US-Israel fund to invest $8.4 million in nine new joint tech projects

An innovative platform to reduce delirium in intensive care and 3D printing for a CO2 emission tool to spot environmental benefits are among the projects getting funding by BIRD

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

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

A robotic navigation system, an inertial sensor solution for space flights, and an autonomous clean-energy harvesting system, are among the nine new joint projects between the United States and Israel that will get $8.4 million in funding from the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

In addition to the grants from BIRD, the nine projects will access private sector funding, bumping the total value of all projects to up to $20 million, BIRD said in a statement on Thursday. The BIRD Foundation promotes joint ventures between US and Israeli companies in various technological fields so they can create new products in tandem.

Apart from allocating up to $1.5 million in funding for each approved project, the foundation works with the involved companies to identify potential strategic partners.

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.

Since it was set up 45 years ago, BIRD has backed over 1,000 joint projects for a total investment of over $370 million, and helped generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion, the statement said.

Mojdeh Bahar, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and co-Chair of BIRD’s Board of Governors noted that the current cycle focuses on technologies ranging from robotics to medical devices, agrotech to advanced manufacturing.

The newly approved projects are:

· Amarel Embedded Solutions (AES) (Yokneam, Israel) and Setco Sales Co. (Cincinnati, OH), who will develop a smart spindle platform optimizing computer numerical control (CNC) machines.

· Apeiro Motion (Zur Igal, Israel) and Hellbender (Pittsburgh, PA), who will develop an indoor/outdoor robotic navigation system.

· Castor Technologies (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Siemens Corp. Technology (Charlotte, NC), who will develop an automatic CO2 emission calculation tool to identify environmental benefits by using additive manufacturing (or 3D printing).

· Cielo Inertial Solutions (Jerusalem, Israel), partly owned by Rafael Advance Defense Systems Ltd., and Guinn Partners (Austin, TX), who will develop an inertial sensor solution designed to meet NewSpace requirements.

· EyeControl (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA), who will test the efficacy of the EyeControl-Pro platform in reducing ICU (intensive care unit) delirium with the use of bi-directional communication between patients, medical teams, and families.

· Kadimastem Ltd. (Ness Ziona, Israel) and iTolerance (Miami, FL), who will develop a regenerative technology to potentially cure type 1 diabetes without the need for chronic immunosuppression.

· New Phase (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Ultraflex Power Technologies (Ronkonkoma, NY), who will develop a next-generation RF (radio frequency) machine for activation of cancer treatment nanoparticles to treat metastatic solid tumors by electromagnetic hyperthermia in stage 4 patients.

· Tevel (Gedera, Israel) and Vinergy (Bakersfield, CA), who will develop a clean-energy autonomous harvesting system.

· Xerient Pharma (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Accuray (Madison, WI), who will develop a treatment that combines novel gastrointestinal radioprotectant with precision radiotherapy to increase the effectiveness of treating pancreatic cancer.

“We are pleased with the bilateral US and Israel support of technologically innovative projects that are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges including Climate-tech, Agritech, and Health Services,” stated IIA chairman Dr. Amiram Appelbaum.

The deadline for submission of executive summaries for the next BIRD cycle is March 1, 2023. The approval of projects takes place during June 2023, the statement said.

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