Ohio 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 (2014)
| Jewish Percentage of Population
foundation grants shared by Ohio and Israel
Grant recipients in
Ohio from U.S.-Israel binational foundations:
|Audio Technica US, Inc.
Case Western Medical School
Case Western University Hospital
Cincinnati Electronics Corp.
Cincinnati Milacron Inc.
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Computer Logics Ltd.
Frantz Medical Development
|Keithly Instruments Inc.
Ohio State University
Proctor & Gamble, Miami Valley Labs
Spectra-Physics Laser Plane, Inc.
University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati Medical School
University of Toldeo
the Negev Foundation with help from Senator George Voinovich in 2002,
the Ohio-Israel Agriculture and Rural Development Initiative was established
to improve agricultural trade and development between Israel and the
state of Ohio through the farmers, research institutions and trade associations
of both places. The initiative ensures the viability of Ohio as well
as the Negev desert in southern Israel.
Learn more about the OIAI, CLICK
of Commerce -
The Ohio-Israel Chamber is a statewide
non-profit economic development organization created in 1996 to facilitate
business between Ohio and Israel. The Chamber is also an enterprise
solutions provider that works to create collaborative relationships
between companies seeking to commercialize technologies in both places.
Since its creation, the Chamber has helped organize and hosted the largest
overseas trade mission to come to Ohio, worked with Israeli and local
companies to facilitate business, matched Israeli businesses with Ohio
counterparts and facilitated multi-national joint ventures. In all it
has worked with over 500 companies to create business opportunities
and has undertaken consulting assignments for Fortune 500 companies
in the areas of innovative technology transfer and commercialization.
Learn more about the Ohio-Israel Chamber, CLICK
Trade Alliance -
Alliance seeks to identify and assist in realizing opportunities for
sustainable business collaboration between Israel and communities in
the Dayton region of Ohio. Potential types of business collaboration
include subcontracting on R&D projects, manufacturing Israeli products
in Ohio, and the licensing of Israeli technologies to Dayton.
about the Trade Alliance, CLICK
Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding":
In June 2010, the Ohio Clean Technologies
Group, based out of Youngstown, signed an MOU with LN Green Technologies
Incubator in Haifa which outlines a plan for Ohio Clean Technologies
and LN Green Technological to cooperate and share resources with the
objective of bringing new alternative energy technological applications
to market in the United States. The agreement was borne out a trade
mission to Israel during January 2010 in which business, community and
government leaders visited a number of incubators. Learn more, CLICK
In September 2009, the Dayton region
and the Israeli city of Haifa signed a memorandum of understanding aimed
at boosting economic development in both locations. The document lays
out a framework for cooperation to enhance economic growth and create
new employment opportunities in both locations. It also calls for the
Dayton-Israel Trade Alliance to establish an economic development office
in Haifa to promote bilateral business and development cooperation over
a three-year period. Read more, CLICK
In February 2006, the visionary city of Akron earmarked
a $1.5 million investment from local public and private sources in a
Netanya-based technological incubator. Though some state governments
have made similar investments, Akron was the first US city to place
its "faith" in Israeli technology by investing directly in
an Israeli technological incubator. In exchange for the investment,
any companies that are created from the incubator will then base their
US headquarters in Akron, a move which will provide local jobs and income
tax to the city, plus dividends from part ownership in the companies.
Read more about the visionary partnership, CLICK
Ohio Government Missions to Israel:
November 2011 - Cincinnati mayor Mark
Mallory traveled to Israel with the American Jewish Comittee (AJC) and
four other major U.S. city mayors as part of Project Interchange, and
AJC-run educational institute.
July 2011 - Congressman Steve Chabot
and Congresswoman Betty Sutton traveled to Israel and the West Bank
to assess the progress of American aid and effort. To read more, CLICK
March 2007 - Representative Dave Hobson
joined a Congressional delegation led by Speaker of the House Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA) on a fact finding mission to the Middle East that included
stops in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Israel. While in Israel the
delegation met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as well as Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed the viability of the proposed
Saudi Peace Initiative with both national leaders.
January 2006 - Akron Mayor Dan Plusquellic
will lead a delegation to Israel on behalf of regional business interests
from northeast Ohio, a trip that will include meetings with Israeli
business and government officials as well as the American ambassador
to the Jewish state. Israel is developing new technology business and
manufacturing innovations at a rapid pace," said Plusquellic. "Their
companies are coming to the United States and we can create opportunities
for them in Greater Akron so that our residents can be employed."
Read more about the trip in the Mayor's press release, 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. Ohio is one of 33 states that have cooperative
agreements with Israel.
In 2012, Ohio exported over $204,821,894 worth
of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Ohio exports to
Israel have totaled more than $3.5 billion and Israel now ranks as Ohio’s 19th leading trade partner.
Additionally in 2012, Ohio received more than
$55,080,048.33 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: Duramax Marine LLC in Hiram, Bird Electronic Corp. in Cleveland and General Electric in Cincinnati.
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 Ohio is limited only by the imagination.
Profit From Business With Israel:
Because of Israel's unique status as the only country
with free trade agreements with both the United States and the European
community, it 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 and Intel have found that it is indeed profitable to do
business in Israel, as have more than 300 Ohio firms.
When Governor George Voinovich led a mission to Israel
in 1993, he opened doors for many Ohio companies and institutions.
Voinovich, for example, persuaded the Israeli government to hire Battelle
Memorial Institute of Columbus to match up Ohio users of technology with
Neil Moss, chairman of the investment banking firm
Global Linx Corp., announced his company would expand its Israel-based
operations and work on the contracts with Battelle.
The Limited, the Columbus-based clothing retailer,
closed a deal to acquire Tefron, making The Limited's subsidiary, Macpell,
one of the 100 largest companies in Israel.
Electra Form Inc., a Vandalia-based firm that
manufactures plastics-processing machinery, already sells equipment in
Israel. Director of sales Philip Brun found several new customers on the
Governor's mission, including one who tentatively agreed to purchase more
than $1 million of new equipment.
William Lhota participated in a dual capacity as a
senior executive from the American Electric Power Co. and as chairman of
the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. AEP is a leader in the
development of clean-coal technology. Lhota explored opportunities to work
with his Israeli counterparts on the use of these technologies to improve
the environment. In his role with the Columbus Chamber, Lhota sought to
promote the city as an air distribution point for Israeli exports to the
Most delegates who traveled with Voinovich did not
expect to make deals when they were in Israel but hoped to establish
contacts that might lead to future business. Two of the participants, David
Miller and Joseph Borovsky, for example, were from small companies that
identified new buyers and began discussing possible joint ventures. Miller
is president of Aquatech, a Cleveland-based company that manufactures sewer
cleaning equipment, and Borovsky is president of Columbus-based Enzymol
International, a new company that makes a nontoxic industrial resin.
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.
At least ten Ohio companies have shared grants with Israeli companies
totaling nearly $2 million since 1980.
Greg Leonard, marketing manager for Cincinnati Electronics
Corp., said his company does a great deal of business in Israel and
was able to develop a new product in a joint venture with Ricor thanks
to a BIRD grant. Ricor, he said, builds a unique cryogenic
cooler that was combined with a duer made by Cincinnati Electronics
to produce inexpensive, reliable packaging for focal plane arrays. These
devices are used in infrared cameras that have military and commercial
applications for things like surveillance and target location.
One of the big advantages of BIRD grants is that they allow smaller companies access to Israel's talented
labor force. Todd Haug, Vice President of Engineering for Triplett Corporation
in Buffington, said his company had almost no chance to work with engineers
who are knowledgeable in the fields of digital signal processing and
radio frequency electronics. "Israel has a lot of talent in these
areas that BIRD gave us access to." The project
also entailed greater risk than Triplett could normally undertake, but,
Haug says, the grant helped reduce the risk to the point where it was
Triplett is working with Elisra to develop a device for testing
the new generation of digital cellular phones. By itself, Triplett didn't
have the expertise, but the company was able to combine its knowledge
of testing equipment with Elisra's engineering experience to design
the cellular phone tester. The companies are working so well together,
Haug says, "When we complete this project, we'll be looking for
the next one."
In 2011, the Cleveland Clinic - one of the four top
U.S. hospitals - was awarded funding through the BIRD Foundation to partner with the Israel-based MedCPU to develop a patient
care decision support system. 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.
Ohio 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 Ohio have shared with their counterparts
in Israel nearly $4.6 million in BSF grants awarded
since 1996 alone. Bowling Green, Case Western Reserve, Kent State, Wright
State and Ohio State University are all among the universitites which
have received BSF grants.
Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the director of the Division of
Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center,
collaborates with his Israeli counterparts for a wide variety of scientific
and medical programs through the hospitals Israel
Exchange Program. Additionally, in 2009 he recently received a two
year grant through BSF to partner with Dr. Ariel Munitz
of Tel Aviv University designed to research and eventually understand
mechanisms of lung inflammation.
Dr. Rothenberg's BSF-supported team
has uncovered a new pathway, involving the resistin like molecule (RELM)
which is not only involved in the development of lung disease, but also
insulin resistance (which means metabolism and obesity). Their work
is opening new understandings and treatment strategies for these disease
processes. Dr. Rothenberg, and the Children's Hospital Medical Center,
incredibly appreciate the cooperation and collaboration they are having
with their partners in Israel. The BSF funded research
projects are just another way to expand medical expertise and help people
all over the world feel and live better.
Albert Soloway, a chemist at OSU, is working on a
promising therapy for treating malignant tumors. The idea is to develop
compounds that can be used in conjunction with neutron beams to destroy
tumor cells without harming normal ones. "It is scientifically
stimulating to work with people in Israel who want to apply this new
therapy," Soloway says. Though his grant has expired, he is continuing
to collaborate with his Israeli counterparts.
Bowling Green's George Bullerjahn is interested in
learning how photosynthesis is regulated. "Crops have to adapt to
changing light intensities during the day," he explains, "so if
it is possible to understand the physiological changes that take place in
plants in high and low light, it may ultimately be possible to engineer
plants to thrive in different kinds of light."
Collaborating with a Hebrew University scientist has
been enormously helpful to Bullerjahn, who says that his colleague's
physiology-ecology approach compliments his microbiology focus. The two
have already published four papers and are working on the fifth. Bullerjahn
says the work "really helped establish my career." They are now
applying for a new grant to study a particular algae that thrives in low
light in the Red Sea. Bullerjahn would not have access to this unique algae
if it were not for his Israeli collaborator.
While much of the research is practical, some BSF grants enable Americans to do more theoretical work. Steven Rallis,
for example, is a mathematician at OSU who is able to work with "first-rate
scientists" in Israel. "I have seen no other country that
takes an interest at this level in collaborating and in maintaining
such a high level of science," Rallis says. Though his work is
not "glitzy," Rallis believes he gets enormous benefits from
a relatively small grant.
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.
Ohio institutions have shared grants worth almost
$2.5 million since 1979, with Ohio State receiving the lion's share.
Professor Erich Grotewold of Ohio State University
used a BARD grant to collaborate with Dr. Rivka Barg
of the Volcani Center in Israel on a project entitled, "Regulation
of tomato fruit development by interacting MYB proteins." So far
their research has enabled them to identify and characterize three plant
specific MYB-like proteins capable of physically interacting with each
other, and which collectively control plant cell enlargement. These
three novel genes are founders of a new network of factors controlling
cell and organ development, which impact tomato fruit size and shape,
two important attributes affecting fruit quality. Overall this BARD-sponsored
project offers new target genes to be exploited in breeding for desirable
fruit attributes. Additionally, the Dr. Grotewold and Dr. Barg anticipate
that in the future, genes like these could be exploited for the shaping
of other crop organs, which might be highly beneficial in the breeding
Without the support of BARD, though,
the collaboration and future scientific achievements and advancements
made by Dr. Groteworld and Dr. Barg would never have been able to be
realized. "The interaction between Dr. Rivka Barg and my lab would
have been impossible without the BARD support,"
Dr. Grotewold says, "The BARD has enormously facilitated
a synergy between both labs that would have been impossible without
Ohio State received another grant to investigate the
cause of wheat diseases. The Ohio Agricultural Research & Development
Center at OSU and Israel's Agricultural Research Organization also worked
together to find the natural enemies of sap beetles, an insect that
is responsible for up to 10 percent of the losses in Ohio strawberry
One problem common to Israel and the United States, as
well as many other countries, is plant diseases caused by a combination of
fungus and a microscopic type of roundworm. "Today, there is growing
concern about the environmental impact of soil fumigant chemicals typically
used to fight these diseases," said Randy Rowe, a plant pathologist at
OSU. "We are doing preliminary research into the cause of these
diseases that may eventually lead to the development of alternative ways of
controlling them." Rowe has now been working for several years with
Israeli scientists at the Volcani Institute who share his interest.
Another OSU plant pathologist, Harry Hoitink, has been
working for more than a decade with Israelis interested in waste recycling
by composting. Hoitink is now working under his second BARD grant in an effort to measure the decomposition of waste. By developing
a new way to analyze organic matter, he says, it will be possible to
predict the sustainability of soil. Ultimately, the research could lead
to products that will help plants, particularly ornamental flowers,
suppress diseases and reduce the need for fumigants.
BARD grants have also helped fund
numerous other projects run through OSU. In 2006, researchers from the
The Ohio State University and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem collaborated
and studied the functionality of Saponins, including soybeans and chickpeas,
which have shown to lower cholesterol. Their research developed a procedure
to extract Saponins that can then be inserted into bread to increase
its health benefits. The results of this research resulted in another
grant from BARD to pursue further research on Saponins
and will hopefully lead to business collaboration with an Ohio company.
Additionally, researchers from Israel’s Agricultural
Research Organization, The Ohio State University, and The Hebrew University
of Jerusalem jointly studied the microbiology of compost as it relates
to plant disease suppression. Using multiple rRNA gene sequences, the
researchers found that as compost cures, a number of different microbial
communities are produced depending on the stage of the compost
A 29-person delegation of Ohio farmers
traveled to Israel at the end of February 2006 to
learn about Israeli approaches to water management,
milk processing, urban expansion and other agricultural
issues (AP, February 23, 2006).
Ram Ben-Dor, who lived on an Israeli farm for 20
years, said Ohio farmers should be able to help the
Israelis with technologies that would increase their
productivity and make them more competitive in world
markets. He said it would be an opportunity for the
Israelis to make contacts that could increase soybean
imports from Ohio.
“I’m extremely intrigued by the ability
of them to grow enough crops for 7 million people
in the desert,” said Daniel Corcoran. Corcoran
raises soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on his 4,000-acre
family farm near Waverly. “Hopefully,” he
said, “there are things we can bring back here.”
John Bechtel raises trout, perch and bluegill near
Fredericktown. He wanted to learn how Israelis prevent
the spread of disease among fish as well as pick
up tips on fish nutrition, genetics and water-quality
Michael Putnam, a dairy farmer from Frankfort, wanted
to see if Israeli equipment will allow him to process
milk on his farm rather than ship it out. This would
allow him to save transportation costs and enable
him to make cheeses and yogurt he can sell to niche
Bob Peterson raises hogs and grows corn, soybeans and
wheat on his farm near Washington Court House in central Ohio. He said
that residential and commercial development from Columbus, Cincinnati
and Dayton are limiting his ability to expand his operation. He was
interested in how the Israelis manage to farm in densely populated areas
while increasing production and profits.
The Israel Exchange Program: The Israel Exchange Program (IEP) is a collaboration and exchange of
knowledge and expertise between Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Medical Center and leading pediatric clinical, academic and research
institutions in Israel.
The benefits of this collaboration
include: Improved Clinical Care for Children; Accelerated Research;
Shared Best Practices in Quality and Safety; Enhanced Education and
Training; and Innovations in Global Health.
To Learn more about the IEP at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical
HERE or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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