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BIRD - Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to Invest $7.5 Million in 9 New Projects

TEL AVIV, Israel, December 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

During its meeting on December 16, 2015, held in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved $7.5 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 $21 million.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration 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 by the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry.

The nine projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 926 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 38 year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in joint projects has been over $300 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

The projects approved include:

  • BDR Technologies (Ness Ziona, Israel) and MagBioSense (St. Louis, MO): Ultra-sensitive Point-of-Care device for rapid detection of biomarkers.
  • ECOncrete Tech (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Besser Company (Alpena, MI): Bio-enhanced drycast concrete products that mitigate climate.
  • Elbit Systems (Haifa, Israel) and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems (Irvine, CA): Small-sat search and rescue application.
  • Forrest Innovations (Caesarea, Israel) and U.S. Company: Solutions to control diseases in potatoes.
  • Groundwork BioAg (Lod, Israel) and Marrone Bio Innovations (Davis, CA): Biological stacked seed treatment.
  • Kramer Electronics (Jerusalem, Israel) and iRule (Detroit, MI): Distributed advanced commercial control solution.
  • Screenovate (Ra'anana, Israel) and U.S. Company: Wireless display project.
  • VocalZoom (Yokne'am, Israel) and Vixar: (Plymouth, MN): VCSEL Module for sensing applications.
  • WSC Sports Technologies (Bnei Brak, Israel) and Krossover Intelligence (New York, NY): Custom highlights for amateur athletes.

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: "We are delighted that the BIRD Foundation attracts high quality companies in the U.S. and Israel to cooperate and participate in the program. I'm especially satisfied to see small and medium U.S. companies from all across the U.S. cooperating with Israel companies, thanks to BIRD's support."

Mr. Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry and co-Chairman of BIRD's Board of Governors, said: "Joint R&D collaborations with U.S. entities, and especially those that are implemented via the BIRD Foundation, continue to be at the forefront of the Office of the Chief Scientist's international activity and to generate substantial value to various technological sectors in both Israel and the U.S. The joint submissions of the current BIRD funding round reiterate the tremendous potential of U.S.-Israel R&D relations: high quality innovative projects that are characterized by their commercialization potential."

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "Technological cooperation with Israeli companies is becoming a growing trend in the U.S. where, in today's competitive global economy, companies are seeking out innovation and talent. BIRD works to actively promote such cooperation through our activities and financial support."

The deadline for submission of Executive Summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 9, 2016. Approval of projects will take place in June 2016.

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. BIRD has approved over 900 projects over its 38 year history.

The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. BIRD funding is repaid as royalties from sales of technology products that were commercialized as a result of BIRD support. The Foundation provides support 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.

Contact person:

Einat Spivak

SOURCE The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation
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