California and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2013)
| Percentage Change (2012-2013)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
|Jewish Population (2014)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by California and Israel
Grant recipients in
California from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Access Systems America
AG Processing Tech.
Agilent Technologies, Inc.
American Magnetics Corp.
Applied Materials Inc.
Bay Networks Inc.
BioRad Laboratories Inc.
Boole and Babbage
Cadence Design Systems Inc.
California State University
California Institute of Technology
Calif. Dept. of Health Services
Canoga Perkins Corp.
Carl Zeiss Ophthalmic Systems, Inc.
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Chip Express Corp.
Coherent Components Inc.
Comp. Lodging Systems
Computer Ass. Intnl.
Console Systems Inc.
Craig Hospital / Adaptive Equipment Company
Diasonics Ultrasound Inc.
DIATEC Recycling Tech
Digital Pathways Inc.
Dolch Logic Inst. Inc.
DSP Group, Inc.
DSP Solutions Inc.
EA Systems Inc.
EFI Systems Inc.
EG&G Power Systems, Inc.
Electrosound Group Inc.
Equator Technologies, Inc.
Frantz Imaging Inc.
Galil Motion Control Inc.
Good Samaritan Hospital
Harmonic Lightwaves, Inc.,
Hunter Sys. Software Ltd.
IBCB Syntex Discovery Research
IBM Research Division
Informix Software, Inc.
Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Integrated Device Technology
INTERACTIVE Sytems Inc.
Int'l Computer Science Inst.
International Micro. Inc.
International Rectifier Corp.
Int'l Remote Imaging Systems
Intl. Teletrac Systems
IsraTech Dev't Corp.
Jostens Learning Corp.
Just For You Inc.
La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation
La Jolla Institute for Allergy
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Lockheed California Co.
Loma Linda University
Long Shelf Life Inc.
Los Angeles County Fire Department
Luz Dev. & Finance Corp.
Luz International Corp.
Magic Software Enterprises
Management Info Technology Inc.
Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace
Mercury Graphics Corp.
Mercury Interactive Corp.
Meret Optical Comm. Inc.
Multipoint Networks, Inc.
Nucleonic Development Co.
Octel Communication Inc.
Ornetix Net Work Products
Pacific Micro Data
Packard Bell NEC
Philips Semiconductors, Inc.
Phoenix Technologies Ltd.
Quintus Computer Sys. Inc.
Racal Instruments Inc.
Read Rite Corp.
Ready Systems Corporation
Roland Corporation U.S.
San Diego State
Scripps Research Institute
Silicon Graphics Inc.
Sorrento Networks, Inc.
Stanford Linear Accelerator
Stanford Medical School
Starlight Networks Inc.
Sterling Software Inc.
Systems Programming Ltd.
Tandem Computers Inc.
Tecnomatix Quality Engineering Inc.
Teknekron Software System
Telco Sys Net Acc Corp.
Texas Instruments, Inc.
UC Cooperative Extension
UC Kearny Agricultural Center
UC San Diego
UC San Diego Medical School
UC San Francisco
UC San Francisco Medical School
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Cruz
UCBUSDA Plant Gene Expression Center
UCLA Medical School
Ultracom Communications Inc.
United Medical Sys. Inc
University of the Pacifica
USC Medical School
USDAAgricultural Research Ctr.
USDA Forest Service
USDA-UCB Plant Gene Expression Ctr.
USDA Vegetable Production Lab
USDA Waste Management Research Lab
USDA Western Regional Research Center
VA Wadsworth Medical Center
Valor Computerized Systems Inc.
Varian Associates, Inc.
VLSI Technology Inc.
WaferScale Integration Inc.
Wideband Data Corp.
Wings For Learning, Inc.
Workstation Technologies, Inc.
BioDesign Innovation Institute:
In 2013, Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center opened the BioDesign Innovation Institute in Jerusalem in coooperation with Stanford University. The institutes teaches a course on developing new medical technologies and how to bring them to market. The institute has so far announced four new technologies including a device to fight obesity, a new process for accelerating denture fabrication, an infra-red guided system for intubation and a semi-automatic device to assist with IV insertion. To learn more about BioDesign Innovation Institute, CLICK HERE.
Founded in the early
2000's by a group of physicians, students, alumni and faculty of UCLA,
the "CAL-I-TC" is based on finding and encouraging opportunities
for high technology transferi and innovation. It encourages partnerships
between the major Israeli universities and the California business and
investment communities. The CAL-I-TC strives to harness one of Israel's
greatest assets, its capacity for innovation, nurturing it with teachable
social and business networking skills, to accelerate the commercialization
rate of Israeli technology. To find out more about CAL-I-TC, its goals
and projects, please CLICK
Chamber of Commerce:
The CICC is a not-for-profit,
non-governmental membership-supported organization dedicated to strengthening
business and trade relations between California and Israel. With its
wide and dynamic network of over 9 wide and dynamic network of over 9,000 companies, business executives
and investors, CICC is positioned to serve as a facilitator and active
supporter for joint venture programs between the two communities. Through
networking events, mentorship programs, investment forums and educational
seminars, CICC contributes to a stronger business and commercial alliance
between California and Israel. Famous Israeli entrepenaur Shai Agassi,
found and CEO of Better Place, as well as numerous other innovators
headline the advisory board leadership of the CICC. Read more about
the CICC on its website - CLICK
Chamber of Commerce:
SCICC is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering
bilateral business, trade and investment opportunities between Southern
California- cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego- and Israel. It
is an essential gateway for individuals and companies of all sizes who
currently conduct business in Southern California and/or Israel; plan
to initiate or expand into these areas; seek strategic trade and investment
partners; or simply want to stay informed about their respective business
and investment climates and opportunities. Learn more about the SCICC, CLICK HERE.
In 1992, then-Gov. Pete Wilson signed
an agreement to promote bilateral trade and tourism with Israel. The
California Israel Exchange (CIX) was established to promote mutual business
development in the areas of biomedicine, energy, telecommunications,
high technology and agrotechnology. In May 1998, a new R&D cooperative
agreement in the area of biotechnology was formed and, in October 1999,
signed by Gov. Gray Davis when he visited Israel. See the agreement HERE.
Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"
In March 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a pro-business agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to expand Israel-California cooperation. The pact will cover collaboration in cybersecurity, biotechnology, health, water conservation and effective strategies to fight drought. "California doesn't need to have a water problem," Netanyahu said. "Israel has no water problems because we are the number one recyclers of waste water, we stop water leaks, we use drip irrigation and desalination." To read more, CLICK HERE.
In November 2009, Assemblyman Bob
Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) visited Israel and officially signed,
together with prominent business leaders from California and Israel,
a copy of his legislation, AB 1032, calling for an immediate implementation
technology development, business development and educational opportunities
in solar energy and the environmental technology industries. In a Tel
Aviv press conference Blumenfield spoke about the legislation which
had been signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "As
California takes on the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
there is much we can learn from the experience and expertise of Israel,"
Blumenfield said. "In turn, Israel can benefit from improved communication
with, and access to, California’s emerging green-technology sector.”
Read Assemblyman Blumenfield's press release detailing the goals of
the MOU- CLICK
In June 2008, the mayor of Los Angeles,
Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism
(ICT) in Herzliya, Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing
to tighten the existing relations between the ICT and the City of Los
Angeles Homeland Security apparatuses and academic institutions, including
the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Los Angeles World Airports.
Under the agreement, the ICT will offer innovative homeland security
training and education programs to Los Angeles decision makers and lay
leaders, first responders and law enforcement; the ICT will give two
50% tuition scholarship to it’s homeland security executive studies
for two homeland security practitioners, to be selected by the Mayor,
in 2009; the ICT will accept up to 4 homeland security interns annually
from Los Angeles universities and/or research centers; and the ICT will
host LAPD officers at the 9/11 annual international conference.
In October 1999, Governor Gray Davis
and Avishay Braverman of Ben Gurion University of the Negev signed a
Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the area of biotechnology,
bio-informatics and bio-agriculture so as to create an increased commercial
and research linkages. The MOU was officially for coopertion between
the Israel Biotechnology Organization and the California Commission
on Bioscience. The MOU is still in effect today and it has no known
sunset. Read the MOU online - CLICK
In June 1998, Governor Pete Wilson
and Israeli Minister of Trade and Industry Natan Sharansky signed a
memorandum of intent to encourage the growth of trade and investment
relations with the prospect of expanding the growing economic cooperation
between California and Israel. Sharansky noted that California and Israel
are "natural partners in high tech" and Governor Wilson added
that the pact "encourages...investment, supports international
industrial research and development, and encourages a free exchange
of ideas and wisdom between businesses, trade associations and commercial
institutions." Read the pact online HERE.
California Government Missions to Israel
February 2013 - Representative Mike Thomson (CA-05), a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories witht he HPSCI in order to gain perspective and assessment of the security environment from officials in the field. Thompson met with Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Salam Fayyad and Interior Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Said Abu-Ali. Thompson also met with Israeli and Palestinian intelligence officers. Read more, CLICK HERE.
August 2011 - House Majority Whip
Kevin McCarthy (R) led the Republican delegation of 56 congressmen to
Israel in the largest ever U.S. lawmaker visit to the country. Additionally,
Congresswomen Janice Hahn, Loretta Sanchez and Congressmen Kevin McCarthy
and John Garamendi went on the trip which gave politicians an opportunity
to learn about the U.S.-Israel relationship and the U.S. role in Israel's
national security. To read more, CLICK
November 2009 - Governor Schwarzenegger
participated in a forum on Middle East policy in Jerusalem sponsored
by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and the Brookings Institution.
Former President Bill Clinton, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and various
Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were
also included on the forum.
May 2008 - Speaker of the House of
Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Israel as part of an official,
bipartisan American congressional delegation which came to celebrate
the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state's founding. While in Israel,
Rep. Pelosi took the opportunity to speak with Israeli Foreign Minister
Tzipi Livni with whom she discussed the various regional threats to
Israel and ways that the United States could help combat these threats.
Read more on this trip, CLICK
April 2008 - San Francisco Mayor Gavin
Newsom joined a mission organized by the Jewish Community Federation's
Business Leadership Council (BLC) whose stated goal was to build ties
between business leaders in the greater Bay Area and Israel and to provide
first-hand exposure to Israel’s vast potential for investment,
networking, and business partnerships. The mayor joined the mission
with an eye towards fostering greater relationships between local entrepreneurs
and business leaders in the high-tech, bio-tech and clean-tech industries,
and their counterparts in Israel. Read more about the trip, CLICK
March 2007 - Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi led a Congressional delegation on a "fact finding"
mission to the Middle East that included stops in Syria, Saudi Arabia,
Lebanon and Israel. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim-American
elected to Congress, joined the trip as well. The delegation met with
numerous high ranking government leaders including Israeli Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and also discussed
the viability of the proposed Saudi Peace Initiative for the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Rep. Pelosi also addressed the Israeli parliament, the Knesset,
to explain the importance of the partnership between the US and Israel.
May 2004 - Governor Schwarzenegger
visited Jerusalem as part of his trip around the Middle East and paid
tribute to Holocaust victims while at a ceremony at the Israeli Holocaust
Memorial Museum, Yad VaShem. Gov. Schwartzenegger also met with Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon.
The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin
pillars of shared values and mutual interests. Given this commonality of
interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel
is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the
It is more difficult to devise programs that capitalize
on the two nations' shared values than their security interests;
nevertheless, such programs do exist. In fact, these SHARED VALUE
INITIATIVES cover a broad range of areas, including the environment,
science and technology, education and health.
As analyst David Pollock noted, Israel is an advanced country with a population that surpassed eight million people in 2013 and a robust, dynamic economy that allowed it to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Between 2005 and 2013, Israel has represented a larger market for U.S. exports than Saudi Arabia. Although Israel's citizenry make up just 3 percent of the total region's population, Israel accounts for 25 percent of American exports in the Middle East.
"It has also been one of the top 20 foreign direct investors in the United States since 2009," Pollock confirms. He adds that "$2.25 billion of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel comes back via Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment - and that is just 5 percent of the total bilateral trade each year."
Today's interdependent global economy requires that
trade policy be developed at the national and state level.
Many states have recognized the opportunity for realizing
significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. California
is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, California exported over $2.65 billion worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, California exports to
Israel have totaled more than $22 billion and Israel now ranks as California’s
2nd leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, California received more than
$82 million in foreign military financing (FMF) for US military aid
to Israel. Some of those companies that have received funding through FMF in 2012 or past years
include: Marvin Land System, Inc, Check Point Software Tech, Inc based
out of Redwood City, Spirent Federal Systems, Inc from Yorba Linda and
the Boeing Company.
Israel is certainly a place where potential business
and trade partners can be found. It can also be a source, however, for
innovative programs and ideas for addressing problems facing the citizens
Israel has developed a number of pioneering education programs. For example, AICE introduced an innovative Israeli
peer tutoring program to North Carolina that educators adapted for use
in the United States. Now known as Reading Together, the program is
used in 28 states. The program is designed to help students achieve
reading fluency and is mostly used for children in second grade. The
hope is that with its implementation, increasing numbers of students
will perform at grade level or above.
A range of other exciting approaches to social problems
like unemployment, environmental protection and drug abuse have been
successfully implemented in Israel and could be imported for the benefit
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for
the benefit of California is limited only by the imagination.
Profit From Business With Israel
As the only country with free trade agreements with
both the United States and the European community, Israel can act as
a bridge for international trade between the U.S. and Europe. Moreover,
because of its deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology
areas, Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of the
nations largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel
and McDonalds have found that it is indeed profitable to do business
More than 1,500 California companies have discovered
the benefits of doing business in Israel, including KLA, Hewlett Packard
and Silicon Graphics. Israel is Californias 2nd largest export
Intel Corporation first established its design center
in Haifa in 1974, then a sales office in Tel Aviv, a manufacturing facility
in Jerusalem and, later, a $1.6 billion fabrication plan in Kiryat
Gat to add to its semiconductor manufacturing capability there. Today, Intel operates four design centers and two production facilities in Israel. The
Pentium MMX chip was designed in Israel, as were the 286 and 386 microprocessors
and parts of the 486 and Pentium processors. The Israeli team has also worked on the new processors designed for netbooks (Cedarview) and Windows 8 machines (Cloverview). Former Intel President and CEO
Andy Grove told the Israel California Trade Review that, "there
were many highly talented engineers coming from Israels institutions."
In 2011, Intel announced it would invest roughly $19 million over a five-year period in the establishment of an institute to conduct research on computational intelligence. The institute is to be jointly managed by Intel and academic researchers in Israel.
In May 2012, Intel announced the establishment of the Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence in Israel, focusing on applying machine learning, brain-inspired computation and advanced computer architecture to software. "Within five years all of the human senses will be in computers, and in 10 years we will have more transistors in one chip than neurons in the human brain," Mooly Eden, president of Intel Israel told Tel Aviv Tech. "The expectations from the Institute for Computational Intelligence is that it will provide a leap forward in research and in ideas that will be translated into products and applications.
Intel is also working to help Israel retain its competitive edge in technology. Intel CEO Paul Otellini, visited Israel in November 2012 and announced a new $5 million program aimed at doubling the number of Israeli students with a scientific and technological matriculation certificate. Working in cooperation with the Education Ministry, the program will be launched in 25 schools in southern Israel.
Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer also visited Israel in November 2012 and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, to discuss the cooperation. The company is going to sign a series of memoranda of understanding in the areas of technological innovation; promoting open government policies; use of technology to reduce bureaucracy; dealing with large databases; information security and privacy protection; development of online government services; collaborative projects; and promoting Israeli technologies and start-ups, according to The Marker.
"This is my fourth visit to Israel and I am always excited and inspired by the sheer technological ingenuity of its people and entrepreneurs, a key reason why it’s such an important market for Microsoft," Balmer said.
Silicon Valley companies with subsidiaries in Israel
include Harmonic Light Waves, a leader in wireless communication technology
and DSP Communications. Companies with research and development facilities
in Israel include BioRad, a leader in the field of biological radiation,
Cisco Systems, a manufacturer of multi-protocol equipment and Hewlett
Another sign of Israel's high-tech prowess is the acquisition of Israeli companies by U.S. companies, such as Intel's purchase of Telmap, which develops navigation and location-based services.
One good way to break into the Israeli market is through
a joint venture with an Israeli company. Funding for such projects is
available from the Binational
Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). BIRD funds projects in 36 states and the District of
Columbia and hundreds of companies including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas
Instruments and Johnson & Johnson have benefitted from BIRD grants.
The United States and Israel established BIRD in 1977
to fund joint U.S.-Israeli teams in the development and subsequent commercialization
of innovative, nondefense technological products from which both the
Israeli and American company can expect to derive benefits commensurate
with the investments and risks. Most grant recipients are small businesses
involved with software, instrumentation, communications, medical devices
Since its inception, BIRD has funded more than 800
joint high-tech R&D projects through conditional grants totaling
more than $210 million. Products developed from these ventures have
generated more than $8 billion in direct and indirect revenues for both
countries and has helped to create an estimated 20,000 American jobs.
Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has
said that BIRD is a strong pillar of US-Israel industrial
cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has
led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.
Several California companies have taken advantage of
the BIRD program, including Telkelec, Caere Corporation and Harris Corporation,
and have received almost $27 million in grants since 1980.
In July 2011, two new California based companies were
awarded BIRD grants to begin collaboration with Israeli
companies. Access Systems America, from Sunnyvale, will team with Human
Monitoring to develop a social e-publishing ecosystem for interactive
content. In San Francisco, Affine Systems will start coordination with
Ron Soferman to develop an online video ad targeting application using
computer vision technology.
In December 2011, two California-based companies were
awarded BIRD Foundation grants to partner with Israeli
companies. San Ramon-based Mirion Technologies was awarded funding through
the BIRD Foundation to partner with the Israeli-based
company iFibers to develop a portable laser thermoluminescence radiation
dosimeter. Also, Laguna Niguel-based company Daylight CIS was awarded
funding through the BIRD Foundation to partner with
Semantipedia to develop a web based, semantic platform for Life Sciences.
These grants are part of over $8.1 million awarded by BIRD to
nine new projects in December 2011 to companies throughout the US and
WaferScale Integration (WSI) in Fremont creates support
chips called Programmable System Devices (PSD) that are used in telecommunication,
industrial and consumer products worldwide. WSI opened a design center
in Netanya, Israel and received several BIRD grants
for new kinds of PSDs. They created Flash memory-based PSD products
that enable product designers to speed up the design process, and allow
manufacturing managers to insert final test and operating codes into
a product as it goes down an assembly line. They also designed ZPSD
devices that consume only microwatts of power and are used in cellular
phones, 2-way pagers, medical instruments and other mobile products.
San Diego-based ComStream Communications used a BIRD grant to collaborate with the Israeli company Orckit Communications.
They developed a Digital Satellite Modem that was a technological and
Squaw Valley-based Harris Corporation joined CTP Systems
in Israel. They developed the communication industrys first Wireless
PBX systems, thanks to a BIRD grant.
Mindsense Biosystems Ltd., an Israeli company targeting
the discovery of biological markers for psychiatric disorders, has teamed
with Ciphergen Biosystems, Inc., California-based developer and manufacturer
of the ProteinChip System for protein discovery, characterization, and
assay development. The Mindsense and Ciphergen collaborative plan includes
the use of proteomics tools such as the ProteinChip for the discovery
of major depression biomarkers in blood samples. Currently available
methods for diagnosis and monitoring of psychiatric disorders are based
on the use of formal questionnaires/interviews. The introduction of
biochemical tools will add objectivity to the current process and will
shorten the duration of assessment of therapeutic efficacy. This approach
allows for the reliable comparison of clinical status over extended
periods of time.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Systems (NESS)
Ltd., an Israeli company using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
for rehabilitation of the upper body extremity, has teamed with J&J
Independence Technologies, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary
whose mission is the development of products using innovative technologies
to help meet the needs and desires of people with disabilities. The
project focuses on the development of a system that assists in the rehabilitation
and improves the quality of life of children suffering from cerebral
palsy or from traumatic head injuries. The purpose of the system will
be to activate the patient's neuromuscular system in order to improve
the condition of the malfunctioning limbs, to normalize posture, and
to restore functional movements. The system will stimulate the child,
encourage maximum participation and acknowledge success at a self-adapting
IBM Israel in Haifa and Tensorcom Wireless (San Diego)
will develop an ultra-low power 60GHz wireless capability for short
distance applications through grants from BIRD.
BIRD Energy has provided a grant for
Panoramic Power, Ltd, from Kidron, Israel and Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch
(MNLB) from San Francisco to develop and pilot self-powered, wireless
current sensor that will facilitate load management strategies in commercial
Over recent years tech giant Apple has invested significant money and manpower in the Israeli market. Israeli 3D sensor company PrimeSense was acquired by apple for a reported $360 million in November 2013. There is no official word yet as to why Apple purchased the company but speculation suggests that they will be developing a similar program to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, or integrating more motion based user interfaces into their next generation of devices. In August 2014 Apple announced five new Vice Presidents, including Israeli born Johny Srouji as the Vice President of Hardware and Technologies. Johny is a former resident of Haifa and is now the top Israeli in Silicon Valley. International news sources reported on August 28 that Apple is poised to open a new office for marketing and sales in Herzliyah, expanding their presence in the Israeli market and creating new jobs in addition to the 600 Israelis already employed by the company. Apple's CEO Tim Cook met with Netanyahu earlier in 2014 to discuss market viability, and Apple now heads a list of tech giants with offices in Israel including LG, Toshiba, Samsung, and Asus. For more information on this expansion of Apple's business into Israel.
California researchers are making scientific breakthroughs
and developing cutting-edge technologies in joint projects with Israeli
scientists thanks to support from the Binational
Science Foundation (BSF). BSF was established in 1972 to promote scientific relations
and cooperation between scientists from the United States and Israel.
The fund supports collaborative research projects in a wide area of
basic and applied scientific field for peaceful and non-profit purposes.
Since its inception, BSF has awarded some $480 million
through more than 4,000 grants in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
BSF-sponsored studies are highly successful
in achieving their two main goals: strengthening the US-Israel partnership
through science and promoting world-class scientific research for the
benefit of the two countries and all mankind. The BSF grants help extend research resources to achieve milestones that might
not otherwise be attainable; introduce novel approaches and techniques
to lead American researchers in new directions; confirm, clarify and
intensify research projects; and provide unmatched access to Israeli
equipment, facilities and research results that help speed American
scientific advances. BSF has documented no less than
75 new discoveries made possible by its research grants and counts 37
Nobel Prize and 19 Lasker Medical Award laureates among its joint partners.
Institutions in California have shared with their counterparts
in Israel more than $35.8 million in BSF grants since
Highly sophisticated infrared optical fibers
are being developed and fabricated jointly by research teams headed
by Prof. Avraham Katzir (Tel Aviv University) and Prof. Amnon Yariv
(California Institute of Technology), with BSF support.
These fibers are to be used by NASA in its search of habitable extra-solar
planets. The effort to identify habitable planets concentrates on the
identification of a pair of stars similar to the earth and the sun and
the detection of oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide. Each of these has
a characteristic "color" in the infrared, invisible to the human eye,
but which can be detected by sensitive infrared equipment. Both NASA
and the European Space Agency have programs aimed at identifying the
presence of life outside our solar system, and BSF-supported
research is likely to play a key role in this effort.
In 2010, research taking place at UC San Diego together
with their counterpart Israeli institutions through BSF Grants include extremely diverse projects such as:
- The study of human embryonic stem cells aimed at developing therapies
for heart failure;
- The calculation of magnetic fields to design electromagnetic devices;
- The development of the largest cosmological calculation ever created;
- The development of information processing in two-way communication
Vice Chancellor for Research at UC San Diego, Art Ellis,
spoke about his institution's ongoing collaborative work funded by BSF grants. "A BSF grant is highly presitigious in
the scientific community", Ellis said. “There are many examples
of successful projects conducted by collaborating U.S. and Israeli scholars
that were facilitated by BSF funding, this partnership
In 2009, Professor Thomas Anders of the University
of California, received a 4 year BSF grant to work with a team of scientists
from North Carolina as well as Tel Aviv University in Israel on possible
interventions for infant sleep problems. In early 2011 the project was
just getting underway with the begining stages of research about to
start. The possibilities for this research are incredibly important
as infant sleep disorders have been known to cause major problems and
even, in some cases, can result in death.
With funding help through the BSF,
Professor Jonathan Leor of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv and his
colleagues- Professor Robert A. Kloner and Professor Laurence H. Kedes
of the University of Southern California (USC)- are starting to find
new ways to solve heart failure.
Medivision Medical Imaging Ltd., an Israeli manufacturer
of ophthalmic digital imaging systems, and Sacremento-based Ophthalmic
Imaging Systems, Inc. (OIS), a U.S. manufacturer of ophthalmic digital
imaging, image enhancement systems, and analysis software, are collaborating
to develop Computerized Guided Laser Therapy (CGLT) for ophthalmologists.
CGLT is a unique, non-invasive therapeutic device that allows manually
guided or semi-automatic laser treatment, using diagnostic images. The
system consists of an optical integration between a camera and a laser
therapeutic system. The two optical channels of the imaging system and
the laser are combined, so that the ophthalmologist is able to observe
a real-time, processed image while carrying out the treatment intervention
with the laser. The main advantage of CGLT is to provide the physician
with an accurate, efficient, automatic and user-friendly tool to diagnose
and immediately treat various retinal diseases using standard laser
therapy techniques. It is expected to improve the quality of therapeutics,
saving a significant portion of the physician's time and cost. In addition,
using the new technique specifically in Macular procedures is also expected
to eliminate the possibility of partial blinding due to misguided laser
Micro Components Ltd. (MCS), an Israeli company, having
rich experience in semiconductor packaging technologies, and California-based
Flextronics, a leading electronics design and manufacturing service
provider, will jointly develop an advanced Flip Chip (FC) Ball Grid
Array (BGA) package and a flip chip module. The BGA package is for high
density, fine pitch and high pin count packages. The flip chip module
includes CSP, flip chip, 0201 on RF and Baseband module applications.
The objective of the project is to develop the capability for design
and manufacture and to start marketing a superior highly complex package
for FC silicon dies and flip chip modules, for various applications.
Flextronics has developed a system level interconnect solution that
addresses the electronic industry's need for a high performance, more
reliable and cost effective interconnect solution.
In June 2013, scientists Dr. Segev Barak of Tel Aviv University and Professors Dorit Ron and Patrician Janak of the University of California at San Francisco published the findings of their study on brain pathways linked to cravings for alcohol. The authors were able to identify and deactivate a brain pathway in lab rats that prevented the rodents from seeking alcohol and drinking it. Although the research was conducted in lab animals, the authors believe it is quite possible that similar studies will soon test the same treatment strategy in humans, and that the study paves the way for treatment of other addictions, including tobacco.
“One of the main causes of relapse is craving, triggered in the memory by certain cues - like going into a bar, or the smell or taste of alcohol,” said Barak, the lead author. “What we learned is that when rats were exposed to the smell or taste of alcohol there was a small window of opportunity to target the area of the brain that reconsolidates the memory of the craving for alcohol and to weaken or erase the memory - and thus the craving.”
In 1978 the United States and Israel jointly created
the Binational Agricultural
Research and Development Fund (BARD)
to help fund programs between US and Israeli scientists for mutually
beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research into agricultural
problems. Since its inception, BARD has funded more
than 1,000 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia with a
total investment of more than $250 million. In 2000, an independent
and external economic review of 10 BARD projects conservatively
projected more than $700 million in revenue by the end of 2010, a number
which far outweighs the total investment in all BARD projects over its 33 year existence and helps to continually strengthen
Most BARD projects focus on either increasing agricultural
productivity, plant and animal health or food quality and safety and
have been influential in creating new technologies in drip irrigation,
pesticides, fish farming, livestock, poultry, disease control and farm
equipment. BARD funds projects in 45 states and the
District of Columbia and at present is beginning to administer collaborative
efforts between Australia, Canada and Israel as well. It is difficult
to break down the impact on a state-by-state basis, but overall, BARD-sponsored
research has generated sales of more than $500 million, tax revenues
of more than $100 million and created more than 5,000 American jobs.
California institutions have shared BARD grants worth more than $21 million since 1979.
Through a grant from BARD, Joseph
Smilanick, a researcher with the US Department of Agriculture stationed
in Califronia, collobarated with the research wing of Israel's Ministry
of Agriculture to find more effective storage and treatment options
for harvested grapes. The ethanol-based formula they created reduces
the chance that the grapes will harbor diseases such as E.Coli that
would affect its safety and possibly harm consumers.
This BARD-supported research is extremely
important to the economies of both Israel and California, where the
grape crop has a wholesale value of almost $1.5 billion. In both places
farmers are already using these new techniques for harvesting and for
keeping produce fresh. Mr. Smilanick was impressed with how successful
the BARD collaboration and administration went and
has already submitted a proposal for additional BARD grants. For more information on this project, CLICK
In a separate BARD funded program,
Michael E. Adams, a professor in the Department of Entomology at the
University of California, Riverside, collaborated with a group of scientists
from Pennsylvania, Washington and Israel on a BARD sponsored project that examined the production of non-hazardous insecticides.
The group's work is not yet completed, though they have made great strides
toward developing a new class of insecticides that are highly effective,
not harmful to animals and humans, and environmentally friendly; research
that has generated much interest in the scientific community worldwide.
This research has been on-going for nearly two decades
and, as this is very important to the farming industry in both the US
and Israel, BARD continues to support the project today.
With the increase in insecticides used by farmers across both countries,
they are raising pollutant levels and, by sheer irony, also increasing
incest resistance to these agents. The insecticide the scientists are
making will nullify these ill effects. Read more about this important
Carol Lauzon, a professor at California State University,
received a BARD grant to collaborate with a research team at the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem to study the relationship between the Mediterranean
fruit fly- a major agricultural pest- and the bacteria it carries in
its gut. The fruit fly, and its destructive bacteria, are believed to
be the cause of up to $1 billion in annual losses to the farming business
worldwide. The BARD-funded researchers are hopeful to find an improved
means of dealing with pests and of creating a technique for preventing
their bacteria from harming fruit crops. Learn more about this incredibly
important research project, CLICK
Two California corporations, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace
and Silicon Graphics Inc., have received grants from the U.S.-Israel
Science & Technology Commission. The former received $100,000 for
a feasibility study conducted with the Weizman Institute/Yeda on developing
high efficiency, modular solar central receiver. The latter involved
a joint project with Elbit for the production of ultrasound imaging
Researchers Naama Goren-Inbar from the Hebrew University
in Jerusalem and Kenneth Verosub from the University of California at
Davis uncovered the remains of a 1.4 million year-old prehistoric man
at a site called Ubeidiya in the Jordan Rift Valley. Goren-Inbar was
able to use the Paleomagnetic method with the help of Professor Verosub
and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation to determine
the age of the Benot Yaa'qov area. It is approximately 750,000 years
East Bay (Oakland)
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