About BIRD

Success Stories


Many BIRD projects have had long-term impact on companies and society.
Below are some examples of these projects:


Success Stories

Reinventing the Wheel for Wheelchairs

Softwheel & Crawford Composites

Softwheel and Crawford Composites collaborated on the design, manufacturing and distribution of a Carbon Fiber Wheel for Wheelchairs. With a grant from the BIRD Foundation, the companies developed Acrobat C – a carbon fiber wheel with an innovative suspension system that absorbs shocks and vibrations while making the ride much smoother, more comfortable and even more energy efficient.



New Treatment Approved by the FDA to Treat Essential Tremor

InSightec Ltd. & Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation


InSightec Ltd. & Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation partnered to develop a device for non-invasive brain surgery for people with movement disorders. The final product“ ExAblate” funded by the BIRD Foundation, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat essential tremor in patients who have not responded to medication and significantly improves tremors and quality of life in patients with essential tremor which is the most common movement disorder.


The Focused Ultrasound Technology Foundation Chairman, Dr. Neal F. Kassel, delivered the keynote speech at the BIRD  Foundation’s Reception at the United States Chamber of Commerce and shared the story of Focused Ultrasound Technology in neuroscience and next steps for essential tremor research. “The Foundation strives to rapidly advance new treatments for patients with unmet medical needs,” explained Dr. Kassell. “Our relationship with the BIRD Foundation and InSightec is a model for how global support and collaboration can fuel progress.”

Foundation Chairman Dr. Neal F. Kassell, flanked by leaders from the government, chamber of commerce, and BIRD Foundation

Foundation Chairman Dr. Neal F. Kassell, flanked by leaders from the government, Chamber of Commerce, and the BIRD Foundation

Advanced Barcoding Solution for Underground Asset Lifecycle Tracking

Nortec & Gas Technology Institute


Nortec and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) teamed up to develop an innovative method to capture tracking and traceability data for underground natural gas plastic pipe installations. The developed technology supported by the BIRD Foundation automates the process of capturing fusion and joint information which is increasingly important for risk management and regulatory compliance. This successful project has spanned-off two new companies, NortecView and LocusView, new jobs and a solution required by utilities.

Reducing HVAC Energy Consumption

EnVerid Systems & Johnson Controls


EnVerid Systems and Johnson Controls collaborated to develop a novel air handling technology for reducing energy consumption of HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning). The project which was supported by the BIRD Foundation developed intelligent indoor air scrubbers that remove CO2, and other gas contaminants from indoor air as a substitute for outside air ventilation. This unique and innovative approach has been demonstrated to reduce the energy consumption in HVAC systems in commercial and public buildings by up to 50% at peak loads.

Helping Paraplegics to Walk

ReWalk Robotics (formerly Argo Medical Technologies) and Allied Orthotics & Prosthetics


ReWalk Robotics Ltd., (formerly Argo Medical Technologies) and Allied Orthotics & Prosthetics, with support from the BIRD Foundation, developed the ReWalk device that allows a paralyzed patient to “walk” again. The ReWalk acts like a pair of robotic trousers that uses sensors and motors to allow paralyzed patients to stand, walk and even climb stairs. ReWalk Robotics Ltd. went public (NASDAQ: RWLK) in September, 2014, following a June 2014 Food and Drug Administration approval for a motorized device that will aid movement for some people with lower body paralysis.


See: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/rewalk-robotic-exoskeleton-goes-home-with-paralyzed-veteran/

New Medical Teaching Simulator

Simbionix & USF Health



Simbionix Ltd. and USF Health, with support from the BIRD Foundation, developed a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy simulation modul Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the U.S. making it the second most frequently performed major surgical procedure. The Laparoscopic Hysterectomy procedure requires advanced surgical skills, and, as such, necessitates performing approximately 15 procedures before surgeons become proficient. The new module utilizes medical simulation to provide the necessary complex skills acquisition and training for surgeons. 3D Systems acquired Simbionix in July, 2014. Simbionix is now integrating its medical simulation training technology with 3D Systems 3D modeling service to improve surgical outcomes for patients.


High-quality thermal image for an array of applications, from Surveillance to Optical Gas Imaging

Opgal (Israel) & E.D. Bullard


Opgal (Israel) and E.D. Bullard (Kentucky) collaborated to jointly develop a system for locating gas leaks to reduce environmental and safety hazards. The solution was developed using Opgal’s thermal imaging expertise together with Bullard’s experience developing and selling thermal imaging industrial safety and other rescue equipment. On March 29, 2017, Opgal announced its proprietary Opgal Eye-Q™ system, which delivers a high-quality thermal image and is available for several applications including Optical Gas Imaging, where gas leaks are easily identified in the air.


New Drug for Gout

Mountain View Pharmaceuticals & Bio-Technology General (acquired by Savient Pharmaceuticals)


Mountain View Pharmaceuticals, and Bio-Technology General (acquired by Savient Pharmaceuticals) with a grant from the BIRD Foundation developed the drug KRYSTEXXA (TM) .The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved KRYSTEXXA(TM) (pegloticase), a PEGylated uric acid specific enzyme indicated for the treatment of chronic gout in adult patients that are refractory to conventional therapy. 


Treatment of Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Kamada & the American Red Cross


The joint project between Kamada and the American Red Cross funded by the BIRD Foundation, to develop Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor from Human source for Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency patients, was completed with the preparation of clinical grade of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and IND submission to the FDA.
This project extracts the Alpha-1 Anti-Trypsin (AAT) Protein needed for patients whose liver is unable to naturally synthesize it, and administer it to patients by infusion.  This submission led to successful clinical trials completed with FDA approval in July 2010. Kamada has reached a major licensing agreement with Baxter International to distribute intravenous Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Product for the treatment of hereditary Alpha-1 antitrypsin Deficiency which is distributed under the trade name “Glassia™”.

Reducing Tooling Cost

Tesco & CogniTens

Tesco and CogniTens Inc. joined forces, at the urging of General Motors Corp. and with funding from the BIRD Foundation, to develop a measurement system specifically tuned to the needs of automotive BIW assemblies. The result is the I3 Measurement Cell, which reduces auto makers’ costs for developing, testing and monitoring expensive product-specific tooling. GM uses the I3 approach extensively to evaluate, fit and finish the interior and exterior of the Pontiac Solstice roadster and the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.

Seasonal Allergy Treatment

Pharmos and Bausch & Lomb


Pharmos and Bausch & Lomb, funded by the BIRD Foundation, developed ‘loteprednol etabonate’ (LE) and this resulted in the fundamental formulation for the development of Lotemax, the No.1 dispensed ophthalmic steroid brand in America, and Alrex, the treatment of choice among many eye-care professionals in the United States for severe seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

Sperm Quality Analyzer

Progeny Systems & MES (Medical Electronic Systems)


Progeny Systems and MES (Medical Electronic Systems Ltd.) designed and developed The Optibreed Sperm Quality Analyzer as a unique portable unit that combines optical detection with an internal computer to provide a rapid sperm analysis – both for the human fertility market as well as the veterinary market. The Analyzer, funded by the BIRD Foundation, provides quantitative evaluation of the semen quality of cattle.