BIRD – Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to invest
$8 million in 9 new projects
The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of Agrotechnology, Cleantech, Cyber Security, Healthcare IT, Life Sciences, Quantum Technology and others
January 21, 2020 – During its meeting on December 18, 2019, held in Tel Aviv, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $8 million in funding for nine new projects between U.S. and Israeli companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $18 million.
The BIRD Foundation promotes collaborations between U.S. and Israeli companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.
Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Israel Innovation Authority.
The nine projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 992 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 42-year history. To date, BIRD’s total investment in joint projects is over $350 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.
The projects approved include:
- Advanced MemTech (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Agar Corporation (Houston, TX) to develop oil-water separation membrane technology for the oil & gas industries.
- AgroScout (Misgav, Israel) and Birdstop (San Francisco, CA) to develop a digital agronomy system for automated early detection of crop diseases and pests using a drone-in-a-box platform.
- DosentRx (Afula, Israel) and Contents Trader (Houston, TX) to develop novel technology for homecare medication tracking and management and integration into the U.S. specialty pharmacy ecosystem.
- Fluence Water Products and Innovation (Caesarea, Israel) and Energy Systems Group, LLC (Newburgh, IN) to develop and demonstrate a new energy efficient process for nitrogen removal in water resource recovery facilities, which use anaerobic digesters for sludge treatment.
- GaitBetter (Haifa, Israel) and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (Charlestown, MA) to develop a motor-cognitive intervention to improve gait and mobility in stroke survivors by adding a virtual reality (VR) experience to treadmill training.
- MDI Health Technologies (Herzliya, Israel) and Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, MA) to develop a system for providing personalized & precise medication treatments.
- Nanolock Security (Nitzanei-Oz, Israel) and Micron Technology (Boise, ID) to develop a cyber security solution to prevent and monitor persistent attacks on connected media devices.
- OncoHost (Binyamina, Israel) and RayBiotech Life (Peachtree Corners, GA) to develop and clinically validate a Host Response test for the early prediction of treatment responsiveness in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with immunotherapy
- Raicol Crystals (Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel) and Qubitekk, Inc. (Bakersfield, CA) to develop an efficient miniaturized entangled photon source for quantum computing.
Dr. Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and co-Chairman of BIRD’s Board of Governors said: “The U.S. partnering companies selected in this cycle represent a diverse group, and will certainly benefit from their cooperation with innovative Israeli companies. Their projects represent an evolving mix of technologies and were selected for significant financial support following a competitive and rigorous process. From a U.S. perspective, we see these projects and the process of selection as the main factors that have led to the BIRD Foundation’s great impact and sustained success.”
Dr. Amiram Appelbaum, Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and co-Chairman of BIRD’s Board of Governors said: “The U.S. is Israel’s major partner for innovation. We are proud that our collaboration with the BIRD Foundation has seen such spectacular successes over the decades and resulted in groundbreaking technological innovations offered by both Israeli and U.S recipients of the grant. We are confident that their innovative solutions in the varying fields will prove vital for the population worldwide. We are also calling on additional companies to submit their innovations for this program and be instrumental in finding cutting edge solutions to the global challenges we are all facing.”
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: “At the end of 2019, the BIRD Foundation marked the approval of 1000 projects between Israeli and American companies, since its inception in 1977. The selected 9 projects approved this cycle reflect the variety of partnerships that BIRD is supporting. The funds awarded to these partnerships will provide risk-sharing investments in the joint developments, and support the companies as they recruit critical resources needed to reduce the time to market.”
The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 3, 2020. Approval of projects will take place in June 2020.
About the BIRD Foundation
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects.
The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights in the participating companies or in the projects, themselves. BIRD funding is repaid as royalties from sales of products that were commercialized as a result of BIRD support. The Foundation provides funding of up to 50% of a project’s budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not require repayment if the project fails to reach the sales stage.