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State-to-State Cooperation:
Washington and Israel


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Washington Jewish History
Delaware

 

 

Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2013)
$189,803,204
      Percentage Change (2012-2013)
+156.07%
      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)
$2,948,932,828
Israel's Trade Partner Rank (2013)
40th
Military Contracts with Israel (2012)
$831,132.39
Jewish Population (2012)
45,885
      Jewish Percentage of Population
0.7%

 

Binational foundation grants shared by Washington and Israel

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)
$4,327,376
Science & Technology (1996-Present)
$3,574,389
Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)
$726,554
Total Binational Grants
$8,628,319

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

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
John Fluke Mfg. Co. Inc.
Institute for Systems Biology
Medtronic Physio Control Inc.
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
Sharplan Lasers Inc.
University of Washington
University of Washington Medical School
USDA-ARS Animal Diseases Research Unit
Washington State University

 

Bilateral Institutions

Washington-Israel Business Council -
WIBC's mission s to support economic growth in Israel and Washington State through stimulation and promotion of mutual commercial and educational collaboration.
The parallels between Israel and Washington State plus the complimentary strengths of their business environments provides many mutually-beneficial business opportunities in many different sectors. WIBC primarily helps guide and assist Israeli companies who want to expand into the US through Washington as well as US companies looking to expand into Israel. Learn more about the Washington-Israel Businesss Council, CLICK HERE.

 

Cooperative Agreements - "Memoranda of Understanding"

Help us build this section of the Washington page. Email AICE with any updates, additions, modifications or comments.

 

Washington Government Missions to Israel

August 2011 - Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Buetler and Congressman Adam Smith accompanied the 81-member Congressional delegation to Israel to learn more about regional politics and the U.S.-Israel relationship.

July 1999 - Washington Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire 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. Washington is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2012, Washington exported over $73,721,151 worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Washington exports to Israel have totaled more than $2,759,129,624 and Israel now ranks as Washington’s 25th leading trade partner.

Additionally in 2012, Washington received more than $831,132.39 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: Propulsion System Inc. in Seattle, B.E. Meyers & Co., Inc. in Redmond and United Western Technologies in Pasco.

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 Washington.

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 Washington is limited only by the imagination.

 

Washington Firms 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, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Intel and McDonald's have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.

More than 100 Washington companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including Boeing, Microsoft, SEA-DMI, Advanced Hardware Architecture, Mountain Safety Research and Advanced Technology Lab.

In May 2000, SEA-DMI received a half-million dollar order from the Israeli Navy for marine communications systems. This equipment will become part of the Israeli navy's Global Marine Distress Safety System (GMDSS). David Thompson, SEA-DMI’s President, states, "We are pleased to receive this order because it represents growing recognition of our GMDSS engineering efforts."

Nancy Shumann, Advanced Hardware Architecture’s Product Marketing Manager, also enjoys working with Israelis. "They are really nice, very smart business people...they have cutting edge technologies," says Shumann. She views Israel as "forward looking and technologically advanced." Advanced Hardware Architecture is a semiconductor company that designs circuits for outside companies. They produce most of their circuits in Israel and have many Israeli clients including satellite and wireless communications companies.

Israel-based Schema Ltd. is an innovator of telecom resource management (TRM) solutions that enable operators of wireless networks worldwide to optimize and manage their resources. Washington-based Watchmark Corp. is known worldwide for meeting the needs of modern telecommunication networks. Both companies are jointly developing a leading product (killer application) that will address the needs of wireless operators in today's fiercely competitive CDMA market. It will be the first product in the industry to provide true and powerful optimization to the process of planning and maintenance of CDMA networks.

Mountain Safety Research Inc. (MSR) is a manufacturer of outdoor sporting goods and sells these to an Israeli distributor, Lapidot. Mike. Glavin, MSR’s sales and marketing manager states that the distributor in Israel "has done an excellent job protecting brand equity. They place products to the right people. They understand the market well enough to place products where they belong — a major strength of doing business with Israel."

Israel also plays a role in developing MSR’s sales strategies. Israel understands what it takes to manufacture a product, according to Gavin. "Their suggestions are useful and their input is always welcome," he adds.

Another area of involvement in which U.S. firms compete is the Israeli medical technology field. Advanced Technology Labs Ultrasound (ATL) does business with an Israeli distributor, Medtechnics in Tel Aviv. ATL has achieved a 70 percent overall market share in the extremely competitive Israeli medical industry. Ties have grown strong between these two companies. Kurt Kellin, Senior Area Manager for South Europe, Middle East and Africa, states, "We have built a business with our distributor, Medtechnica in Tel Aviv, it has been extremely rewarding, personally and professionally. I have friends for life."

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 throughout the states and hundreds of companies - including AOL, General Electric, 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.

Washington companies have benefited from more than $700,000 in BIRD grants over the last three decades.

 

Scientific Innovations

Washington 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 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington are among the Washington institutions that have shared with their counterparts in Israel more than $3.3 million in BSF grants awarded since 1996 alone.

Fred Hutchinson's Gerald Smith and colleagues are involved in the study of how DNA repair occurs. When DNA is broken it is extremely dangerous to the cell. Dr. Smith researches how chromosomes break leading to cancer and birth defects. The grant has given him new insight into his own work and allows the labs to share antibodies. Smith considers it "a good collaboration" and anticipates further cooperation in the future.

University of Washington scientist Michael Schick is studying polymers, which, among other things, are used to make plastic. Polymers form layers at low temperatures; rarely do these layers fit together evenly, usually they slam into one another, creating what is called the grain boundary. The grain boundary affects the mechanical properties of the polymer and overall energy of the system. Schick is devising a theoretical model for the layered formation of polymers.

Schick enjoys working with the Israelis, "I'd consider taking a sabbatical in Israel," he says. "Israel has very good scientific talent. I've enjoyed working with them on a scientific and personal level." He finds that Israel has done more research in this field than the U.S. and he hopes to continue his relationship with his Israeli counterparts and apply for new grants.

The University of Washington’s Lawrence Loeb and his Israeli counterpart are studying the effects of the deterioration of DNA replication, which leads to the fragile X syndrome, a genetic disorder. Loeb says "the connection with Israel was vital and beneficial to both sides." The research team has published more than 25 scientific papers and co-authored a book.

In yet another BSF-sponsored project, Dr. Virginia Berninger of the University of Washington is working with a team from the University in Haifa led by Professor Zvia Breznitz that is researching cognitive measurements of how children learn and how the brain reacts to said learning. The group received a six-figure grant from the BSF in late 2009 and have begun their initial stages of research using test subjects from grades four and five. The work of the scientists is based off of previous research done by both Berninger and Breznitz, which can be viewed HERE.

 

Agriculture Benefits

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.

Washington institutions have shared grants worth more than $3.5 million since 1979.

Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine professors Guy Palmer and Kelly Brayton have used BARD grants to collaborate with scientists at Israel's Veterinary Institute in studying how to control Anaplasma marginale, the most prevalent tick-borne pathogen of cattle worldwide. Professor Palmer originally began this research in the 1980's and has received four BARD grants since that time when there were molecular tools to research anaplasmosis. While blood-based vaccines for anaplasmosis are widely used in many tropical countries, these vaccines cannot be licensed by the US or the EU due to the unknown risk that these vaccines have in transmitting both known and unknown pathogens. The BARD-supported analysis between these Israeli and American scientists helped to isolate different strains of the disease and reveal the nature of the problem.

Guy and his colleagues have developed a test that is used by the USDA and others worldwide to test for certain types of proteins that cause anaplasmosis. Their findings also include two antigens in diseased cattle that may eventually be used as a vaccine. Since the start of their research project, the American and Israeli scientists have produced more than 70 primary reference manuscripts in high quality journals, such as Science and the Journal of Immunology, have co-authored 15 publications and have published more than 262 papers on the subject since 1988. To read more about this genome sequencing project, its history, importance and most recent research and findings, CLICK HERE.

In another BARD project, William Catterall, a professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington, collaborated with a group of scientists from California, Pennsylvania 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 HERE.

BARD research done outside the state also benefits Washington. Research on an RNA virus, which kills young seedlings, would be helpful for Washington's wheat industry. Washington dairy farmers will benefit from research on boosting milk fat and protein quality in cows. Washington state accounts for most of the $1 billion apple crop in the U.S. and BARD research on preserving crisp apples will significantly boost profits.

 

Other Cooperative Programs

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Sister Cities:

WASHINGTON. . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ISRAEL

Seattle

UJA Partnership 2000 Communities:

NEVADA. . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ISRAEL

Seattle

 

State Contacts:

Hillel Campus Profiles

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle
2031 Third Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Tel. 206-443-5400

 

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