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BIRD - Israel-US Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to Invest $8.1 Million in Nine new Projects

TEL AVIV, Israel, December 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

During its meeting last week, held in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $8.1 million of funding for nine new projects between Israeli and American companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to $22 million.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between Israeli and American companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development.  The Foundation assists by locating strategic partners from each country, making the necessary introductions, and providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects.

The nine projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 830 projects in which the BIRD Foundation has invested over its 34 year history. To date, BIRD's total investment in these projects exceeded $290 million, helping to generate sales of more than $8 billion.

The approved projects are:

  • AGM Tonson and EndoStim (St. Louis, MO) will develop a miniaturized implantable device for GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease).
  • EnVerid Systems and Johnson Controls (Milwaukee, WI) will develop a novel air handling technology for reducing energy consumption of HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning).
  • Ginger Software and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Boston, MA) will develop an advanced learning platform for English language learners.
  • iFibers and Mirion Technologies (San Ramon, CA) will develop a portable laser thermoluminescence radiation dosimeter.
  • MedCPU and Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH) will develop a patient care decision support system.
  • QualiSystems and OnPath (Marlton, NJ) will develop an advanced platform for network lab management.
  • RAFAEL and Covanta Energy (Morristown, NJ) will develop a biomass-to-fuel mobile system.
  • Semantipedia and Daylight CIS (Laguna Niguel, CA) will develop a web based, semantic platform for Life Sciences.
  • VivoText and Hasbro (Pawtucket, RI) will develop a life-like speech capability for embedded platforms.

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: "Entrepreneurship and innovation are critical for the economies of both the U.S. and Israel. The nine projects approved are great examples of the added competitive advantage, achievable through the synergy between U.S. and Israeli companies."

The submission deadline for the next BIRD cycle is on March 14, 2012. Approval of projects will take place in June 2012.

About the BIRD Foundation
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in the various areas of technology, and provides assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products. Approaching its 35th birthday, the BIRD Foundation has invested in close to 830 projects, which have yielded revenues of about $8 billion.

The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. The financial assistance is repaid as royalties from sales. 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 demand that the investment be repaid if the project fails to reach the sales stage.

The BIRD Foundation works in full cooperation with the Chief Scientist's Office at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor in Israel, and with the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director, The BIRD Foundation
Tel: +972-3-6988300

SOURCE The BIRD Foundation
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