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State-to-State Cooperation:
Massachusetts and Israel


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Massachusetts Jewish History
Delaware

 

 

Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2013)
$212,014,942
      Percentage Change (2012-2013)
-2.92%
      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
$3,403,675,813
Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
26th
Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
$15,467,297.63
Jewish Population (2012)
277,980
      Jewish Percentage of Population
4.2%

 

Binational foundation grants shared by Massachusetts and Israel

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)
$1,554,663
Science & Technology (1996-Present)
$21,991,647
Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)
$10,854,003
Total Binational Grants
$34,400,313

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

Abiomed Cardiovascular
ACME Inc.
Alpha Industries Inc.
Analog Devices, Inc.
Automated Medical Instruments, Inc.
Avatar Corp.
Baird Corp.
Basicnet Technology Group
BBN Systems & Technology Corp.
BID Medical Center, Inc.
Beth Israel
Boston College
Boston Technology, Inc.
Boston University
Boston University Medical
Brandeis
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brooktrout Technology Inc.
Children's Hospital Medical Ctr
Chipcom Corp.
Circe Biomedical, Inc.
Clark University
Codex Corp.
Dana Faber Cancer Institute
Data General Corp.
Data Translation Inc.
Diatech Diagnostics Inc.
Digital Equipment Corp.
Energy Sciences Inc.
Fibronics Intl Inc.
FloDesign Sonics

Genzyme
Grace W R & Co.
Harvard University
Harvard Medical
Harvard Observatory
Harvard School of Public Health
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I­Logix Inc.
Index Technology Corp.
Intermetrics Microsystems Software, Inc.
IRIS Grpahics, Inc.
Joslin Diabetes Center
Kopin, Inc.
Lantheus Medical Imaging
Laser Data, Inc.
Liacom Inc.
Logica­Data Architects
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
Massachusetts General Hospital
Millitech Corp.
MIT
Mitchell Management Inc.
National Bureau of Economic Research
Northeastern
Office Channel Inc.
Orbot Inc.
PARA Research Inc.
Phoenix Technologies Ltd.

Qteros (formerly SunEthanol)
SBH Sciences
Scitex America Corp.
Sensiv, Inc.
Shriver Center for Medical Retardation
Siemens Medical Sys. Inc.
SilverPlatter Information Inc.
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
SoftKey International Inc.
Software Devel. Co., Inc.
Spartacus Inc.
Stratus Computer Inc.
Summit Technology, Inc.
Telco Systems
The DATA Group Inc.
The DATA Group Inc.
Tufts University
Tufts Medical
Ungermann­Bass, Inc.
University of Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Medical
Univision Tech., Inc.
US Geological Survey
US WEST Media Group Co.
W.R. Grace & Co.
Welty­Leger Corp.
Whitehead Institute
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Xyplex Inc.
Xyvision Design Systems

 

Bilateral Institutions

Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership -
Formed in June 2011 through a collaboration between Governor Deval Patrick and Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), the MIIP focuses on innovation and entrepeneurship in the life sciences, clean energy and technology. The partnership was started with $2 million in investments - half from three Massachusetts companies (Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center) and half from Israel's OCS. This partnership makes Massachusetts the first US state to establish a significant industrial R&D program with Israel. “Massachusetts does billions of dollars in trade with Israel today, and there’s much untapped potential,” Governor Patrick said when he announced the program. “We’ll use the $1 million investment on each side to leverage private investment.” To read more about the MIIP, CLICK HERE.

New England-Israel Business Council -
Home to to approximately 100 Israeli-affiliated companies and more than 600 regional US companies that do business with Israel, New England, and Massachusetts in particular, is a great region to develop even greater collaboration between the US and Israel. the NEIBC provides a variety of formal and informal venues for networking, for making connections between Israel and New England people and companies – and for seeking advice on doing business in these two regions. NEIBC hosts annual business summits and also setups various other conferences. Learn more about the NEIBC, CLICK HERE.

Boston-Israel Cleantech Alliance -
BICA connects cleantech investors, entrepreneurs, academic researchers and government officials in Israel and Boston. Among their main objectives, BICA aims to oster increased economic, scientific, and educational relations between Boston and the State of Israel; coordinate cleantech trade and investment events; and, facilitate investments in, and partnerships with, Israeli companies developing renewable energy, water, and environmental technologies. Learn more about the Boston-Israel Cleantech Alliance, CLICK HERE.

 

Cooperative Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"

March 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick, Israel's Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow for further collaboration in research and development (R&D) programs between Massachusetts and Israeli companies. Both states have made a mutual commitment to life sciences and clean and alternative energy research, and this new MOU will strengthen the partnership between Massachusetts and Israel to facilitate greater economic development and job creation opportunities in the years ahead. Read more about this cooperative agreement in the Governor's press release, CLICK HERE.

March 2011 - Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki announced a collaboration between UMass Lowell's NanoManufacturing Center of Excellence and Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel. Researchers at both institutions will investigate fabrication processes for materials with potential to reduce costs for maintaining and servicing aircraft. Shenkar College is extremely pleased to be cooperating with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, one of the leading institutions in the field of nanotechnology," said Prof. Yuli Tamir, President of Shenkar College. Read more about this collaborative agreement, CLICK HERE.

May 1987 - The Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment signed a general accord with the State of Israel to stimulate trade, investment, education and medicine collaboration between the two regions. Learn more about MOITI's international accords, CLICK HERE.

 

Massachusetts Government Missions to Israel

May 2014  - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick made his second trip to Israel during his term in May 2014. Massachusetts has a positive relationship with Israel, and Patrick stated that the purpose of this trip was to allow for continued growth of the important relationship between the two states that has created thousands of jobs for Massachusetts residents.  Projects announced during the trip include: a fund established between MIT and Ben Gurion University to facilitate cooperation in research, a partnership between the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and a partnership between software company PTC and Technion Israel Institute of Technology.  200 Israeli founded businesses are based in Massachusetts.  To read more about the Governor's trip to Israel click here

March 2014 - Senator Stephen Lynch (D-MA) visited Israel with two colleagues and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. The trio of senators presented Peres with a Congressional medal for his years supporting and nurturing the US-Israel alliance. Lynch affirmed that "the [bilateral] relationship is at the citizen level," and that regardless of occassional high-level disagreements, the relationship remains strong. Tensions are nothing new and Lynch said "we get past those things" to focus on what matters. To read more, CLICK HERE.

March 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick led a delegation of business and government leaders as part of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. The coalition explored growth opportunities within the Commonwealth’s innovation based industries technology, life sciences and clean energy and areas of common interest between the state’s established and emerging partners in Israel and the UK. Governor Patrick met with various high ranking Israeli government officials, among them President Shimon Peres, took an emotional tour of Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Museum, and also signed a number of MOU's to expand relations between the two states. In general, the mission focused on business expansion, job growth and collaboration during industry forums, company visits and meetings. Read more about the mission's overall success, CLICK HERE.

January/March 2011 - Senator John Kerry (D) travelled twice to the Middle East in the begining of 2011 to meet both with senior Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Kerry used these trips as a tool in his effort to jumpstart Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations and while in Israel met with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the growing threats in the Middle East. Read more about his trips, CLICK HERE.

June 2010 - Senator John Kerry (D), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited Israel and met with President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. In addition to congratulating Israel on its advancements for the cause of peace with the Palestinians, he echoed the American belief that Iran is out to develop nuclear weapons and must be stopped. Read more about his meeting with President Peres, 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. Massachusetts is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2012, Massachusetts exported over $218,623,225.00 worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Massachusetts exports to Israel have totaled more than $3,191,660,871.00and Israel now ranks as Massachusetts’s 11th leading trade partner.

Additionally in 2012, Massachusetts received more than $15,467,297.63 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: Raytheon Company in Boston, Mathworks, Inc. in Boston, and Pierce Aluminum, Co. in Franklin.

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 Massachusetts.

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 Massachusetts is limited only by the imagination.

 

Massachusetts 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 U.S. and Europe. Moreover, because of its deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology areas, Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of America’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 600 Massachusetts companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including Boston Systematics, Datel Intersil, Mathworks and Genzyme. In the last decade, some 40 Israeli companies have opened offices in Massachusetts. Boston is, in fact, the fourth largest air passenger market between the U.S. and Israel.

Datel Intersil is an electronics company based in Mansfield that sells Israel electronic components and subsystems, such as data acquisition boards, power supplies and digital panel meters. Datel has been doing business with Israel for 25 years, and, according to Russell Mitnik, Datel’s International Sales Manager, has found it profitable. "Israel is stable financially and on the cutting edge of technology. Israel many times pushes us to advance," said Mitnik.

EquipNet Ltd. is a spin-off of TICI Software Systems Ltd.- a leading Israeli contract engineering software house. Massachusetts-based PRI Automation is a leading U.S. supplier of factory automation systems for semiconductor manufacturers and OEM equipment suppliers. The teamed companies, serving the semiconductor industry, are applying Internet technology and methodology to software that controls, manages, and connects equipment to its users. EquipNet's solution translates data generated in the course of the manufacturing process into a standard off- the- shelf database such as Oracle or SQL server. EquipNet's technology essentially transforms any system into a Web site, thus enabling the application of standard commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Internet communications protocols and access tools to control and monitor the equipment. System control and monitoring, which can be carried out anywhere, use standard Web browsers, such as Microsoft's Explorer or Netscape, as the common interface and communications route. This will allow companies with multi-national production sites to accumulate data from many sources and analyze them online in a central corporate location.

SilverPlatter Information, a Norwood-based company that sells reference databases over the Internet, has been selling to Israel for "as long as we’ve been in business," according to Vice President and General Counsel David Mirchin. "Most major universities and research facilities buy from us. Israel is one of our largest markets per capita," remarked Mirchin. He added that Israel is a good market because, "a lot of high quality research is being done there."

Nidec sells electronic components that can be used for computers, communications and networking equipment. Marketing Manager Charlie Welsch said that Nidec has been doing business with Israel "ever since the company was formed in the 1970s." He remarked that the advantage of selling to Israel is obvious - "we can make a profit."

For the past 30 years, North Attleboro-based Mini System Inc. has been selling its products to Israel. Mini System manufactures chip resistors, which are films that are used by various industries, such as military and telecommunications companies. Elaine Tanos, Mini System clerk, commented, "Israel is a good market. They’re good customers."

The Natick-based Mathworks, a manufacturer of software for engineers and scientists, has been selling its products to Israel for more than eight years. The company has a distributor in Israel and finds the country to be a "good market," according to Liz Callanan, and "a great place to do business."

Genzyme, the Cambridge-based biotech company, began its relationship with Israel because of its first therapeutic drug, Cerades. The drug is used to treat Gaucher’s disease, a genetic disorder affecting thousands of people around the world, including a disproportionate number of patients in Israel. Genzyme affiliated with Hadassah and Tel Hashomer to institute clinical testing, enhancing treatment to Israelis and sales for Genzyme. Genzyme president Sandy Smith told Link magazine that the added value of working with Israel was the ongoing Israeli research in the disease. The company continued with Israeli collaboration even after the Gaucher drug testing was completed. Smith "loved being in Jerusalem" for the launch of a newer product, SepraFilm, used in tissue damages.

The Waltham-based software company Kollmorgen develops motion-control devices. When its CEO, Gideon Argov, realized the future of these devices was in digitalization, he sought another software/hardware company to help Kollmorgen. He found Israel’s Servatronix in the early 1990s and bought it in 1997. Argov told Link magazine, "It was interesting watching how this innovative Israeli company, with tremendous ingenuity but a lot of improvisational approaches to problem solving worked with, for example, a manufacturing plant we have where they are terrific at production but are run very much by the book...The Israelis learned from the Americans and the Americans learned from the Israelis."

EMC2, a Hopkinton company that handles disk storage for mission critical data storage, entered the worldwide disk storage market in 1990. EMC2 does so much business in Israel that it is able to maintain a Research and Development plant there, and also has its own sales office to handle customers like Bezeq (Israel’s telephone company), the Ministry of Defense, El Al and the Israel Discount Bank.

One company that took advantage of an FMS contract is Boston Systematics, a small business in Worchester that is the sole distributor of software such as Computervision and Unix. Boston Systematics has been doing business with Israel for more than five years and, according to Administrative Assistant Norma Foster, the company does business with Israel because it is a good market.

In 1996, the New England Chamber of Commerce opened the Market Gateway, an office environment aimed at preparing companies new to America. Many of the first companies to use this service have been Israeli organizations, such as NCC and Oridion. Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci observed after his 1998 trip to Israel, "There are several Israeli companies in Massachusetts and Massachusetts companies in Israel. We are the first state to have a trade office there and it has helped generate a lot of trade."

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 Massachusetts companies have taken advantage of the BIRD program, including ACME, Inc., Analog Devices, BID Medical Center, Inc., Elron Software, IRIS Graphics, Kopin, Inc., Brooktrout Technology and Data General Corporation. Massachusetts companies have shared nearly $11 million in BIRD grants since 1980, making the state the third highest recipient after California and New York.

Elron Software is a Cambridge-based Internet software company that was acquired by Elron Electronic Industries of Israel two years ago to spearhead Elron Electronic’s expansion into the U.S. and worldwide software markets. Ivan Sullivan, President of Elron Software, explained, "The marriage occurred because we had access to the U.S. market and Elron Electronic had a very fine technology base." In the two years since Elron Software has been acquired, it has come to hold "the number one position in producing integrated software for Internet risk management," said Sullivan. The company has produced four separate modules of this software, two based entirely on technology acquired from two Israeli software companies that Elron Software bought. "The quality of Israeli software is world-class," commented Sullivan, "Israel has fine technologists who produce market-savvy products in a short amount of time." Elron Software used a BIRD grant to develop an innovative product to provide security to email.

Visus Ltd. is a leading Israeli designer of advanced non-imaging optical systems for lighting and other photonic devices, including efficient and compact backlights to various Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs). Massachusetts-based Kopin Corporation is a U.S. developer and manufacturer of advanced semiconductor wafers and electronic digital devices. Today it is a leading developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art, high pixel density, small format flat panel display technology. The two companies will jointly develop and manufacture thin light-emitting diodes (LED) backlights, and market them with Kopin's miniature LCD's. Their collaboration will result in new ultra- thin products with improved optical efficiency and uniformity. The backlight will be smaller, lighter, more uniform and less expensive to manufacture than existing LED backlights. Since size is the key in the mobile data phone market, one of the critical features of the AM LCD is its compactness. Other markets with the backlight application include digital still cameras and camcorder viewfinders.

Since 1990, Bedford-based Iris Graphics, Inc. has been owned by Israeli-based Scitex Corporation. Iris Graphics manufactures digital color proofers, which are high resolution color printers that are used by service bureaus, ad agencies and commercial printers to make "contract proofs" that simulate what a final printed piece will look like when run on a printing press. The companies used a BIRD grant to create a remote proofing system. "Working with Scitex has proven to be mutually beneficial," commented Kelly Peterson, Marketing Manager. "Iris provides a valuable missing link in the Scitex product portfolio and Scitex promotes Iris through their tremendous worldwide sales and marketing channels." She added, "The people who work at our Israeli headquarters are educated, gracious, forthright and outgoing. They’re a pleasure to do business with."

In the communications industry, Analog Devices of Norwood joined with Libit Signal Processing in Israel. Analog Devices designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of integrated circuits for the communications industry. The BIRD-sponsored project merged Analog Devices’ low-cost, high-performance circuits with Libit’s digital communications expertise. The result was a software and hardware platform capable of sending and receiving data at high rates. This technology can lead to improvements in fields such as encryption security, voice processing and text-to-speech programs.

A 2008 partnership between Israel's Applied Cleantech and Massachusetts-based Qteros funded by the BIRD Foundation was looking into creating efficient ethanol producition from agricultural and municipal waste sources.

In 2011, Boston-based publishing company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was awarded funding through the BIRD Foundation to partner with the Israeli-based company Ginger Software to develop an advanced learning platform for English language learners. This grant was part of over $8.1 million awarded by BIRD to nine new projects in December 2011 to companies throughout the US and Israel.

 

Scientific Innovations

Massachusetts 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.

Harvard University, MIT, Brandeis, Boston University, Tufts Medical School and Boston College are among the Massachusetts institutions that have shared nearly $21 million with counterparts in Israel through grants awarded by BSF since 1996 alone.

In 2009, Dr. David Sabitini of MIT was put together with Professor Oded Meyuhas of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for a four-year BSF grant in which they will research a cellular system called the mTOR pathway and its connection with various forms of cancer. The research only just became in practice at the begining of 2011, but Dr. Sabitini is very confident about the future success of this BSF-funded collaboration. "I think the work will have important implications in how we can pharmacologically target mTOR which is hyperactive in a large percentage of human cancers," Dr. Sabitini notes. "Although we know that inhibitors of the mTOR pathway can have clinical efficacy we so far have little information on how to predict which cancers will and will not respond. The collaboration with Dr. Meyuhas should help provide such information."

In another BSF sponsored project, David Latham, Senior Astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Senior Lecturer at Harvard University, joined with an Israeli colleague to answer the question, "Can there be life on other planets?" The scientists are currently searching for extrasolar planets, those surrounded by stars, and researching the frequency and characteristics of binary stars in various stellar populations. They are trying to find out how a star decides to have a stellar or planetary companion, a question that may lead to discovering whether there can be intelligent life on other planets. Latham commented, "This collaboration has been a lot of fun. It’s a good combination of different skills. We have observational capabilities here while my partner is more of a theoretician. We complement each other."

BSF-supported collaboration between Profs. Israel Vlodavsky, from the Technion Institute in Israel, and Ram Sasisekharan, from MIT, has led to important discoveries on heparanase, a unique human enzyme playing a key role in cancer progression. Their clinical observations demonstrate a highly significant correlation between enhanced heparanase expression, metastatic potential, tumor vascularity and reduced postoperative survival of cancer patients. These observations clearly indicate that this enzyme is a most promising target for anti- cancer drug development. In addition, a newly developed, highly sensitive quantitative (ELISA) method revealed elevated levels of heparanase in saliva, urine and plasma of cancer patients, supporting the relevance of heparanase as a promising tumor marker as well.

Howard Smith, Senior Astrophysicist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics used a BSF grant for similar research. Along with a "substantial contribution" from Israeli scientists, Smith studied the formation of very small objects around stars. He tried to discover whether these companions were other stars, such as brown dwarfs, or planets. Even though a new planet has not been discovered, the search for planets around stars has attracted widespread public interest and has been actively reported in the press. Smith commented that his Israeli collaborators are "very smart, experienced and have great ideas." He used money from the grant to visit their observatory in Mitzpeh Ramon.

Associate Professor Salomon Amar from Boston University is a step closer to finding a mechanism for controlling chronic inflammatory diseases, thanks to a grant from BSF. Although he only started this research recently, Amar has found that "we are in a position to learn how to control inflammatory diseases," such as gum disease, Crohns disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diabetes. Many genetic diseases are easier to study in Israel than in America because of the concentrated samples of various populations, such as Eastern European, Moroccan or Ethiopian Jews. Amar commented that he actually trained the Israeli researcher with whom he is working, and the grant "just cemented an ongoing relationship."

Assistant Professor Paul Barbone from Boston University received a BSF grant to team up with Dan Givoli. They work to make computer simulations of mechanical systems more efficient and to assess the behavior of the systems. For example, they have simulated the vibrations of cars to test the effects of a crash and the vibrations of buildings to find the stability of the structures in an earthquake. This research has led to adjustments being made in the makeup of various cars and buildings. Barbone remarked, "We’re building layers on each other’s work. He’s following up on my work, which was a follow-up on his. Before, we would learn from the other’s work indirectly. Now we can have direct interaction." Barbone has had three Israeli partners in his research and has found them all to be "very task-oriented and very good at getting the job done."

Lawrence Scott, Professor of Chemistry at Boston College, used a BSF grant to look at the electronic properties of carbon-rich organic molecules. He tries to put electrons into molecules and then take them out, a process similar to that done in a battery, flashlight, cell phone or electric car, only on the molecular level. This basic research sets ground rules for the future design of lightweight organic materials that can conduct and store electricity. Scott’s lab prepares and synthesizes the materials, then sends samples to Israel for measurements. Scott commented, "The things they do, they do well. But they have limited resources, so they’re eager to collaborate."

Researchers Joseph Kost from Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva, Robert Langer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and Henry Brem from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore are all researching this project together. Using a group of molecules that combines to form a polymer, a timed release of a drug was developed. Langer and Brem saw the possibility of a polymer as a "remote control" device for the controlled release of drugs. The same idea has been developed for the use of women's birth control and brain cancer treatment.

Science magazine attributed Israeli scientist Professor Nissim Benvenisty of Hebrew University of Jerusalem with key findings in stem cell research. His research, along with his American colleague Douglas Melton at Harvard Medical School in Boston, showed the possibility of using cells for the treatment of different physical problems– heart, muscle, and neuronal conditions. The research team discovered a way to fish out the differentiated neuronal cells from the other cells by use of a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). This gene is implanted into the cells and allows the scientists to find the cells that have been differentiated. By differentiating the cells, scientists may find cures in the future for many illnesses covering various limbs and organs of the body.

What precautions can a country make to ensure that their computerized elections are fair and accurate? Natan Linial and Gil Kalai of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem worked together with Jeff Kahn and Michael Sacks from Rutgers University in New Jersey and Stanely Richard at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge to attempt to prevent such events. Using a mathematical theory called influence theory, they constructed computerized models, assigning each method of government a certain probability of vote outcome. Using computers to generate random numbers, the researchers wanted to find whether another computer would generate the same random number without other computers realizing the encryption of the results. To prevent intentional changing of the results, it is best if one line of communication is not the sole method of transmitting the results.

BSF-sponsored studies benefit the U.S. by extending research resources; 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 over 75 new discoveries that would not have been possible without foundation-supported collaboration.

Masschusetts lawmakers approved a $1 million life sciences initiave in 2008 that includes a unique relationship with Israel. The law would authorize joint academic and industrial research and business exchanges with Israel and calls for the creation of trade facilities for pilot projects with the Government of Israel and the Boston Haifa International Life Sciences Institute. Israel and Massachusetts are among the few places that are home to world class research in the life sciences. The partnership provision, which survived several rounds of legislative committee scrutiny, was initiated by Rep. Dan Bosley, a key lawmaker who has gained a deep understanding of Israel, despite the fact that he has a relatively small Jewish constituency. Funding for the partnership is subject to appropriation, but key lawmakers anticipate $10 million over the next ten years.

In 2012, the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP) awarded four Massachusetts companies a total of $1.3 billion as part of the collaborative partnership that was launched in June of 2011. The MIIP is a formal collaboration between Israel and the State of Massachusetts to encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship between Massachusetts' and Israel's life sciences, clean energy, and technology sectors. The partnership, which consists of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist, awarded the following companies joint grants: SBH Sciences of Natick and Improdia of Israel to develop and manufacture a medical prognostic kit; Automated Medical Instruments of Needham and STI Lasers of Israel to develop radio-frequency technology to treat heart arryhtmia; Lantheus of North Billerica and Check-Cap of Israel to develop a novel 3-D imaging capsule that can be used to screen for polyps and lesions associated with colorectal cancer; and FloDesign Sonics of Wilbraham and Transbiodiesel of Israel to produce a joint project using FloDesign’s technology to separate oil that can be used to create fuel from Transbiodiesel’s oil-generating algae.

 

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. Masachusetts institutions have shared grants worth more than $1.5 million since 1979.

Keeping parsley fresh and using fruit pulp to create textures in baked goods are just two goals of Massachusetts scientists doing joint research projects conducted under the auspices of the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund. BARD was created in 1978 with equal contributions by the United States and Israel. Since its inception, BARD has funded more than 800 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia. In 2005, 28 projects were funded at 31 U.S. institutions. Massachusetts institutions have shared grants worth more than $1.9 million since 1987.

Professor Peter Hepler of the University of Massachusetts received a BARD grant to work with an Israeli lab to study the role of calcium during the cell death of parsley leaf cells. Hepler tried to determine exactly what causes parsley to lose its shelf life and die after it is picked. The Israeli lab started the research and Hepler helped them with measurements and a lab for calcium work. The team was successful in discovering that calcium levels do elevate during the death of cells. Hepler said the Israelis "are very smart, capable folks." He added, "BARD gives funds for lab support and grad student support. I wouldn’t be involved in this research without BARD."

Michael Peleg, professor of food engineering at the University of Massachusetts, was awarded a grant to collaborate with Israelis to test a gelling agent to give textures to food products. For example, he used a kind of gum to mold fruit pulp into various shapes and textures. The otherwise useless pulp can then be utilized in foods such as ice cream or baked goods. Peleg and his collaborators completed tests on the properties of a gum called algenate and then turned the results over to industries to use for commercial purposes. Peleg remarked, "It was truly cooperative research. As far as I’m concerned, it was an enjoyable experience and a productive project."

Professor Robert Langer of MIT received a grant to study the usefulness of drug implants in controlling the release of drugs into the systems of fish. These implants can help the growth of fish, prevent infection or make a group of fish breed at the same time. While Langer knew how to control releases, his Israeli partner was an expert on fish farming. Langer described his Israeli colleague as, "Hard-working, bright and able to get things done."

 

Other Cooperative Programs

MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) expanded its portfolio of eight countries with the launch of a new internship and research exchange program with Israel in 2007. MISTI funds intensive, tailored, hands-on professional internships abroad with leading companies, research labs and universities for students at all academic levels and postdoctoral researchers. "MISTI-Israel will serve as a lighthouse program--a bridge between the U.S. and Israel that will be the first of its kind at a major university," said Jake Seid (S.B., M.Eng., 1998) of Lightspeed Venture Partners, who is a member of the founding team. Learn more about this program, CLICK HERE.

The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) and Brandeis University offer a joint grant to a postdoctoral scholar in the field of women's studies who is about to begin a program of research at the Women's Studies Research Center of the University. The program grant provides $20,000 in partial support of the recipient's first year of activity at Brandeis.

In October 2012, an Israeli company called Argo Medical Technologies Ltd. that makes devices allowing paraplegics to walk announced it will open its US headquarters in Massachusetts within the next three to five years. Argo made the annoucement at the AdvaMed 2012 medical technology convention at Boston's Hynes Convention Center, and a US Army veteran who is usually wheelchair-bound climbed down from a podium and ambled her way through the convention and exhibition center, thanks to Argo's innovative technological advancements. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

In April 2013, after a terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, Israeli expertise helped save the lives of countless civilians and also helped lead to the eventual capture and arrest of terrorist Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

Dr. Pinchas Halpern, director of emergency medicine at Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center, stayed in contact with doctors in Boston for a week following the bombing. "Unfortunately, we have great expertise," he said.  Dr. Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services at Massachusetts General Hospital, acknowledged the day of the attack the help provided by Israeli experts.  “About two years ago in actual fact we asked the Israelis to come across and they helped us set up our disaster team so that we could respond in this kind of manner,” Conn told reporters.

To help Boston police and federal agents find and capture the bombing suspects, Israeli hi-tech company BriefCam provided surveillance technology that enabled investigators to summarize an hour of surveillance video footage into only one minute and also zoom in on people and objects whose movements changed during the filming.  The system by BreifCam, with their American branch based in nearby Farmington,  is based on the concept of allowing the simultaneous display of several events. Once a certain movement or area is indentified, the system then tracks it during the entire film. U.S. Park police technological service direct David Mulholland explained, “There may have been 500 people who walked in that general area, but the analytics piece will ignore that and flag anything that changed in that one specific area, such as a backpack being left behind. So instead of spending 20 minutes looking at video in which nothing happens, the investigator can hit a button and in 30 seconds go to the area of interest and then begin to dissect what actually happened.

 

Sister Cities

MASSACHUSETTS

ISRAEL

Boston

 

UJA Partnership 2000 Communities

MASSACHUSETTS

ISRAEL

Newton

Mazkeret - Batya
New Bedford
Afula - Ta'anach - Gilboa
Springfield
Afula - Ta'anach - Gilboa
Worcester
Afula - Ta'anach - Gilboa
MetroWest
Rishon LeZion

State Contacts:

Hillel Campus Profiles

BIRD Foundation
P.O. Box 2005
Brookline, MA 02146-0017
Tel. 617-731-1400
Fax. 617-731-1403
Jewish Federation Of the Berkshires
196 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Tel. 413-442-4360
Jewish Federation Of North Shore
4 Community Rd.
Marblehead, MA 01945-2766
Tel. 617-598-1810
New England-Israel Chamber of Commerce
Suite 3000 West One, 212 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02110
Tel. 617-753-7373
Fax. 617-753-7350
Email. neicc@israeltrade.com
CAMERA
P.O. Box 428
Boston, MA 02258
Jewish Federation Cape Cod Community
396 Main St
Hyannis, MA 02601-3900
Tel. 508-778-5589
Jewish Federation Of Worcester
633 Salisbury St.
Worcester, MA 01609-1120
Tel. 508-756-7675
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
126 High St.
Boston, MA 02110
Tel. 617-457-8500
Jewish Federation Greater New Bedford
467 Hawthorn St.
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-3714
Tel. 508-997-7471
Leominster Jewish Community Council
268 Washington St.
Leominister, MA 01453
Tel. 617-534-6121
Office of International Trade
100 Cambridge St., #902
Boston, MA 02202
Israeli Consulate
20 Park Plaza, Suite 1020
Boston, MA 02116
Tel. 617-535-0200
Email. information@boston.mfa.gov.il
Web. www.israelemb.org/boston
Jewish Federation Greater Springfield
1160 Dickinson St.
Springfield, MA 01108-3122
Tel. 413-737-4313
Massachusetts-Israel Exchange
Massachusetts Trade Office
Binyanei Haooma, #201
Jerusalem, Israel
Tel. 2-625-1194
 
JCRC of Greater Boston
126 High St.
Boston, MA 02110
Tel. 617-457-8600
Fax. 617-988-6255
Jewish Federation of Merrimack Valley
805 Turnpike St.
North Andover, MA 01845-6122
Tel. 508-688-0466
Massachusetts Trade Office/Massport Trade Office
c/o MAKWA Ltd
Jerusalem International Convention Center, P.O. Box 6001
Jerusalem, Israel 91060
Tel. 2­625­1194
Web: http://www.makwa.com/mass/
 

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