Some $12 million will be funneled to collaborative Israeli-American projects for the development of advanced technologies for first responders over the next three years.

The agreement brings together the Israeli Ministry of Public Security and the US Department of Homeland Security in a drive to better equip and prepare both countries’ national rescue forces including fire, police and first-aid units. Each side will invest equally in the project.

The development collaboration, dubbed “NextGen First Responder Technologies,” will be managed by the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. The collaborations can be between companies or between companies and research institutions.

Many Israeli companies are already active in innovating solutions for medical emergencies and disaster situations at home and abroad. One such product is the Emergency Bandage (the “Israeli Bandage”) invented by a former Israeli military medic and widely used by first-responders in more than 50 countries to stanch bleeding via a patented pressure applicator. Arizona medics used the Israeli Bandage to save the life of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in 2011.

Lifesaving solutions

The new collaboration is expected to produce many more such lifesaving solutions while spurring the growth of the first-responder technology sector in each country.

“This program will provide added value to promote and enhance innovation for developing advanced technologies for first responders and enable new business opportunities in a developing market for both Israeli and US companies,” said BIRD Foundation Executive Director Eitan Yudilevich.

The BIRD Foundation accelerates cooperation between US and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors. During its 38 years, BIRD has invested in close to 900 joint projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $10 billion.

Last month, the BIRD Energy arm announced six new joint energy technology projects that will be sharing $5.1 million from the US Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources. This is the seventh round of funding for BIRD Energy, which has approved 28 projects with a total investment of about $22 million.

Israeli Minister of Public Security and Knesset Member Gilad Erdan called the NextGen agreement a breakthrough for the first responder sector in Israel.

“There is now a channel of significant value for development and innovation which will deepen Israel’s global leadership in homeland security for the Israeli high-tech sector and the Israeli market in general,” said Erdan.

The new program extends and enhances the successful collaboration that already exists between America and Israel in science and technology for homeland security, outlined in a broader agreement signed in 2008.

NextGen First Responder Technologies is open to any innovative technology initiative that can improve and enhance the future capabilities of first responders. The submission deadline is March 9, 2016.

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