US President Barack Obama on Friday enacted legislation to strengthen collaborative cybersecurity research and development efforts between the United States and Israel, one of the congressman involved in drafting the bill said Monday.

The US-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, which had bipartisan support, will expand existing joint research and create a grant for new development.

Reps. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, and Jim Langevin, D-R.I., introduced the measure after returning from a congressional trip to Israel in July that focused on addressing cybersecurity issues facing both countries, Ratcliffe’s office said in the statement issued Monday. Ratcliffe is chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection and security technologies.

Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US President Barack Obama meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, September 21, 2016 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and US President Barack Obama meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, September 21, 2016 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Langevin in a statement said cybersecurity is “the national and economic security challenge of our time, and we must use every resource at our disposal to support research, foster innovation, and fortify our cyber defenses. This must include a collaborative approach that allows us to work with our leading partners, like Israel, to develop new technologies for our cyber incident responders.”

The lawmakers said their meetings with top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-defense minister Moshe Yaalon, laid a critical foundation for their US-Israel cybersecurity legislation.

“(O)ur discussions with Israeli national security and cybersecurity leaders revealed the immense wealth of untapped potential we can leverage together to collectively vamp up our efforts to combat growing cyber threats,” Ratcliffe said in the statement. “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work more closely with a country that’s a proven pioneer in cyber science and a top leader in cyber expertise.”