BIRD, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, is investing another $7 million in projects that will involve both U.S. and Israeli companies. The new funds were approved at the most recent BIRD meeting in June. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $18.5 million.
Among the projects to be funded by BIRD in this round are the following: development of a 3D culture platform of therapeutic cells manufactured using advanced biomaterials by Atvio (Nesher, Israel) and Secant Group (Telford, Pa.); development of new laser technologies for industrial applications by Isorad (Yavne, Israel) and Synrad (Mukilteo, Wa.); development of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) based formulations for innovative, environmentally friendly architectural and industrial water-based coatings by Melodea (Rechovot, Israel) and ICL Performance Products (St. Louis, Mo.); creation of personalized nutrition recommendations for employers and health plans to support consumers in their daily lives by Nutrino Health (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Welltok (Denver, Co.); and innovative development of solid-state miniature Lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles by OpSys Technologies (Holon, Israel) and sdPhotonics (Orlando, Fl.).
The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between U.S. and Israeli companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions. Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation are reviewed by evaluators appointed by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and by the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist- OCS – at the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry). The eight projects approved by the Board of Governors are in addition to the 940 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 40-year history. To date, BIRD’s total investment in joint projects has been about $340 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion, the organization said.