Michigan and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2013)
| Percentage Change (2012-2013)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
|Jewish Population (2012)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by STATE_HERE and Israel
Grant recipients in
Michigan from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Amigo Mobility International, Inc.
Computer Methods Corp.
Gelman Sciences Inc.
Henry Ford Hospital
Michigan State University
TESCO Group Companies
University of Michigan
University of Michigan Medical School
USDA Avian Disease & Oncology Lab
USDA Fruit & Vegetable Harvesting Lab
USDA Regional Poultry Lab
Wayne State University
Bridge - Founded in 2007,
the MIBB is a non-profit organization established to facilitate business
and investment opportunities between Michigan and Israel for their mutual
economic benefit. MIBB brings new business to Michigan and creates jobs
by encouraging Israeli businesses with new technologies to establish
their North American business centers in Michigan. In the first year
of existence alone, the MIBB arranged a meeting between 16 Israeli auto-related
companies with 10 Michigan based auto comapnies and helped foster business
deals that would never have been possible without its help. Read more
about the MIBB, CLICK
Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"
In February 2011, the Oakland University
William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester signed a Memorandum
of Understanding with the Emek Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. The
agreement encourages collaborative research and the sharing of scientific
knowledge between the two institutions and leveraging the medical expertise
of both institutions to advance the science and practice of medicine.
It is hoped that this collaboration will foster economic development
through biomedical discovery in Michigan as well as in the region served
by the Emek Medical Center. Read more about the cooperative agreement
and connection, CLICK
In November 2008, during her trade mission
to Israel, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a Memorandum of Understanding
with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai to establish a working
group between the two governments that will focus on energy efficiency
and technology that will improve water quality and increase water re-use.
The so-called Michigan/Israel Water Technology Working Group was originally
led by Lt. Governor John Cherry and resulted in a major partnership
when the "Green Jobs for Blue Water" initiative was launched
in April 2009. Read more about the developments in the MOU through the
"Green Jobs for Blue Water" initiative, CLICK
HERE or HERE.
In 1988, the Michigan-Israel Technology
Venture was established to foster exchanges of information and technology,
and an Economic Development Cooperative Agreement was signed the same
year to promote trade and investment between the two governments.
Michigan Government Missions to Israel
December 2009 - Lieutenant Governor John
Cherry spent close to a week in Israel on a trade mission and returned
to Michigan after having inked eals for start-up technology projects
with two Israeli water companies. The companies, EPC Ltd's Onsite Wastewater
Solutions and EMEFCY, both signed letters of intent to establish facilities
and programs in Michigan to help the state solve various water-related
issues. “One of the things I was trying to convey was that Michigan
could be a great platform for them to launch an effort in the U.S. market,"
Lt Gov Cherry told a group of reporters after returning to the States.
"We have done a number of things, such as advanced battery activity,
that show we are a good partner with companies that are seeking to do
business throughout the United States.” Read more about this successful
trade mission, CLICK
November 2008 - Governor Jennifer M.
Granholm led a delegation to Israel and Jordan in which she met with
business leaders to encourage them to invest and grow their companies
in Michigan. This was Gov. Granholm's first mission to Israel and the
Middle East and she was joined on the trip by Michigan Economic Development
Corporation President and CEO James C. Epolito."These missions
are part of my go anywhere, do anything strategy to grow Michigan's
economy by encouraging international companies to invest in Michigan,"
Granholm said. "Our focus on expanding high-growth sectors and
our new economic development tools give us real advantages in winning
new investment and jobs from companies around the globe." Read
more about her mission, 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. Michigan is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, Michigan exported over$116,792,937.00 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Michigan exports to
Israel have totaled more than $1,449,791,142.00 and Israel now ranks as Michigan’s 19th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Michigan received more than
$6,585,057.89 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: Novodynamics, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Automotive Equipment in Detroit and Gerdau Macsteel, Inc. in Jackson.
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 Michigan 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 United States and Europe. Moreover,
because of the deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology areas,
Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of the nation's
largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel and McDonald's
have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.
Roughly 100 Michigan companies have
discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel,
including General Motors, Chrysler, Aeroquip and Gelman
"General Motors does considerable business with
Israel and expects to do more," according to J. David Hughes from the
company's International Communications department. The company sells
passenger cars and trucks as well as military vehicles. The Israeli
military buys products from GM's Hughes Electronics subsidiary. GM also
buys components and tools from Israeli suppliers.
In 1995, GM's Electronic Data Systems subsidiary
announced a joint venture with Kardan Technologies in the systems
integration area. Peter Zaugg, chairman of EDS Israel said, "The
Israeli marketplace will benefit from the presence of an IT [information
technology] services supplier that combines EDS' global capabilities and
expertise and Kardan's considerable knowledge of the market and business
The Israeli IT market is estimated by the company to be
worth approximately $1.6 billion in 1995, with the software and services
segment projected to grow at an annual rate of 11 percent over the next
Hughes added that GM Executive Vice President Harry
Pearce visited Israel, along with other top executives, "and that the
direction is clearly toward expansion of our business relationship with the
country through the rest of this decade."
Gelman Sciences has been doing business in Israel for
close to 30 years, according to Bob Roszell, Director of Marketing
Research. The company manufactures filtration products for laboratories.
"Israel is a hotbed for innovative research," Roszell said, and
the company is interested in new opportunities there.
Bernard Coyne, a manager for Beaver Precision Products,
said his company has been doing business with Israel since 1987. It's a
selective market, the defense industry, but it's extremely pleasurable to
do business there. The Israelis are honorable men, good negotiators and
terribly cooperative. They go out of their way to expedite matters. They
went out on a limb to help us financially by advance billings. Coyne
also found it easy to make agreements. Instead of going through committees
that stall contracts, the Israelis can reach an agreement "over the
telephone or with a handshake." With the possible exception of the
Japanese, Coyne said the Israelis are the best payers he's ever had. I'll
do everything I can to continue doing business in Israel.
Merlyn Gates, President of Abrams Instrument Corporation, has
also found that Israeli clients do not waste his time. When they
need our products, they come to us. When the Israelis make an inquiry,
you know they are going to buy. And they pay promptly. Unlike
many orders that get loaded down with ridiculous terms, the Israeli
contracts are straightforward, he said. Our relations have been
Tzora Health Care Products, an Israeli manufacturer
of power-assisted mobility devises, collaborated on a project with Amigo
Mobility International, a U.S. manufacturer of carts and other mobility
aids used by the handicapped worldwide. The companies jointly developed
the Travel Mate-Scooter, an inexpensive, lightweight, foldable scooter
for the handicapped that can be loaded into buses, trains, taxis or
other transportation vehicles. The concept of the three-wheeled platform
mobility aid was introduced by Amigo over 30 years ago and has since
changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of physically impaired persons.
However, previous products were heavy, and loading them on other vehicles
necessitated their disassembly into several parts of manageable weight
by a complicated, and inconvenient process. Thus, the Travel-Mate Scooter
met a critical and universal need of handicapped individuals worldwide.
Currently, Tzora produces the innovative scooter and Amigo provides
marketing, sales and service.
Plasma Laser Technologies (PLT) Ltd., an Israeli developer
of unique, advanced-technology solutions for welding and material treatment,
is collaborating with DCT Utilase Systems, a leading American full service
supplier of welding and assembly lines, automation and laser systems.
The aim of the joint project is to develop hybrid Plasma Laser Welding
(PLW), a method that will solve the problems encountered by the use
of either conventional Laser Beam Welding (LBW) or Electric Arc Welding
(EAW) separately. PLW technology is expected to improve laser welding
travel speeds of aluminum and steel automotive products. The benefits
of PLW have been demonstrated in various applications, such as tailored
blanks welding, thick pipe welding, enclosure welding, etc. In each
of these applications, the use of PLW has resulted in a higher price
performance ratio of the total welding system, lower direct production
cost and increased competitiveness of the product.
In 2009, the Israeli company EMEFCY, which develops
technology that can produce energy generation directly from wastewater
which can be used in industrial and municipal wastewater treatment plants,
opened a pilot project in Michigan in response to Lt. Governor John
Cherry's mission to Israel. “EMEFCY’s technology will be
utilized in municipal/industrial/agricultural wastewater facilities,”
said John McCulloch, water resource commissioner of Oakland County.
“We hope the technology will help us to reduce energy costs at
wastewater plants throughout Michigan.” Eytan Levy, the Israeli
CEO of EMEFCY was also excited about the opportunity - “We are
looking forward to successfully developing this project in the state
of Michigan,” Levy said.
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.
Michigan-based companies have benefited from more than $1.2 million
in BIRD grants over the last three decades.
The Detroit-based American-Israel Chamber of Commerce
can provide additional information about BIRD and other
business opportunities in Israel (810-661-1948).
Michigan 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.
The University of Michigan (UM) and Michigan State
University (MSU) are among the Michigan institutions that have shared
with counterparts in Israel more than $4 million in grants awarded by BSF since 1996 alone.
UM's Anthony Francis and his colleague are involved in
the spectroscopic study of semiconductors, which has potential applications
for solar energy storage. "It was a very good collaboration,"
Francis said, adding that he benefitted from having access to some
facilities and equipment the Technion had that his lab did not.
Another UM scientist, Will Pearson, is interested in
techniques used to synthesize molecules. "The pharmaceutical industry
is very interested in our techniques," he said, because it allows them
to develop new drugs. The BSF grant allowed Pearson to work with someone
whose work he had followed. "We are productive because we each know
things the other doesn't," he explained. "We each provide a
different perspective and expertise, so we make a pretty good team."
MSU's Lee McIntosh and his colleague are studying photosynthesis
at the molecular level. By manipulating genes, they hope to obtain a
better understanding of how herbicides affect photosynthesis. Ultimately,
the research could be used to make herbicides more safe and effective.
He said he benefitted from the collaboration because his Israeli colleague
is a "superb geneticist."
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.
Michigan institutions, led by the University of Michigan (UM) and Michigan
State (MSU), have shared BARD grants worth nearly $4
million since 1979.
UM molecular biologist Eran Pichersky has received
a number of BARD grants in recent years with which
he has collaborated with his Israeli counterparts to find ever better
ways of growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables.
In 2008, Professor Pichersky received a three year BARD grant to work with Israeli scientists at the Volcani Center and at Ben
Gurion University of the Negev to research and help produce better tasting
fruits such as tomatoes. In recent years, farmer and growers have sacrificed
flavor in their fruits and vegetables in order to produce ones that
are more attractive to the eye and have a longer shelf life. Professor
Pichersky and his colleagues from Purdue and Rutgers University have
found a way to genetically enhance the aroma and taste of these fruits
without harming their look or shelf-life.
Thanks to the support from BARD, these researchers
from the United States and Israel also believe that these genetically
enhanced fruits and vegetables will also be marked by improved quality.
Their achievements so far have actually been widely praised in print
media and television and they hope this research will lead to improved
crop yields and better produce at your local grocer. Read a summary
of this project and its initial findings, HERE.
Professor Pichersky recieved another BARD grant to examine nonfunctional proteins in chloroplasts. The research
relates to the efficiency of photosynthesis, which affects plant growth
rates and fruit growth. "In Israel, some plants don't photosynthesize
at high temperature," Pichersky explained. "By changing the
proteins, it will allow plants to grow in hotter climates." This
could have particularly valuable applications for crops like tomatoes,
MSU's Ken Sink is using cell fusion techniques to transfer
genes in plants, with the aim of ultimately making them resistant to
verticillium wilt, a fungus that affects eggplant worldwide. Sink says
he has a good rapport with his Israeli colleagues, who are leaders in
this field. This is Sink's third BARD grant.
Lyman Crittenden, of MSU and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, has had two BARD projects. The first studied
disease in chickens caused by a retro virus. "We were trying to
detect transmission of the virus from the mother to its offspring to
reduce the infection rate. It turned out one line of chickens had a
high rate of infection. By changing the line, we eliminated the virus."
Crittenden's second project involved identifying genes
that control egg production and other important traits in chickens. This is
an ongoing project that will ultimately benefit breeders.
Other projects involving Michigan researchers helped
develop a test to detect tomato leaf curl virus, a new machine to harvest
peppers, a damage and simulation detection system to predict and lower
shipping losses of perishable fruits and a test to detect Mareks Disease
Virus in the feather tips of chickens.
David Dilley, an MSU scientist who's been working with
Israel for 30 years, said BARD grants are highly competitive,
"so ideas have to be good, investigators excellent and projects
of mutual benefit."
BARD research done outside the state
also benefits Michigan. For example, the State's apple growers can benefit
from a BARD project to preserve the fruit's crispness
longer. Dairy farmers benefit from research to boost milk fat and protein
quality in cows.
Initiative - In 2008, the
A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute launced this collaborative
initiative with various university laboratories in Israel to promote
collaborations between the finest medical scientists at the University
of Michigan and in Israeli research centers. “We were very impressed
by the ground-breaking research being done in Israel,” said Alfred
Taubman. “And we immediately recognized the opportunities for
collaboration between U of M and the talented scientists in Israel. That’s why we launched the Taubman Institute Israel Initiative
- to foster a new level of cooperation that will lead to the medical
breakthroughs we’re all hoping for.” To learn more about
the Taubman Institute-Israel Initiative, CLICK
Michigan Israel Business Bridge
Pamela B. Lippitt-Executive Director
6735 Telegraph Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Flint Jewish Federation
619 Wallenberg St.
Flint, MI 48502
JCC of Metropolitan Detorit
6735 Telegraph, #100
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids
2727 Michigan NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Phone 616-942-5553, ext. 207
6735 Telegraph Rd.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301-3141
Jewish Federation Washtenaw County
2939 Birch Hollow Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2301