Israel-US R&D fund to invest $7.45 million in 8 new projects

Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation gives green light to projects in agtech, advanced manufacturing, communications, healthcare and medical devices

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Illustrative image of the US and Israeli flags (3dmitry; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of the US and Israeli flags (3dmitry; iStock by Getty Images)

A project to reduce the weight of airplane seats with magnesium technologies and a smart pollination system to improve crop yields are among the eight new joint projects approved by the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

The foundation said on Tuesday it has approved $7.45 million in funding for eight new initiatives with US and Israeli companies.

In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will now access private sector funding, boosting the total value of the projects approved to over $18 million, BIRD said in a statement.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaborations between US and Israeli companies in various technological fields. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the foundation works with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

The new projects:

  • Aero-Magnesium from Ein Harod Ihud, Israel and Safran Seats USA, from Gainesville, Texas will join forces to develop weight reduction solutions for aircraft seating applications based on magnesium technologies.
  • AIO ME (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Finastra Financial Technology Corporation (New York, New York) will jointly develop a next-generation loan system to automatically collect and verify customer data while maintaining regulatory compliance.
  • Ayecka Communication Systems (Kfar Saba, Israel) and Envistacom (Atlanta, Georgia will develop a satellite communication and 5G virtual modem edge Device to enable waveform technologists and service providers to input digitized proprietary waveforms for wireless transmission.
  • BeeHero (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Tauzer Apiaries (Woodland, California) are developing a smart pollination platform for better crop yields.
  • ContinUse Biometrics dba Donisi Health (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Dell Technologies (Round Rock, Texas) will work on a miniature optical module for health parameter sensing.
  • Kitov Systems (Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel) and Capvidia NA (Houston, Texas) will  develop theCAD2SCAN, a process for using the digital 3D CAD model to automate visual inspection in production.
  • Marpé Technologies (Haifa, Israel) and Nortech Systems (Wayzata, Minnesota) will develop a total-body Tele-dermatology scanning system.
  • Squalus Medical (Caesarea, Israel) and Fortec Medical (Hudson, Ohio) are working on an innovative epilepsy laser treatment.

Walter Copan, US Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, director of NIST and co-chairman of BIRD’s board of governors, said in a statement that the diversity of the proposals submitted for funding are evidence of “the strengths of the US and Israeli innovation systems.”

“By working together, the successful US and Israeli companies are bringing forth cutting-edge technologies that advance manufacturing, communication and transportation, health, and food security,” he said.

Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the US Department of Commerce and the Israel Innovation Authority.

Ami 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 BIRD Foundation has seen “spectacular successes” over the decades of its operation, resulting in “groundbreaking technological innovations offered by both Israeli and US recipients of the grant.”

The eight projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to over 1,020 projects that the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 43-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 foundation said in a statement.

Eitan Yudilevich, executive director of the BIRD Foundation, said that 2020 was a “challenging” year for companies and entrepreneurs around the world who had to adapt to doing business virtually. This has resulted in a “significant increase in the number of proposals submitted to the Foundation.”

BIRD said that the deadline for submission of executive summaries for the next funding cycle is March 1, 2021, and approval of projects will take place in June 2021.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed