More on 40 Years of Commitment to U.S. – Israel Collaboration
In July 1977, at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the BIRD Foundation’s Board of Governors (BOG) held its inaugural meeting, marking the beginning of what would become a tradition of collaboration between U.S. and Israeli officials to discuss and select promising innovations, jointly presented by U.S. and Israeli companies.
After 40 years, on June 13, 2017, the BOG met at a U.S. State Department facility, in Washington, D.C., followed by a great 40th Anniversary celebration at the National Museum of American History (more on the celebration in a dedicated article below). The day before the BOG meeting, representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) met to discuss joint U.S.-Israeli projects submitted to the second annual cycle of the BIRD First Responders program. At the BOG meeting, 11 projects were approved, three of them for the DHS-MOPS First Responders program.
In general, first responders are in great need of solutions to support safe, efficient and effective response to everyday emergencies. One important element of any modern solution includes the use of advanced technologies, properly developed or adapted to the varied and special circumstances in which first responders operate. The use of technology is now ubiquitous in the missions of individual infantry soldiers from advanced armies. However, the cost of equipment is still very high. For first responders, the need is not only to develop hi-tech solutions well matched to their missions, but also to take into consideration the affordability of such solutions.
First responders are on the job 24/7, during routine and, especially critical, during catastrophic natural or man-made disasters, something we see happening every day in different parts of the world. For entrepreneurs and companies this can be a significant market. The next Call for Proposals for the BIRD First Responders program is expected to be published in November 2017.
As demonstrated by the BIRD First Responders program, after 40 years, the BIRD Foundation continues to find new avenues to enhance the power of innovation through U.S.-Israel collaboration, bringing important solutions for global needs.
Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D.