The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation (BIRD) announced on June 23rd the approval for an $8 million investment for ten new collaboration projects between Israeli and U.S. companies. Not only will the participating companies receive a nice inject of cash but they will also have open-door access to private funding, potentially bringing the total value of the projects to almost $20 million.

"Resulted in groundbreaking technological innovations"

The BIRD Foundation helps bridge U.S.-Israeli entrepreneurship, promoting collaboration in technological fields towards joint development projects. Though, the foundation's involvement doesn't stop there, as it also helps facilitate strategic partnerships for startup or project growth, alongside providing conditional grants of up to $1 million on projects that have passed initial screening.

Once a project is approved by the BIRD Foundation it is then evaluated by a combined team of members from the National Institute of Standards and Technology of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Israel Innovation Authority.

The current 10 projects join another 1000 projects which the foundation has approved for funding over its 43 year life span, resulting in a total of $350 million in total BIRD investments that helped generate sales valued at more than $10 billion overall.

Dr. Amiram 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 U.S. is Israel's major partner for innovation. We are proud that our collaboration with the BIRD Foundation has seen such spectacular successes over the decades, which resulted in groundbreaking technological innovations offered by both Israeli and U.S. recipients of the grant. We wish much success to the winning teams and companies and look forward to the amazing changes they will make for the benefit of the population worldwide..."

The ten approved joint projects

  1. Aeronautics Defense Systems (Yavne, Israel) and PreVision (Edgewood, NM) to develop a Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) sensor with automated interface to an Electro-optics payload on a UAS platform.
  2. AEYE Health (Tel Aviv, Israel) and University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, MA) to develop a diagnostic screening system for retinal imaging.
  3. Datumate (Yokne'am Illit, Israel) and Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (Sugar Land, TX) to develop a construction site management collaboration framework.
  4. Firedome (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Olibra (Cresskill, NJ) to transform traditional consumer electronics devices into connected cyber-security guardians of the home.
  5. Genoox (Tel Aviv, Israel) and ASPiRA Labs, a Vermillion Company (Austin, TX) to develop AGTT: an AI-based, dynamic, and affordable genetics testing technology transfer.
  6. Redler Technologies (Netanya, Israel) and Martin Technologies (Hudson, MI) to develop an advanced automotive electronic power distribution module.
  7. Senso Medical Labs (Nazareth, Israel) and Haystack Diagnostics (Brookline, MA) to develop a multi-electrode device to advance electrodiagnostic medicine.
  8. Serenus.AI (Tel Aviv, Israel) and HealthTrio (Denver, CO) to develop an AI-based platform to assist medical professionals and insurance companies in making better medical decisions.
  9. Vaya Vision (Or Yehuda, Israel)  and Trimble (Sunnyvale, CA) to develop a perception- based autonomous-driving system for vehicles and heavy machinery in the agriculture, construction, and mining markets.
  10. XRHealth (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA) to develop a proprietary VR platform designed to distract patients from pain while undergoing medical procedures.

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: “It is outstanding to see how companies and institutions from the U.S. and Israel demonstrate agility and creativity to pursue their partnerships in these challenging times. We at the BIRD Foundation are proud to be able to support these innovations selected by BIRD’s Board of Governors from a high quality group of candidate projects, in a very competitive process.”

The BIRD Foundation offers grants and meaningful strategic connections to market leaders in an effort to promote cross Atlantic collaboration, however, unlike most investors BIRD does this without receiving equity or intellectual property ownership, but rather earns their take through royalties from invested companies or project sales. The Foundation takes on the risk by not requiring repayment in case of project failure, which this along with the financial and networking backing is a total show of support to get approved projects off the ground and on the way to success.