Massachusetts and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2014)
| Percentage Change (2013-2014)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2014)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2015)
|Jewish Population (2015)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by Massachusetts and Israel
Grant recipients in
Massachusetts from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Alpha Industries Inc.
Analog Devices, Inc.
Automated Medical Instruments, Inc.
Basicnet Technology Group
BBN Systems & Technology Corp.
BID Medical Center, Inc.
Boston Technology, Inc.
Boston University Medical
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brooktrout Technology Inc.
Children's Hospital Medical Ctr
Circe Biomedical, Inc.
Dana Faber Cancer Institute
Data General Corp.
Data Translation Inc.
Diatech Diagnostics Inc.
Digital Equipment Corp.
Energy Sciences Inc.
Fibronics Intl Inc.
Grace W R & Co.
Harvard School of Public Health
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Index Technology Corp.
Intermetrics Microsystems Software, Inc.
IRIS Grpahics, Inc.
Joslin Diabetes Center
Lantheus Medical Imaging
Laser Data, Inc.
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mitchell Management Inc.
National Bureau of Economic Research
Office Channel Inc.
PARA Research Inc.
Phoenix Technologies Ltd.
Qteros (formerly SunEthanol)
Scitex America Corp.
Shriver Center for Medical Retardation
Siemens Medical Sys. Inc.
SilverPlatter Information Inc.
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
SoftKey International Inc.
Software Devel. Co., Inc.
Stratus Computer Inc.
Summit Technology, Inc.
The DATA Group Inc.
The DATA Group Inc.
University of Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Medical
Univision Tech., Inc.
US Geological Survey
US WEST Media Group Co.
W.R. Grace & Co.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Xyvision Design Systems
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
New England-Israel Business
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
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
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
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
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
Massachusetts Government Missions to Israel
December 2016 - Governor Charlie Baker and 40 various business leaders from Massachusetts visited Israel for 6 days in December 2016. The mission's focus was to facilitate further cooperation between Massachusetts and Israeli cybersecurity and health industries. During the trip, which was funded and planned by the New England Israel Business Council and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the representatives from Massachusetts attended a summit with over 400 Israeli leaders and business executives.
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
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
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
The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin
pillars of shared values and mutual interests. Given this commonality of
interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel
is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the
It is more difficult to devise programs that capitalize
on the two nations' shared values than their security interests;
nevertheless, such programs do exist. In fact, these SHARED VALUE
INITIATIVES cover a broad range of areas, including the environment,
science and technology, education and health.
As analyst David Pollock noted, Israel is an advanced country with a population that surpassed eight million people in 2013 and a robust, dynamic economy that allowed it to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Between 2005 and 2013, Israel has represented a larger market for U.S. exports than Saudi Arabia. Although Israel's citizenry make up just 3 percent of the total region's population, Israel accounts for 25 percent of American exports in the Middle East.
"It has also been one of the top 20 foreign direct investors in the United States since 2009," Pollock confirms. He adds that "$2.25 billion of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel comes back via Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment - and that is just 5 percent of the total bilateral trade each year."
Today's interdependent global economy requires that
trade policy be developed at the national and state level.
Many states have recognized the opportunity for realizing
significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. 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
Israel has developed a number of pioneering education programs. For example, AICE introduced an innovative Israeli
peer tutoring program to North Carolina that educators adapted for use
in the United States. Now known as Reading Together, the program is
used in 28 states. The program is designed to help students achieve
reading fluency and is mostly used for children in second grade. The
hope is that with its implementation, increasing numbers of students
will perform at grade level or above.
A range of other exciting approaches to social problems
like unemployment, environmental protection and drug abuse have been
successfully implemented in Israel and could be imported for the benefit
The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for
the benefit of Massachusetts is limited only by the imagination.
Profit From Business With Israel
As the only country with free trade agreements with
both the United States and the European community, Israel can act as
a bridge for international trade between the U.S. and Europe. Moreover,
because of its deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology
areas, Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of Americas
largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and McDonalds
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. Avi Hasson, the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy stated that "Massachusetts was the first US state to establish a collaborative R&D grant program with Israel, and has been one of the largest recipients of funds from the U.S.-Israel grant program BIRD".
The New England-Israel Business Council (NEIBC) released a study in 2013 that showed that Israeli companies have had a significant positive contribution to the economy of Massachusetts. This study was the first in-depth analysis on the impact of Israeli firms on the economy of any individual city or state. The NEIBC study found that in 2012, the 211 Israeli firms that had business operations in Massachusetts accounted for 2.9% of the entire state's GDP and employed 6,700 people with an additional 17,000 jobs supporting the operations of these companies. According to the findings, these Israeli companies had a combined economic impact of $12 billion on the Massachusetts economy. Between 2010 and 2012 revenue at these Israeli founded companies grew three times faster than the overall economy of Massachusetts.
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, Datels 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 weve 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
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. Theyre
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 Gauchers 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 Israels 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 (Israels 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
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 Electronics 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. Theyre a pleasure to do business
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
Libits 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.
It was announced on September 30 2014 that Waltham, Massachusetts based company Raytheon had been awarded a contract from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd worth $149 million to manufacture Iron Dome interceptor components. Raytheon will manufacture products used in the Tamir interceptor, used by the Iron Dome weapons system. Raytheon is the world's number one producer of guided missiles, and they will be the Israeli's second source for Tamir interceptor missiles.
After Operation Protective Edge, Israeli defense professionals agreed that they needed to have a greater supply of Iron Dome rockets. Raytheon and the Israeli government have had a co-marketing agreement for the Iron Dome in place since 2011, and this is the first contract awarded since this agreement was forged.
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. Its 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, "Were building layers
on each others work. Hes following up on my work, which
was a follow-up on his. Before, we would learn from the others
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. Scotts
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 theyre 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
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
In 1978 the United States and Israel jointly created
the Binational Agricultural
Research and Development Fund (BARD)
to help fund programs between US and Israeli scientists for mutually
beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research into agricultural
problems. Since its inception, BARD has funded more
than 1,000 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia with a
total investment of more than $250 million. In 2000, an independent
and external economic review of 10 BARD projects conservatively
projected more than $700 million in revenue by the end of 2010, a number
which far outweighs the total investment in all BARD projects over its 33 year existence and helps to continually strengthen
Most BARD projects focus on either increasing agricultural
productivity, plant and animal health or food quality and safety and
have been influential in creating new technologies in drip irrigation,
pesticides, fish farming, livestock, poultry, disease control and farm
equipment. BARD funds projects in 45 states and the
District of Columbia and at present is beginning to administer collaborative
efforts between Australia, Canada and Israel as well. It is difficult
to break down the impact on a state-by-state basis, but overall, BARD-sponsored
research has generated sales of more than $500 million, tax revenues
of more than $100 million and created more than 5,000 American jobs.
Masachusetts institutions have shared grants worth more than $1.5 million
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 wouldnt 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 Im 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."
Israeli agricultural technology firm AutoAgronom placed in the final 25 in 2014's Massachusetts based MassChallenge, the largest startup contest in the world. 2014's MassChallenge awarded over $1.75 million in grants and over $10 million in other prizes to startup technology companies around the world, and AutoAgronom was the only agricultural technology firm in the contest. AutoAgronom produces advanced drip-irrigation systems with smart technology and sensors to help farmers significantly cut down on water use. The company is also pioneering a process known as fertigation (fertilization + irrigation), in which sensors are attached to plant roots and the surrounding soil that analyze soil conditions, weather, water, and nutrient levels. After conducting this analysis, the system uses computer algorithms to determine when and how much water, fertilizer, and pest control to deliver to the individual plants for maximum growth. Farmers in the United Kingdom who have been using AutoAgronom's system have been able to cut down their water usage by 30% while increasing crop yields by 28% and decreasing pesticide use by 70%. As of November 2014 AutoAgronom's smart-drip fertigation system has been implimented in 13 countries and used with 70 different types of crops.
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
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
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.
The MIT-Israel Program celebrated it's 8th year of supporting collaborative research between MIT and Israeli Universities in February 2016. The program places star MIT students in internships all across Israel and has grown exponentially since it's inception, with 60 students participating in the 2015/2016 academic year compared to 15 participants in 2008. Students are placed in internships in industry, start-ups, non-profits, and research. The MIT-Israel Seed Fund was launched in 2016, which awarded over $148,000 in funding to MIT departments and Israeli academic institutions to begin collaborative research. The MIT-Israel Seed Fund will join the MIT-Israel - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Seed Fund in providing funding for new programs between faculty and student researchers at MIT and their Israeli peers.
The New England-Israel Business Council published a study in June 2016 that found that over 200 companies in Massachusetts had ties to Israel, generating $9.3 billion in revenue and employing approximately 9,000 individuals. This represented a revenue increase of more than $3 billion, and an employment increase of 2,000 people since these statistics were last measured in 2012. Israel-connected businesses in Massachusetts grew at a rate twice that of the state's economy according to the publication, and their employee base grew four times as fast.
Mazkeret - Batya
Afula - Ta'anach - Gilboa
Afula - Ta'anach - Gilboa
Afula - Ta'anach - Gilboa
P.O. Box 2005
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