(From Left) Limor Nakar-Vincent, Director, US Business Development & BIRD Energy, BIRD Foundation; Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space, and Health, State Department; Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist, Israel Ministry of Economy; and Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director, BIRD Foundation at the recent BIRD conference. (Photo: Zvika Goldstein)
(From Right) Limor Nakar-Vincent, Director, US Business Development & BIRD Energy, BIRD Foundation; Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space, and Health, State Department; Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist, Israel Ministry of Economy; and Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director, BIRD Foundation at the recent BIRD conference. (Photo: Zvika Goldstein)

The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) has approved $8.3 million in new funding for 11 projects between US and Israeli companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $23 million.

“The 11 winning projects include several US-Israel collaborations in healthcare disciplines such as, 3D printing for the treatment of strokes, lenses to restore natural vision, diagnostics for complications from obesity and diabetes and efficient diagnosis of cervical cancer in remote areas. Also, among the projects are a smart management water system and a cyber system for advanced manufacturing. All the selected projects implement state-of-the-art technologies and are of relatively high risk, which BIRD helps mitigate in order to achieve successful commercialization,” said Dr. Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and co-Chairman of BIRD’s Board of Governors.

The new project partnerships include healthcare innovations such as 3D printed patient-specific implantation guides for injectable stroke treatment neurostimulators (BrainsGate/Caesarea and Formlabs/Somerville); diagnostic panels for the determination of the microbiome in obesity and diabetes (Hy-Laboratories/Rehovot and GENEWIZ/South Plainfield, NJ); advanced cervical cancer analysis in remote areas (MobileOCT/Tel Aviv and Dimagi/Cambridge, MA); Autologous insulin producing cells for the treatment of diabetes (Orgenesis/Haifa and Pall Corporation/Washington, NY); and shape change accommodating intraocular lens (FSV6/Herzliya and Abbott Medical Optics (Santa Ana, CA).

The BIRD foundation is also investing in the manufacturing sector in projects such as the new Israeli-made wheel for safety and freedom of the wheelchair bound (SoftWheel/Tel Aviv and Crawford Composites (Denver, NC); an uncooledVGA SWIR camera ( SCD/Misgav and Quantum Imaging/Colorado Springs, CO); and anomaly detection for advanced manufacturing (ThetaRay/Hod HaSharon and GE Global Research/Niskayuna, NY).

Other projects to be funded will be Danziger Innovations (Mishmar HaShiv’a) and Precision BioSciences(Durham, NC): Long shelf life petunia varieties by site specific genomic deletion;  IOSight (Tel Aviv) and American Water Works Company (Voorhees, NJ): Smart water management system;   and Timocco (Tel Aviv) and Rhode Island Hospital (Providence, RI): Web/mobile therapeutic game platform for child physiotherapy.

“We conclude another very successful year of joint US-Israel innovation nurtured by the BIRD Foundation. In 2014, BIRD’s Board of Governors approved a total of 22 projects involving companies of diverse sizes and sectors with identified potential for both significant revenue and social contribution,” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation.

The 11 new projects are in addition to the 900 projects which the BIRD Foundation has approved for funding during its 37 year history. To date, BIRD’s total investment in joint projects has been over $300 million, helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.

“The number of applications submitted to the BIRD Foundation has been growing steadily and remarkably in the last years. The steady demand by the US and Israeli companies attest to the vitality of the Foundation and the central role of the industrial partnerships in the US-Israel relationship,” said Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Israel Ministry of Economy and co-Chairman of BIRD’s Board of Governors.