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State-to-State Cooperation:
Iowa and Israel


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Iowa Jewish History
Delaware

 

 

Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2013)
$35,021,302
      Percentage Change (2013-2013)
-27.81%
      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
$517,671,676
Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
40th
Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
$223,602.08
Jewish Population (2012)
6,240
      Jewish Percentage of Population
0.2%

 

Binational foundation grants shared by Iowa and Israel

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)
$2,744,045
Science & Technology (1996-Present)
$1,591,489
Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)
$101,250
Total Binational Grants
$4,957,506

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

Iowa State University
Pioneer Hi-Bred International
University of Iowa
University of Iowa Medical School
University of Northern Iowa
USDA National Soil Tilth Lab
U.S. Dept. of Energy Ames Lab

 

Bilateral Institutions

None. Help us build this section by emailing AICE with any updates, additions, corrections or commetns. We appreciate your support.

 

Cooperative Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"

None. Help us build this section by emailing AICE with any updates, additions, corrections or commetns. We appreciate your support.

 

Iowa Government Missions to Israel

July 2010 - State Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (R-Dixon) went on a peace-keeping trip to Israel sponsored by the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Read more, 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. Iowa is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2012, Iowa exported over $48,818,337.00 worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Iowa exports to Israel have totaled more than $482,650,374.00 and Israel now ranks as Iowa’s 34th leading trade partner.

Additionally in 2012, Iowa received more than $223,602.08 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: Fairfield Aluminum Castings Company in Fairfield and Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella.

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 Iowa.

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 Iowa is limited only by the imagination.

 

Iowa Firms Profit From Business With Israel

As the only country with a free trade agreement 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 National Semiconductor have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.

Many Iowa-based companies have also discovered the benefits of trade with Israel, including giants like Rockwell International, Amana Refrigeration and the Aluminum Company of America.

Rockwell's Cedar Rapids offices have long been selling military and civilian products to Israel. Currently, for example, Israel's military is buying navigation and communications equipment. Rockwell also subcontracts some of its defense work to Israeli companies. The commercial division exports avionics packages for Israeli business jets.

The Instrument and Life Support Division of Litton Systems has also exported to the Israeli Air Force. Their products include onboard oxygen generating systems. Recently, Israeli Air Force officers came to Davenport for training in the use of onboard inert gas operating systems on the AH-64 Apache helicopter.

Cemen Tech of Indianola was chosen by the Israeli Air Force to design a rapid runway repair system. The first machine has been delivered and the company is hoping the Israelis will order several more. Company President Gary Ruble said doing business with Israel was a "terrific experience. We just want more of it."

Another company that has done well in Israel is Des Moines-based Hicklin Engineering, which has been doing business there for at least a decade. Sales Engineer Jack Campbell said the company has most recently sold equipment used to test transmissions in military vehicles.

Iowa companies have also successfully marketed nonmilitary goods in Israel. Cedar Falls-based Viking Pump, for example, has a distributor in Israel and has been selling industrial pumps and parts used there for at least two decades. And Amana Refrigeration has kept an on-going business relationship with Israel for over thirty years, selling household refrigerators and commercial microwaves through its distributor in Israel.

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. Hundreds of companies have benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in BIRD grants over the last three decades.

In 2011, the BIRD Foundation awarded its first grant to an Iowa-based company when they selected Pioneer Hi-Bred International, out of Johnston, to work with the Israeli company Evogene to develop soybean varieties tolerant to foliar diseases. Their BIRD-sponsored collaboration has now just only been created but great things are expected.

 

Scientific Innovations

Iowa 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.

Iowa institutions have shared with their counterparts in Israel nearly $1.6 million in BSF grants awarded since 1996 alone. The U.S. Department of Energy Ames Lab, University of Iowa and Iowa State are among the grant recipients.

Ralph Ackerman is a zoologist at Iowa State who has collaborated on three BSF grants with a colleague in Tel Aviv. His focus is on the physiology of vertebrate eggs and embryos. Ackerman studied lizards in the Israeli desert to learn more about their development. He believes obtaining a better understanding of how their eggs exchange water and carbon dioxide will aid efforts to breed and conserve reptiles. "I don't have much chance to work with reptiles in Iowa," he said, so the BSF grant gave him an opportunity to study them in the field. "They have a great lab at Tel Aviv University and world-class reptologists." He described the information he gained from the collaboration as "priceless."

Iowa State chemist Jim Espenson had a common research interest with a professor at Ben-Gurion University and suggested applying for a BSF grant. They examined reactions of metal compounds. The study provided a new way to make organometallic compounds and a better understanding of the chemistry related to free radical molecules. Espenson said his collaborator's interest complemented his own and that the give-and-take help refine their thoughts. Each also had access to techniques the other lacked, so both researchers benefitted.

Much of the BSF research is at a basic level so the applications are not immediately apparent. This is particularly true of the work of mathematicians. Paul Muhly studies operator algebras at the University of Iowa. The math is complex, but, he said, the construct underlies modern physics. Explanations for why water boils and some other liquids freeze, as well as the electromagnetic forces in nature are based on the type of math explored by Muhly. It also plays a role in the design and control of systems, for example, figuring out how to keep an airplane flying.

"We make a good team," Muhly says of his collaborator from the Technion. "We've written about 20 papers together. Mathematicians need few resources; however, the ability to talk face to face and exchange ideas is essential and the BSF grant allows us to travel to do that."

BSF documented no less than 75 new discoveries that probably would not have been possible without foundation-supported collaboration. These advances included the development of new methods and techniques, the discovery of new phenomena and major theoretical breakthroughs.

 

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. Iowa institutions have shared grants worth more than $2.74 million since 1979.

Supported by BARD funds starting in 2009, scientists Russel Jurenka from Iowa State University and Ada Rafaeli from the Volcani Center in Israel started to characterize the night-flying moth's pheromone release system. They are currently working on identifying the binding site smf gene of these moths in order to better understand what molecular interactions occur during activation of the hormone.

The researchers anticipate that their interdisciplinary research will generate innovative, specific and biologically safe insecticide compounds that can prevent the female moths from producing sex pheromones and, therefore, can help farmers control the insects population.

The BARD funds have enabled Dr. Jurenka to study the corn earnworm, one of the most devastating pests for US agriculture, while simultaneously collaborating on findings with Dr. Rafaeli who is studying the cotton bollworm, one of the most devastating pests in Europe and Asia. Their findings could provide an enviornmentally favorable way to control these pests and therefore could be a huge benefit to the agriculture fields in many countries. Find out more about this research HERE.

Don Reynolds is investigating a disease that afflicts turkey poults. By comparing data from Israel, it was possible to determine the cause was not related to the origin of the birds. He and his collaborator characterized infections that had not been discovered before and hope to find a way to prevent the disease.

If one-hundred units of water fall on arid lands and half is lost through evaporation, crop production is limited. Jerry Hatfield is studying ways of modifying the soil surface to capture more water. Working with his Israeli counterpart, Hatfield says, gives him access to different arid land types and a better understanding of them. He also finds that contact with scientists in different environments broadens his perspective. He called the collaboration "extremely beneficial" and observed that Iowa can benefit from what they learn about water conservation.

Another study examines the impact of agricultural production on groundwater quality. Stanley Johnson is concerned with maintaining farming efficiency while maintaining water quality so it meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act. He has looked at crop rotation and different applications of water. Johnson is pleased the BARD grant will strengthen institutional ties between Iowa State and Hebrew University. He believes it will also result in better agricultural research and stimulate interaction that will endure.

Donald Beitz is interested in the genetic material that determines variation in dairy cows. The research could have profound implications for understanding reproduction, health traits and milk production and subsequently affect breeding value. Another application may be to learn more about diseases in livestock. One specific benefit of the BARD grant was to have Israeli researchers verify his results. More generally, it made possible greater scientific interaction, "and you can't put a dollar value on this type of exchange," said Beitz.

Researchers at Iowa State have also analyzed national dairy cattle records and shown that breeding for disease resistance is possible, and that previous U.S. selection for milk production may have inadvertently reduced cow fertility. A computer program developed by the university is now routinely used to evaluate sires. Another project involves the study of intergenerational transfers by farmers, the performance of regional cooperatives and the regulation of nitrogen pollution.

Iowa also benefits from BARD research done elsewhere. For example, BARD grantees are working on a virus that could protect corn from smut diseases.

 

Other Cooperative Programs

None. Help us build this section by emailing AICE with any updates, additions, corrections or commetns. We appreciate your support.

 

Sister Cities

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UJA Partnership 2000 Communities

IOWA

ISRAEL

Des Moines

State Contacts:

Hillel Campus Profiles

American-Israel Chamber of Commerce (also covers Iowa)
6311 Wayzata Blvd., #240
Minneapolis, MN 55416-1224
Tel. 612-593-8666
Fax. 612-593-8668
Email. info@aiccmn.org
Web. http://www.aiccmn.org

Jewish Community Relations Council
910 Polk Blvd.
Des Moines, IA 50312
Tel. 515-277-6321
Fax. 515-277-4069

Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
910 Polk Blvd.
Des Moines, IA 50312
Tel. 515-277-6321

Jewish Federation Of Sioux City
815 38th St
Sioux City, IA 51104-1417
Tel. 712-258-0618


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