Join Our Mailing List

Sponsor Us!

State-to-State Cooperation:
Colorado and Israel


Return to: State-to-State Cooperation Index Page


Print Friendly and PDF

Colorado Jewish History
Colorado

 

 

Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2013)
$41,067,512
      Percentage Change (2012-2013)
-7.08%
      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
$602,005,403
Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
29th
Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
$6,666,893.07
Jewish Population (2012)
91,920
      Jewish Percentage of Population
1.8%

 

Binational foundation grants shared by Colorado and Israel

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)
$903,075
Science & Technology (1996-Present)
$4,172,278
Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)
$1,375,361
Total Binational Grants
$6,450,714

Grant recipients in Colorado from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:

Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes
Clonetics Corporation
Colorado State University
Daisy/Cadnetix Inc.
International Software
National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Jewish Center for Immunology & Respiratory Medicine
National Renewable Energy Lab
NOAA
Solar Energy Research Institute
University of Colorado
University of Colorado Medical School
U.S. West­Interactive Services

 

Bilateral Institutions

Colorado-Israel Chamber of Commerce:
The CICC was formed by a group of Colorado business and civic leaders to help foster economic and business development opportunities between Colorado and Israel. Among the objectives of the Chamber is to help Colorado businesses identify development and investment opportunities in Israel; to provide Colorado businesses a point for facilitating import of technology, intellectual capability, and goods and services from Israel; and to assist Israel in formulating public policy and incentives that will attract investment by Colorado firms. Learn more about the Chamber of Commerce and business opportunities, CLICK HERE.

 

Cooperative Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"

In July 2010, Governor Bill Ritter and Professor Pedro Berliner of Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) in Israel's Negev desert signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the stated goal being to "encourage voluntary interaction and cooperation and to promote friendship between the two parties for their mutual benefit." After signing the MOU, together with President of Colorado State University Anthony Frank, Governor Ritter spoke about the important of Colorado and Israeli collaboration. "This agreement builds upon our mutual interests and common fields of research in fields such as water, biotechnology and solar energy," Gov. Ritter said. "These are quality of life issues for the people of Colorado." Read more about the signing of the MOU, including pictures from the event - CLICK HERE.

During a government mission to Israel in the summer of 2010, Colorado's Department of Natural Resources and Agriculture signed an MOU with the Desert Agro Research Center in Israel that is focused on water and agriculture research and development in arid and semi-arid climates. “Water will be one of the most important economic drivers for Colorado as we continue to grow,” Gov. Ritter said. “Colorado and Israel can learn from each other on water technologies such as desalination, treatment and conservation.”

Also in July 2010, the Colorado School of Mines agreed to establish workforce-development ties with Noble Energy and the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) to help develop the discovery of a vast natural gas reserve off Israel's coast. Israel lacks the workforce to develop such a project and CSM will jointly help in the overall development.

 

Colorado Government Missions to Israel

August 2012 - Senator Michael Bennet travelled to Israel where he participated in an educational seminar on foreign policy and national security issues related to the U.S.-Israeli relationship; visited various cultural, historic and political sites; and met with government officials, business leaders, military leaders and experts. On his trip, Sen. Bennet visited Sderot, Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

August 2011 - Congressmen Ed Perlmutter and Scott Tipton accompanied the 81-member Congressional delegation to Israel to learn more about regional politics and the U.S.-Israel relationship.

July 2010 - Colorado Governor Bill Ritter led an economic-development mission to Israel in summer 2010 together with a delegation of administration officials and more than a dozen Colorado businesspeople and community personalities. The mission focused on job creation, exchanging knowledge and building bilateral partnerships in such innovative fields as energy, clean-tech and water. Looking back at the mission, in which the delegation signed a number of MOU's and met with top Israeli officials such as President Shimon Peres, Gov. Ritter said it was "a success on all fronts- business, academic and research." Read Gov. Ritter's press release on the mission, CLICK HERE.

September 2009 - Colorado Congresswoman Betsy Markey made her first ever trip to Israel and got a first-hand look at the realities of living in the Middle East. During the trip, Markey met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and a number of other high ranking government officials. After returing from the mission, Markey commented on her understanding of Israel's role in international relations, especially due to the fact that it is a "beacon of democracy" in the region. She also mentioned that Israel has every right to exist and defend itself from hostile neighbors. Read more about Congresswoman Markey's trip, CLICK HERE.

 

Colorado Formalizes Support for Israel

On March 18, 2011, Colorado's legislative leaders- both Republicans and Democrats- came together to honor Israel by passing Senate Joint Resolution 11-027 that proclaims, “continued support by the Colorado General Assembly for a strong relationship between the United States and Israel.” Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Michael Oren, stopped in both chambers of the Legislature to witness the reading and passage of the resolution. Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) spoke about the connection between the state of Coloardo and Israel. "“We share with Israel not only a mutual friendship, but mutual economic and trade interests. Today, Colorado boasts more than $36 million in annual exports to Israel. Tomorrow, and in the years ahead we hope to grow this trade relationship many times over. It was wonderful to hear Democrats and Republicans share their fond stories and feelings about Israel, and we look forward to growing our friendship." Read more about the resolution, CLICK HERE.

 

Partners For Change

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 American people.

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. Colorado is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2012, Colorado exported over $44,191,335.00 worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Colorado exports to Israel have totaled more than $560,937,891.00 and Israel now ranks as Colorado’s XX leading trade partner.

Additionally in 2012, Colorado received more than $6,666,893.00 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: Aerospace Technologies in Boulder, Conduant Corporation in Longmont, LITEYE SYSTEMS, Inc. in Centennial, and InfoTrust Inc. in Colorado Springs.

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 of Colorado.

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 of Americans.

The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for the benefit of Colorado is limited only by the imagination.

 

Colorado Firms 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 United States and Europe. Moreover, because of the deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology areas, Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of the nation’s largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and McDonald’s have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.

More than 80 Colorado companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including Cryenco, Translogic Corp. and Golden Software.

Lisa Sanchez, spares coordinator of Cryenco Incorporated, said that her company deals with Israel through government contracts. Just last year they began exporting tanks used for liquid oxygen and nitrogen but have already found Israel to be a good business market and have had an easy time doing business there.

Translogic is a light material handling company. The company sells computerized pneumatic tube systems that move materials under 10 pounds to hospitals in Israel, according to international business development specialist Steve Leazengood. These may be used for transporting lab samples that are used within a pharmacy or around the hospital. Translogic has been selling these items to both big and small hospitals in Israel for more than 20 years. “Israel is a mature market in many senses of the word,” said Leazengood. “They have a high degree of technological know-how and their appreciation of technology is evident.”

Golden Software is a computer graphics retailer. They have been selling their products—mainly two and three dimensional scientific software used for graphing and contouring—to Israel for at least five to eight years. Patti Dierking, Director of Operations, said Israel is one of 120 countries where its products are sold. Dierking added that Golden Software has never had a problem dealing with their Israeli buyers and has had a fine working relationship.

In the medical field, Rocky Mountain Instrument Corporation has been exporting laser optics that are used in eye surgery to Israel for several years, according to one sales representative. Valleylab exports hospital supplies Israel, such as electrical, surgical and ultrasonic equipment.

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 and semiconductors.

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 companies in Colorado have taken advantage of the BIRD grants, which have totaled nearly $1.2 million since 1980. These include Clonetics Corporation, Daisy/Cadnetix Inc. and U.S. WEST Media Group.

US WEST Media Group is a domestic and international cable and telephony, wireless communication and directory and information systems company. The company teamed up with VDOnet Corporation, the leading Israeli provider of real-time video for the Internet. They received a BIRD grant to develop public/private parallel networks for the Internet that will allow cable operators to provide a higher quality, lower cost service than is now available through standard telephone modems or ISDN. The new technology will make it possible to offer video applications, such as video telephones and video email, which require the higher bandwidth provided by cable modems.

 

Scientific Innovations

Colorado 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.

Colorado State, the University of Colorado and NOAA are among the many Colorado institutions that have shared more than $3.9 million with counterparts in Israel through grants awarded by BSF since 1996 alone.

Dr. William Cotton, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, is collaborating with Professor Zev Levin at Tel Aviv University to determine the process responsible for creating haze in the Dead Sea area. “If we can understand the processes in the Dead Sea, then maybe we can help the situation in the Salt Lake City area,” said Professor Cotton. Their collaboration basically consists of exchanging modeling codes. Cotton shows his Israeli counterparts how to use the Regional Modeling Atmospheric Systems (RAMS) and Israel gives Colorado access to their codes. The two scientists had been working together for five years previously, “so this project was a natural continuation,” said Cotton. They have also worked together on research sponsored by the Department of Energy and other organizations.

University of Colorado Professor James Jankowski is studying the “ethnic relations in 20th century Egypt.” Together with his collaborator, Israel Gershoni of Tel Aviv University, they are exploring the relationship and social and political tensions between different communities in Egypt, such as the Muslims, Jews and Egyptians. Their objective is to produce a manuscript that offers new insights into the relationship between various ethnic communities in modern Egypt. In Israel, Gershoni has students doing field work, conducting interviews and making site observations. Both professors will also visit Egypt as part of their research. Jankowski and Gershoni have worked together on three previous projects and Jankowski says, “we work well together.”

Chemist David Nesbitt of the University of Colorado is working with Benny Gerber of Hebrew University to study gas surface state to state inelastic scattering. This relates to the way molecules strike a surface and either stick or don’t stick. “This is of considerable importance in semiconductor manufacturing and in ozone depletion,” said Nesbitt. “The dynamics at the interface are important in understanding cell membranes, manufacturing batteries, corrosion and friction.”

Gerber is doing the theoretical aspect of the research while Nesbitt is conducting experiments on thin films of molecules as they sublime into a vacuum. Sublimation is the process in chemical physics when a solid goes into a gas phase. By doing reverse physics, he can see the molecules transform from gas to the condensed state, and this allows him to understand the condensation phenomenon.

“In my personal experience, the most powerful thing to do is to encourage scientists to get away from their own lab and get into other labs because that’s where the real connections are made,” says Nesbitt. “The amount of funds may be small, but they can steer a significant amount of research and catalyze new ideas. A small amount of money can be extremely cost effective. The people I’ve dealt with resulting from this grant have been extremely good collaborators and the [BSF] program should absolutely be continued and supported.”

Roger Pielke, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State, is studying with his Israeli collaborator how winds develop over Lake Kinneret in Israel. Practical applications of this experiment include the knowledge and insight of what may happen if, for example, there is a pollution spill in the Kinneret. Since Lake Kinneret has a breeze over it, their models may help provide information on where the pollution will move and how to eradicate it. The collaborators used a Regional Atmospheric Modeling System that was developed at Colorado State. Because Lake Kinneret is a relatively small area to model, it is easy to develop a technique, said Pielke.

The two scientists, along with a third colleague at Rutgers, have had long professional and personal relationships. “Our research cooperation has continued over a long time and will undoubtedly continue into the future. One good thing about the BSF grant was that it allowed me to travel to Israel and interact with the students,” said Pielke. He added that the research collaboration has continued even though their BSF project was completed.

This is not the first time that Professor Albert Myers of Colorado State University and Alfred Hassner of Bar-Ilan University have worked together. They have known each other since they both worked at Harvard 30 years ago. In 1997, they received a BSF grant for a chemistry project relating to generating optically active compounds that are important in the synthesis of new pharmaceuticals. This research could have important applications for companies developing new drugs. According to Meyers, most of the chemical experimentation will take place in Israel. Myers will visit Israel and his lab will provide support services and instruments. He added, “this will be a fruitful cooperation because Hassner is an excellent scientist and we have excellent equipment. Between his ability and our ability to support his work, we will be able to come up with some meaningful products that will be helpful to the pharmaceutical industry both in the U.S. and Israel.”

Twentieth century physics has been able to understand different forces of gravity, elector-magnetic force, and strong and weak nuclear forces. But what forces bring the molecules together and how exactly do these particles change into other particles? Scientists Ram Brustein from Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva and Senarath P. de Alwis of the University of Colorado in Boulder are collaborating on a deeper understanding of string theory. String theory postulates that particles are string-like, or one-dimensional, and possibly have many dimensions.

BSF sponsored studies benefit the United States by extending research resources to achieve milestones that might not otherwise be attainable; introducing novel approaches and techniques that can lead American researchers to move in new directions; confirming, clarifying and intensifying research projects; providing access to Israeli equipment and facilities and early access to Israeli research results that speed American scientific advances. BSF documented no less than 75 new discoveries that probably would not have been possible without foundation-supported collaboration.

 

Agriculture Benefits

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 the foundation.

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.

Colorado State and the Solar Energy Research Institute are just two Colorado institutions that have been doing joint research projects with Israel conducted under the auspices of BARD. Colorado institutions have shared grants worth almost $800,000 since 1979.

James DeMartini of Colorado State and his Israeli collaborators’ main goal was to prepare a DNA vaccine for sheep viral infection. “Overall,” he said, “the project was quite satisfactory. Our approach to the new vaccine didn’t work out but we gained new insight into virus host interaction.” DeMartini said the BARD program allowed him to work with capable Israeli scientists who had mutual interests.

Colorado State researchers have also collaborated with Hebrew University to study Trichoderma fungus species that can prevent fungus related diseases in emerging seeds and young plants. The researchers have developed new methods for growing these fungi, which they’ve patented. Conventionally produced Trichodermas already have been approved for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration.

While pesticides are needed in modern agriculture, they have also become a contamination problem of rural water resources. For example, sorghum, a major crop in Colorado, is sensitive to bromacil and terbacil, common agricultural herbicides. BARD researchers developed a new, economical procedure for diminishing water-born pesticides using the sun. In the laboratory, scientists tested 69 dye sensitizers that can oxidize pesticides when activated by visible light. After testing the pesticide breakdown products, they found that these treatments were harmless and permitted normal germination and seed growth. After these lab tests, a prototype Solar Wastewater Disinfection Plant was built that achieved the goal of removing injected pesticides. In addition, the BARD solar process destroyed 99.9% of most bacterial pathogens in the sewage within two hours.

Colorado produces more than $100 million worth of potatoes a year. New potato plants are started from the “eyes” of seed potatoes. This method of reproduction allows for the transmission of debilitating viral diseases, such as potato leaf-roll virus (PLRV), from generation to generation, with substantial economic loss. For example, downgrading U.S. Grade #1 potatoes to U.S. Grade #2 means a loss of $400-600 per ton to the farmer. Thus, assuring virus-free seed potatoes is extremely profitable to the industry. BARD grantees improved techniques for extracting useable virus samples from diseased plants and the samples were then injected into rabbits and sheep to stimulate the production of antiviral antibodies. The grantees then used their antibodies to develop a test which could detect many different strains. The same method used in this process is also used in pregnancy test kits. The new test, both cheaper and more general than its predecessors, is now produced and distributed free of charge to certain agencies. A diagnostic kit is also sold commercially to farmers through a U.S. agricultural firm. The rate of PLRV infections has dropped drastically since the invention of this new test.

Colorado also benefits from BARD research done elsewhere in the country. BARD grantees in Georgia, for example, have been studying CO2, a normal component of the air we breathe, and demonstrated that it is a viable nontoxic alternative to other gases that leave toxic residues in stored grains and are believed to cause damage to the ozone layer, to the fumigation of stored grains. These methods are already being applied by several commercial firms in the U.S. and Israel, and wheat producing states, such as Colorado, are likely to benefit.

A team of agricultural economists from the University of Maryland and the University of California found that the economic benefits of just five projects — related to cotton, pecans and solarization — exceeded all U.S. investment in BARD. New projects promote increased quantity and improved quality of agricultural produce.

 

Other Cooperative Programs

Biking for Kids Under Fire - Program created by a number of Jewish youth organizations in Denver that raises money that will be put towards purchasing bikes, helmets, and bicycle repairs for children in the Israeli town Kibbutz Nahal Oz. This Denver-based group of children recognized the daily struggles that kids their age at Kibbutz Nahal Oz endure in the form of Hamas rocket attacks, and are sending their support one bike at a time.

 

Sister Cities

COLORADO

ISRAEL

Denver

 

UJA Partnership 2000 Communities

STATE CITIES

ISRAELI CITIES

Denver

Kiryat Milacha - Hof Ashkelon
Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado
Ramat Negev
("Ramah of the South")

State Contacts:

Hillel Campus Profiles

Jewish Federation of Colorado
300 South Dahlia St.
Denver, CO 80222
Tel. 303­321­3399
Website: http://www.jewishcolorado.org/

Branches of Colorado Jewish Federations:

Aspen Network
25 Broadway, Suite 1700
New York, NY  10004-1010
Phone: 212-284-6595
Fax: 212-284-6853
E-mail: network@jewishfederations.org
Colorado/Denver
300 South Dahlia Street, Suite 300
Denver, CO  80246-8118
Phone: 303-321-3399
Fax: 303-322-8328
E-mail: Information@ajfcolorado.org
Website: http://www.AJFColorado.org
Fort Collins Network
25 Broadway, Suite 1700
New York, NY  10004-1010
Phone: 212-284-6595
Fax: 212-284-6853
E-mail: network@jewishfederations.org
Greeley Network
25 Broadway, Suite 1700
New York, NY  10004-1010
Phone: 212-284-6595
Fax: 212-284-6853
E-mail: network@jewishfederations.org
Pueblo Network
25 Broadway, Suite 1700
New York, NY  10004-1010
Phone: 212-284-6595
Fax: 212-284-6853
E-mail: network@jewishfederations.org

 


Back to Top