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State-to-State Cooperation:
Vermont and Israel


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Delaware

 

 

Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2013)
$8,638,872
      Percentage Change (2012-2013)
-31.64%
      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
$118,264,118
Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
23rd
Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
$86,132.35
Jewish Population (2012)
5,385
      Jewish Percentage of Population
0.9%

 

Binational foundation grants shared by Vermont and Israel

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)
$297,500
Science & Technology (1996-Present)
$4,313
Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)
$0
Total Binational Grants
$4,243,265

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

National Forest Service (USDA)
University of Vermont
US Forestry Reserve


Bilateral Institutions top

Vermont-Israel Agricultural Exchange - The creation of the VIAE was stimulated by Representative Chuck Ross in 1991 after his trade mission to Israel. The Exchange promotes agricultural research and cooperation in such areas as the treatment of Mastitis (a cattle disease), genetic engineering, aquaculture, integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture. The State allocates approximately $10,000 for VIAE, which is run out of the Department of Agriculture.

 

Cooperative Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding" top

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Vermont Government Missions to Israel top

September 2005 - Governor Howard Dean traveled to Israel with a number of other Democratic party leaders and met with numerous leading Israeli policymakers and academics. Among various tours and speeches, the delegation was taken on an army helicopter tour of Israel's southern borders to learn about the proximity of Israeli cities and villages to the terror hotbed of Gaza. Additionally, Gov. Dean met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and also toured portions of Israel's border with the West Bank to view the security fence created to help keep suicide bombers at bay. Learn more about Gov. Dean's trip from his personal updates, CLICK HERE.

July 1999 - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell 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.

 

Partners For Change

The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on the twin pillars of shared values and mutual interests. Given this commonality of interests and beliefs, it should not be surprising that support for Israel is one of the most pronounced and consistent foreign policy values of the American people.

It is more difficult to devise programs that capitalize on the two nations' shared values than their security interests; nevertheless, such programs do exist. In fact, these SHARED VALUE INITIATIVES cover a broad range of areas, including the environment, science and technology, education and health.

As analyst David Pollock noted, Israel is an advanced country with a population that surpassed eight million people in 2013 and a robust, dynamic economy that allowed it to join the  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Between 2005 and 2013, Israel has represented a larger market for U.S. exports than Saudi Arabia. Although Israel's citizenry make up just 3 percent of the total region's population, Israel accounts for 25 percent of American exports in the Middle East.

"It has also been one of the top 20 foreign direct investors in the United States since 2009," Pollock confirms. He adds that "$2.25 billion of the $3 billion in annual U.S. aid to Israel comes back via Israeli purchases of U.S. military equipment - and that is just 5 percent of the total bilateral trade each year."

Today's interdependent global economy requires that trade policy be developed at the national and state level.

Many states have recognized the opportunity for realizing significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. Vermont is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2012, Vermont exported over $12,646,465 worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Vermont exports to Israel have totaled more than $109,625,246 and Israel now ranks as Vermont’s 42nd leading trade partner.

Additionally in 2012, Vermont received more than $86,130 in foreign military financing (FMF) for US military aid to Israel. Arrow Tech Associates in South Berlington has received funding through FMF.

Israel is certainly a place where potential business and trade partners can be found. It can also be a source, however, for innovative programs and ideas for addressing problems facing the citizens of Vermont.

Israel has developed a number of pioneering education programs. For example, AICE introduced an innovative Israeli peer tutoring program to North Carolina that educators adapted for use in the United States. Now known as Reading Together, the program is used in 28 states. The program is designed to help students achieve reading fluency and is mostly used for children in second grade. The hope is that with its implementation, increasing numbers of students will perform at grade level or above.

A range of other exciting approaches to social problems like unemployment, environmental protection and drug abuse have been successfully implemented in Israel and could be imported for the benefit of Americans.

The potential for greater cooperation with Israel for the benefit of Vermont is limited only by the imagination.

 

Vermont Firms Profit From Business With Israel top

One good way to break into the Israeli market is through a joint venture with an Israeli company. Funding for such projects is available from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). BIRD funds projects in 36 states and the District of Columbia and hundreds of companies including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas Instruments and Johnson & Johnson have benefitted from BIRD grants.

The United States and Israel established BIRD in 1977 to fund joint U.S.-Israeli teams in the development and subsequent commercialization of innovative, nondefense technological products from which both the Israeli and American company can expect to derive benefits commensurate with the investments and risks. Most grant recipients are small businesses involved with software, instrumentation, communications, medical devices and semiconductors.

Since its inception, BIRD has funded more than 800 joint high-tech R&D projects through conditional grants totaling more than $210 million. Products developed from these ventures have generated more than $8 billion in direct and indirect revenues for both countries and has helped to create an estimated 20,000 American jobs. Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has said that BIRD is a strong pillar of US-Israel industrial cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.

As of yet, no Vermont firms have taken advantage of the opportunities offered through the BIRD grants.

 

Scientific Innovations top

Researchers across the United States 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.

No Vermont institutions have yet taken advantage of the opportunity for additional funding and fewer risks available through BSF.

 

Agriculture Benefits top

In 1978 the United States and Israel jointly created the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to help fund programs between US and Israeli scientists for mutually beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research into agricultural problems. Since its inception, BARD has funded more than 1,000 projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia with a total investment of more than $250 million. In 2000, an independent and external economic review of 10 BARD projects conservatively projected more than $700 million in revenue by the end of 2010, a number which far outweighs the total investment in all BARD projects over its 33 year existence and helps to continually strengthen the foundation.

Most BARD projects focus on either increasing agricultural productivity, plant and animal health or food quality and safety and have been influential in creating new technologies in drip irrigation, pesticides, fish farming, livestock, poultry, disease control and farm equipment. BARD funds projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia and at present is beginning to administer collaborative efforts between Australia, Canada and Israel as well. It is difficult to break down the impact on a state-by-state basis, but overall, BARD-sponsored research has generated sales of more than $500 million, tax revenues of more than $100 million and created more than 5,000 American jobs.

Vermont institutions have shared grants worth more than $295,000 since 1979.

 

Other Cooperative Programs top

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Sister Cities: top

VERMONT. . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ISRAEL

Burlington

 

State Contacts: top

Hillel Campus Profiles

Patricia Barr
Chair
VIAE Steering Committee
Barr, Sternberg & Moss, P.C.
507 Main St.
Bennington, VT 05201

 

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