Pennsylvania and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2015)
| Percentage Change (2014-2015)
| Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
|Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2015)
|Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
|Jewish Population (2014)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by Pennsylvania and Israel
Grant recipients in
Pennsylvania from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
Allegheny Research Institute
Allegheny University of Health Science
Altec Lansing Technologies
Bentley Systems Inc.
Fore Systems, Inc.
Fox Chase Cancer Center
General Instrument Corp.
Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc.
Medical College of Pennsylvania
Monell Chemical Senses Center
ORBIT Advanced Technologies Inc.
PDQ Industries Inc.
Penn State University
Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Policrom Screens USA Inc.
Roy F. Weston Inc.
Schott Glass Technologies, Inc.
SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories
Temple Medical School
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Medical School
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh Medical School
USDA Eastern Regional Research Lab
USDA Insect Attractants Research Lab
Vishay Intertechnology Inc.
Westinghouse Electric Corp.
of Commerce Central Atlantic Region - Established
in 1987, AICC-CAR , is an independent, member-based, not-for-profit
network of business professionals who share an interest in furthering
business relationships among each other and between the Greater Philadelphia
Region and Israel. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, and we serve
constituents in Southeastern PA, the Lehigh Valley as well as locations
in neighboring states. AICC’s mission is to provide members
with relevant intelligence on Israel's economy and markets; present
opportunities for trade and investment; cultivate an intimate network
of like-minded business professionals; and connect companies in Israel
and in the U.S. Learn more about the AICC Central Atlantic Region based
in Philadelphia, CLICK
Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding" top
In June 1997, Governor Tom Ridge signed
Pennsylvania's first cooperative agreement with Israel, noting that
"good trade makes good friends." The objective of the five
year pact was to “seek to enhance technological research and economic
development as well as to increase cultural awareness in order to promote
a deeper understanding of shared values through the economy, arts, technology
Pennsylvania Government Missions to Israel top
August 2011 - Congressman Mark Critz
traveled to Israel as part of an 81 member delegation to meet with top
Israeli officials and learn more about the U.S.-Israel relationship.
To learn more about the mission, CLICK
February 2006 - Philadelphia and Pennsylvania
state law enforcement, security and public service officials were sponsored
by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for an educational
mission to Israel to learn more about anti-terror security. The delegation
of security officials focused on Israel’s anti-terror security
procedures, facilities, and response tactics -- providing valuable information
and hands-on experiences that can help enhance local homeland security
and medical facility preparedness. In the buildup to the trip, Governor
Ed Rendell commetted on its importance. “Israel’s leadership
in security preparedness and effectiveness is recognized worldwide,"
said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. “Now our security
professionals will have a unique opportunity to meet with key security
officials in Israel, exchange information and receive hands-on experience
to learn anti-terror security measures that can significantly benefit
Pennsylvania’s homeland security programs.” Read more, CLICK
July 1999 - Pennsylvania Attorney
General Mike Fisher joined eight other attorneys general for a trip
to Israel. The participants in the mission went to explore U.S.-Israel
cooperation in legal affairs and discussed issues including youth violence,
the death penalty, and extradition laws.
May 1998 - Gov. Tom Ridge led a technology
trade mission to Israel and signed an agreement to create high-tech
business incubators and family-sustaining jobs in Pennsylvania and Israel.
The agreement will assist high-tech start-up firms by offering them
low-cost or free office space; shared administrative services; development
of targeted programs to stimulate joint ventures and research and development;
investment banking and venture capital financing; marketing; networking
and personnel recruiting. Pennsylvania also opened a trade office in
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. Pennsylvania is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, Pennsylvania exported over $224,678,260 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Pennsylvania exports to
Israel have totaled more than $2,681,328,417 and Israel now ranks as Pennsylvania’s 10th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Pennsylvania received more than
$30,273,510.43 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: Streamlight, Inc. in Eagleville, Columbus McKinnon Corporation in Pittsburgh and Pall Aeropower Corporation in Philadelphia.
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 Pennsylvania 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 National
Semiconductor have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in
More than 350 Pennsylvania companies have also discovered
the benefits of trade with Israel. Several own interests in Israeli
companies or have subsidiaries there, including Ecogen, Kulicke &
Soffa Industries and Vishay Intertechnology.
The Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce provides
information about trade opportunities and helps match Israeli and Pennsylvania
companies that are interested in cooperative ventures.
Another 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.
Sixteen Pennsylvania companies have benefited from
more than $4.6 million in BIRD grants over the last
three decades, including Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Ecogen, General
Instrument Corp. and PDQ Industries.
In 2011, the hit American television show "Glee"
featured the Israeli invented ReWalk™ that was designed with the
help of a grant from the BIRD Foundation. The ReWalk™ which was
jointly developed by the Technion incubator SCP-Vitalife in Israel and
Allied Orthopedics in the US, is the name for an exoskeleton that enables
wheelchair-bound users with lower limb disabilities to walk. Since December
2010, the ReWalk™ technology has been engaged in clinical trials
as MossRehab in Philadelphia. Thanks to BIRD and joint research conducted
in the US and Israel, miracles such as this can help millions of people
around the world. Read a short press release on the ReWalk™, CLICK
In 2010, BIRD provided matching funds
to Purolite, Inc., a Bala Cynwyd, PA based resin manufacturer and Israel’s
Transbiodiesel to jointly manufacture and market biocatalysts to replace
chemicals for diesel production with Israeli start-up Transbiodiesel.
Chemical catalysts have significant environmental and operational drawbacks
with substantial impact on cost-effectiveness that are eliminated by
Also in 2010 BIRD awarded one of five
grants specifically for Cooperative Clean Energy Projects to OMAT Ltd.
of Jerusalem and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Inc.
located locally in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This cooperative project
will aim to develop and implement a system to monitor, control, and
economize energy consumption in metal machining industries.
In 2009, BIRD began making grants up to $1 million
and approved projects in Pennsylvania with area companies including:
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Arkema, Inc., B. Braun, Inc. and Purolite,
Ecogen Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company
specializing in the development and marketing of biological products
to control plant pests and pathogens. The company received a BIRD grant to work with its subsidiary, Ecogen Israel Partnership, on the
development of a new fungal agent to protect grapes, ornamental flowers
and grapes. The product is now awaiting final EPA approval.
"BIRD brought together the resources
of Israelis and Americans and expedited the research and development
of the product," said John McIntyre, Ecogen's vice president of
business development. "The grant enhanced the rate of technology
Orbit Advanced Technologies used a BIRD grant for a joint venture with its Israeli subsidiary to develop an
automatic near-field antenna measurement system. The project combined
the Israeli company's hardware manufacturing with the American side's
expertise in software design.
BIRD made the bridge between
the two companies quicker and more economical, according to Orbit
President Yossi Harlev. The grant also softened the risk of undertaking
the project. Since you don't always know ahead of time if a product
will succeed, BIRD made the project economical.
Harlev said the product was finished a year ago and the company is already
beginning to pay back the grant from its profits.
In 2013, BIRD granted funding to Freshpoint Quality Assurance Ltd (Israel) and West Pharmaceutical Services(Pennsylvania) to jointly develop novel printable integrated threshold indicators for monitoring the quality of unit level pharmaceutical products.
Pennsylvania 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.
Institutions in Pennsylvania have shared with their
counterparts in Israel more than $9 million in BSF grants awarded since 1996 alone. Drexel, Carnegie-Mellon, Temple, Bryn
Mawr, Hahnemann, Haverford, Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania
are among the grant recipients.
Charles Swindell, a chemist at Bryn Mawr University is
working with a pharmacologist in Israel to develop a better understanding
of the way a new anti-tumor drug called Taxol works. Currently, the drug is
used to treat ovarian tumors, but Swindell noted that evidence suggests it
may also help people with tumors in the lung and breast. By better
understanding Taxol, Swindell says, it may be possible to assist in
the future development of more effective drugs to treat tumors. He
called the project a truly collaborative one, where neither piece could
be done without the other.
At Carnegie-Mellon, physicist James Russ has been
working for two years with a colleague at Tel Aviv University to develop
equipment that will precisely measure the energy of photons that comes from
atomic debris. One practical application may be to improve the precision of
devices that are difficult to calibrate, such as CAT scanners. "This
is a real team project," Russ noted.
Chemist Irwin Rose of the Fox Chase Cancer Center collaborated
with an Israeli biologist on a study of how protein is broken down in
a cell. Rose said many medical problems are associated with inadequate
protein breakdown and their research may provide a better understanding
of degenerative diseases in humans.
Researchers Ze'ev Seltzer from the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem along with his colleague Professor Gary Bennett from Allegheny
University in Philadelphia may have discovered the genes that cause
chronic pain and additional genes that cause related symptoms including
depression, anxiety, and epilepsy. Seltzer and Bennett are researching
the cause of chronic pain.
The general benefits to the United States from BSF-sponsored
studies include the extension and elaboration of research to achieve
milestones that might not have been reached otherwise; the introduction
of novel thinking and techniques that led American researchers to move
in new directions; confirmation, clarification and intensification of
research projects; access to Israeli equipment and facilities unavailable
elsewhere and early access to Israeli research results that sped American
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.
Pennsylvania institutions have shared grants worth
more than $2.29 million since 1979. The Fox Chase Cancer Center, Monell
Chemical Senses Center and U.S. Department of Agriculture research labs
have received grants.
Roland Kallen, a professor in the School of Medicine
at the University of Pennsylvania, collaborated with a group of scientists
from California, Washington and Israel on a BARD sponsored
project that examined the production of non-hazardous insecticides.
The group's work is not yet completed, though they have made great strides
toward developing a new class of insecticides that are highly effective,
not harmful to animals and humans, and environmentally friendly; research
that has generated much interest in the scientific community worldwide.
This research has been on-going for nearly two decades and, as this
is very important to the farming industry in both the US and Israel, BARD continues to support the project today. With the
increase in insecticides used by farmers across both countries, they
are raising pollutant levels and, by sheer irony, also increasing incest
resistance to these agents. The insecticide the scientists are making
will nullify these ill effects. Read more about this important project, CLICK
Beverly Cowart, a psychologist at the Monell Chemical
Senses Center, worked with chemists at Hebrew University and the
Agricultural Research Organization in Haifa to study the enhancing purity
of spice flavor in herbs.
Israelis have been heat-shocking apples and found that
this process inhibited the fruit's growth. Peter Irwin used money from BARD to buy a special probe for the USDA lab, and time
to do spectroscopy in an effort to help the Israelis understand the
inhibition of ripening fruit.
In an older BARD study, researchers
at the University of Pennsylvania found that inert fats in the diet
of cows boosted milk fat and protein quality, while improving reproduction
and the general health of the animals. According to the BARD publication Partnership for Tomorrow, inert fats have subsequently
become part of commercial rations in both nations.
A joint BARD project between researchers
in Israel and at Penn State, Michigan State and the University of Delaware
led to the invention of a new machine for harvesting peppers.
Some of the benefits to Pennsylvania from BARD research are more indirect. For example, BARD grantees
have developed guidelines for vaccines to prevent egg production losses
due to infection and DNA-probes that can detect the onset of disease.
These innovations can lead to significant savings for Pennsylvania's
multimillion dollar egg industry.
BARD grantees have also developed
techniques to help preserve the color, taste and texture of apples,
one of the State's important crops.
Cooperative Programs top
In May 1998, the University City Science Center in
Philadelphia signed an agreement with the Technion that will allow Israeli
start-up companies to locate in the Science Center, and Pennsylvania
start-ups to have incubator space at the Technion.
eV Products of Pittsburgh is collaborating with GE
Medical Systems of Wisconsin and ISORAD of Israel on a $2.2 million
project funded by the U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Commission
to develop high performance imaging cameras for medicine.
Pennsylvania schools also have ongoing relationships
with counterparts in Israel. Temple University in Philadelphia has a
relationship with Tel Aviv University Law School, and Philadelphias
Drexel University has a presence in Israel as well.
UJA Partnership 2000
The America-Israel Chamber of Commerce
Central Atlantic Region
200 South Broad St., #700
Philadelphia, PA 19102
225 S. 15th St., 8th Fl.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Jewish Community Relations Council
226 South 16th Street, 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
2100 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition
204 State St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
c/o Atid EDI Ltd.
Bldg. 2, Har Hotzvim, P.O. Box 45005