IEDA to Host Iowa-Israel Innovation Initiative


IEDA to Host Iowa-Israel Innovation Initiative



The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) will host a program featuring the Iowa-Israel Innovation Initiative (4-I) on June 25, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the IEDA main conference room on the second floor of 200 E. Grand Ave. The event will provide an introduction to the opportunities for commercial and research collaboration with Israeli partners. Registration is free and to register and more information, please email 

The program highlights include an overview of the U.S. Israel Bi-national Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) and the Bi-national Agricultural Research and Development Foundation (BARD).

Conference participants will have an opportunity to hear from representatives from the Israeli government and learn how to find collaborative Israeli partners with whom they can seek funding from BIRD and BARD. Grants are available for both commercial and academic partnerships, across various technology sectors of the economy.



 The event presenters include:

·           Yariv Becher, Israel's Consul for Economic and Commercial Affairs to the Midwest

·           Andrea Yonah of the BIRD Foundation

·           Menahem Hesse, the newly appointed Minister of Science and Agriculture at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC will also participate in the program.

·           Several Iowa-based recipients of past grants, including DuPont Pioneer and researchers at Iowa State University are invited to attend. 

The Iowa Israel Innovation Initiative (4-I) was founded by two Iowa natives, Julie Rabinowitz and her sister, Elyse Rabinowitz. Julie earned a BA and JD at the University of Iowa. She served as Tax Counsel to Iowa Senator Charles Grassley early in her career. After practicing law in Washington, DC she spent 15 years working for the pharmaceutical company, Wyeth, of which the former Fort Dodge Animal Health was a division, prior to the acquisition of the company by Pfizer in 2009. Elyse Rabinowitz, who earned an MBA from the University of Iowa, has worked extensively in American-Israel educational programs.

“I am excited to be working again with the IEDA and enthusiastic about the many business opportunities for Iowa companies and academic institutions seeking to partner with Israel, said Julie. “Between Iowa and Israel there is a broad and active platform for collaboration. Both are leaders in core industries and related academic research, particularly life and agricultural science and renewable energy. Iowa is well situated to collaborate and capitalize on the exciting R&D pipeline coming out of Israel.

In November 2011 DuPont Pioneer and Evogene Ltd, announced a multi-year collaboration to improve resistance to soybean rust, one of the most devastating fungal diseases in soybeans. Pioneer and Evogene, based in Rehovot, Israel received partial funding from the BIRD Foundation for the project.

The newly founded Iowa Israel Innovation Initiative (4-I) is partnering with the IEDA to offer this program to participants representing various sectors of Iowa’s innovation based economy and academic institutions. This is the first of a series of programs being planned to help Iowa business and technology leaders gain greater insight into the many factors that have fueled the success of Israel as the highly acclaimed "Start-Up Nation". The opportunity for Iowa-based businesses to collaborate with Israeli partners, acquiring useful technologies from Israel through joint ventures and licensing agreements is significant given the many synergies in their respective economies.

4-I plans to work with the IEDA to facilitate commercial and academic partnerships. The mission is to support technology transfer focusing on key areas of expertise in Iowa and Israel including advanced biofuels, advanced manufacturing, machine tools and rapid prototyping, advanced navigation systems for avionics, animal health, bio catalysis and processing for pharmaceutical and biotechnology applications, cyber security, Nutraceuticals, plant genetics and water management.

IEDA officials are enthused about this opportunity to collaborate with 4-I. They have become increasingly aware of a variety of similar efforts successfully established in other states and regions of the U.S., demonstrating the ability to foster greater innovation, growth and economic development by importing cutting edge technology.

According to Rabinowitz, the BIRD and BARD Foundations are unique in their mission and commitment, supported by an endowment jointly established and more than 30 years ago by the U.S. and Israeli governments. They have awarded thousands of grants to U.S. and Israeli partners whose work has contributed to a wide range of world-class innovative technologies. These grants are just one element of a strong national government policy supporting innovation and fostered Israeli entrepreneurship.

Research collaborations with high tech giants, Intel, IBM and Microsoft, and Cisco among others have fueled enviable growth in the Israeli economy in recent years. Israel spends more per capita on R&D than any country in the OECD and is ranks third in the world, behind the U.S. and China in companies listed on the Nasdaq.



Date 25/06/2013 09:00 12:30
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