US-Israel fund to invest $7.3 million in new joint R&D projects
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US-Israel fund to invest $7.3 million in new joint R&D projects

Among the ventures to get BIRD Foundation grants are an advanced pipeline disaster prevention system for oil and gas fields, and a VR system for disaster workers

Illustrative image of a handshake (MangoStar Studio, iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of a handshake (MangoStar Studio, iStock by Getty Images)

The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has given the go-ahead for the funding of eight new projects to be jointly developed by US and Israeli companies for a total of $7.3 million.

The money will enable these firms to get additional access to private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $20.4 million, the BIRD Foundation said in a statement on Tuesday.

The foundation promotes collaboration between US and Israeli companies in various technological fields to boost joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants for up to $1 million for approved projects, the foundation also helps the projects by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners.

Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Israel Innovation Authority.

The eight projects, approved by the Board of Governors, join the 974 projects that the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 41-year history. To date, BIRD’s total investment in joint projects has been nearly $350 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion, the statement said.

The new projects approved are:

  • 4Cast Systems (Petah Tikva, Israel) and Adelos Inc. (Polson, Montana) will develop an upstream – advanced pipeline disaster prevention system in crude oil and natural gas fields
  • Compedia Software & Hardware Development Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel) and Samaritan’s Purse (Boone, North Carolina) will develop VolunteerVR – Virtual Reality skills and empowerment tools for use by disaster relief volunteers.
  • HackerU Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel) and JustCode (New York, New York) will develop a cybersecurity and coding assessment platform to measure and improve cybersecurity readiness at firms
  • Juganu (Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel) and Just Greens LLC (Newark, New Jersey) will develop a tunable white spectrum Smart LED based fixture for automated horticulture processes
  • Leviticus-Cardio Ltd. (Petah Tikva, Israel) and Jarvik Heart Inc. (New York, New York) will develop the wireless Jarvik 2000 LVAD
  • Mitos Medical Ltd (Netanya, Israel) and FiberTech Medical Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland) will design and manufacture a surround vision scope.
  • MS Tech Ltd. (Herzliya Pituah, Israel) and Tekwave Solutions (Alpharetta, Georgia) will develop a rapid field analysis of chlorates, perchlorates, fentanyl and synthetic opioids using HF-QCM nanotechnology detection sensors
  • Somatix Technologies Ltd. (Ra’anana, Israel) and Catholic Senior Housing and Health Care Services, Inc. (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) will develop a digital health system called “SafeBeing – Aging in Place” to improve the well-being of the aging population

“It’s satisfying to see how varied are the projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation with diversity in sectors, size of U.S. companies and their geographical location, enhancing BIRD’s impact, for mutual benefit of the U.S. and Israel,” said Phillip Singerman, associate firector for Innovation and Industry Services at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and co-chairman of BIRD’s board of governors.

“The U.S. is one of Israel’s major partner for innovation,” said Ami Appelbaum, chief scientist at the Ministry of Economy and Industry and chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and co-chairman of BIRD’s board of governors.

BIRD is calling for “additional companies to submit their innovations for this program and be instrumental in finding the solution that will provide cutting edge solutions to the global challenges we are all facing.”

The deadline for submission of executive summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 6. Approval of projects will take place in June.

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