharmacogentics, new drug development business models and the convergence of IT and bioinformatics
Company Competition Award 
will showcase Israel's most innovative startups.  
For additional information and registration, please



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 upcoming BOG is scheduled for June 2010,  in Washington D.C.


The deadlineS for thE DECEMBER 2010 CYCLE ARE:


Wednesday, September 15, 2010 – Executive Summary of the Proposal

Friday, October 15, 2010 – 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, or contact Einat, at


Newsletter VIII                                                                                                              

Newsletter VII                                                                                                                

Newsletter VI                                                                                                                 

Newsletter V                                                                                                                  

Newsletter IV                                                                                                                 

Newsletter III                                                                                                                

Newsletter II                                                                                                                  

Newsletter I                                                                                                                    


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