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State-to-State Cooperation: Maryland and Israel











Trade and Population Statistics

Exports to Israel (2023)


      Percentage Change (2022-2023)


      Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)


Israel’s Trade Partner Rank (2023)


Maryland’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2023) 35
Military Contracts with Israel (2015)


Jewish Population (2023)


      Jewish Percentage of Population



Binational Foundation Grants

Agricultural Research & Development (1979-Present)


Science & Technology (1999-Present)


Industrial Research & Development (1977-Present)


Total Binational Grants



Grant Recipients in Maryland From U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations

American Red Cross
Ariadne Genomics
BP Solar International
CAD Language Systems
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Comsat Corp.
Department of the Navy
Direct Dimensions
Endo Image Corp.
Food and Drug Administration
Frederick Cancer Research Center
Goddard Space Center
Johns Hopkins Medical School
Johns Hopkins University
Maryland Biotechnology Institute
MedStar Research Institute
National Bureau of Standards
National Cancer Institute
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
National Institute of Dental Research
National Institutes of Health

National Institute of Mental HealthNational Institute of Science & Technology
New Horizons Diagnostics
Online Computer Systems
Orgenics International
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Smithsonian Institution
University of Maryland
University of Maryland Baltimore County
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute
University of Maryland Medical School
University Space Research Association
USDA Agriculture Research Center
USDA-ARS Florist & Nursery Crops Lab
USDA-ARS Plant Molecular Biology Lab
USDA Beneficial Insects Lab
USDA Horticultural Crop Quality Lab
USDA Molecular Plant Pathology Lab
USDA Plant Molecular Biology Lab
USDA Systematic Entomology Lab
Uniformed Services University
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Bilateral Institutions

Maryland-Israel Advisory Board - While on a trade mission to Israel in April 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley launched the Maryland-Israel Advisory Board to be charged with developing business opportunities and partnerships between Maryland and Israel. O’Malley and Rabbi Dov Lipman, a former Marylander, and member of the Knesset, will serve as honorary co-chairs. While Maryland and Israel have a long history of partnership, the Maryland/Israel Advisory Board will be a dedicated group looking to open new doors for Maryland and Israeli businesses and community organizations looking to collaborate,” O’Malley said in a statement.

Maryland-Israel Development Partnership - While on a trade mission to Israel in April 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley launched the MIDP to fund joint development efforts with Israeli companies in the cybersecurity and life sciences sectors. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and Israel’s Ministry of Industry will decide which research to fund, and Maryland will fund up to half of the research costs for Maryland companies, with a $400,000 cap per project.

Maryland-Israel Development Center - MIDC is a non-profit membership organization that promotes trade and investment between Maryland and Israeli companies. The mission of the Maryland/Israel Development Center is to foster bilateral economic development between Israel and Maryland. The MIDC will be an energetic hub of people and activities engaged in promoting Maryland/Israel trade and investment. It will assist both Israeli and Maryland businesses and entrepreneurs in successfully accessing each other’s markets.

Maryland-Israel Collaborative Marine Biotechnology Research and Development Program - Established in 2003 under then-Governor Robert Ehrlich, the R&D partnership puts together the University of Maryland’s Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) with a number of Israeli research institutions through the guidance of the administration of BARD. The program promotes collaborative aquaculture research that is of mutual benefit to both Maryland and Israel for various shared aquaculture and marine biology challenges. One of the program’s main priority areas is in finding new methods for controlling marine diseases in dense aquaculture areas. 

Anti-Boycott Law

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed executive order 01.01.2017.25 into law on October 23, 2017, which prohibits all executive branch agencies from contracting with any entity, unless that entity certifies that they will not engage in a boycott of Israel for the duration of said contract. Hogan stated that all future contract requests for state bids must include language that the applicant has not refused to do business with any person or entity based on their Israeli origin. The order also calls for all current state contracts to be evaluated and possibly terminated if they exist with companies that engage in the boycott of Israel.

Cooperative Agreements

In April 2013, in conjunction with the formation of the Maryland-Israel Advisory Board, LifeBridge Health of Maryland and The Trendlines Group of Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the five-year Maryland/Israel Medical Device Commercialization Initiative. Through the initiative, both companies will collaborate in medical device development and commercialization. 

On November 16, 2006, the Office of the Governor signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor that focuses on bilateral cooperation in private sector industrial research and development. The program supports joint commercially-focused joint industrial R&D projects between Israeli and Maryland companies in all technological fields. 

In 2004, Israel and Maryland signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Maryland-Israel Development Fund (MIDF) that supports collaborative technology development and commercialization conducted in partnership between Maryland and Israeli businesses. The fund is supported by MIDC along with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Its goal is to foster job creation through the growth of companies selling newly developed technological products. The $5,000,000 five-year fund will make investments up to $300,000 in Maryland/Israel company teams collaborating on new product development joint ventures. 

In November 2003, during his economic mission to Israel, Governor Robert Ehrlich signed a cooperative agreement to establish the Maryland-Israel Partnership in Homeland Security. The agreement makes Maryland the first state to officially recognize the contribution cutting-edge Israeli methods and technologies can make toward enhancing U.S. homeland security and paves the way for homeland security and emergency management professionals from both sides to share “best practices” in fighting terrorism. 

Also, in November 2003, Governor Ehrlich signed a partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture to establish the Collaborative Marine Biotechnology R&D Program. Both the governments of Maryland and Israel agreed to provide $250,000 for the first three years to help jump-start the program’s success. On hand to sign the agreement was Gov Ehrlich, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute President Jennie Hunter-Cevera as well as several other members of the delegation. 

In May 1988, the Maryland-Israel Exchange was signed by Governor William Donald Schaefer. The MIX was designed to develop and expand ventures in the fields of trade, tourism, science and technology, communications, agriculture, aquaculture, and transportation.

Maryland Government Missions to Israel

September 2016 - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan embarked on a seven-day trade mission to Israel in September 2016, bringing with him members of his cabinet as well as Maryland business leaders, university officials, and Jewish community leaders. The trip included meetings with Israeli business owners who have subsidiary operations based in Maryland and the signing of an agreement between the University of Maryland and Tel Aviv University.

April 2013 - Governor Martin O’Malley traveled to Israel and Jordan to discuss trade opportunities, and U.S. foreign policy and to create a new research and development partnership between Israel and the State of Maryland. This was O’Malley’s third trip to Israel, and while there, he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, newly elected Knesset member Dov Lipman (originally from Silver Spring, MD), and business leaders. While in Israel, O’Malley also announced that four Israeli high-tech firms plan to soon open offices or add staff in Maryland. Those firms are Shekel Scales, Askimo, Roboteam, and Hybrid Security.

January 2012 - Senator Barbara Mikulski (D) traveled to Israel with Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Thad Cochran (R-MS).

August 2011 - Congressman Steny Hoyer (D) led the Democratic delegation of 26 congressmen on a tour of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. During the trip, Hoyer reaffirmed America’s commitment to securing Israel with financial assistance and reiterated that the current economic crisis in the U.S. will not affect the level of Israel’s aid

May 2010 - Delegate Anthony O’Donnell (R-District 29C-Solomons), the Maryland House Minority Leader, joined Maryland’s Lt. Governor Brown and several other Maryland-based business leaders on a trade and business-cooperation development mission. While on the mission, the delegation will visit several Israeli businesses considering opening offices in Maryland and participate in a professional exchange with Israeli professionals. 

May 2008 - Governor Martin O’Malley led a delegation on a high-level Biotech and economic development mission. The Governor met with representatives of the Teva Pharmaceuticals company and announced that a leading Israeli drug development company, BioLineRx, opened a US office based in Maryland. Additionally, Gov. O’Malley announced that ClassifEye, Ltd, an Israeli identity authentication solutions company, is establishing its US headquarters in Montgomery County. 

August 2007 - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer led a group of 19 Congress members, mostly freshmen Democrats) on a weeklong trip to Israel. Rep. Hoyer personally invited Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim-American elected to Congress, to join the trip, which Rep. Ellison did. While in Israel the group met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The delegation also viewed the Israeli border with Lebanon to get a personal understanding of the proximity of Hezbollah strongholds to northern Israeli towns and cities.

November 2003 - Governor Robert Ehrlich led a trade and business development mission together with more than two dozen state officials and corporate executives. Gov. Ehrlich’s mission focused on selling Maryland to various Israeli companies to attract their investment in Maryland-based firms and companies. “We’re here to make the hard sell,” the governor told a group of Israeli business executives who have decided to invest in Maryland or have shown an interest. “We’re very enthusiastic, and we don’t take no for an answer.” 

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, technology, education, and health. States can benefit from Israeli innovations in these areas as well as through collaboration.

In addition, today’s interdependent global economy requires that trade policy be developed at the national and state level. Many states have recognized the opportunity to realize significant benefits by seeking to increase trade with Israel. Maryland is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.

In 2023, Maryland exported more than $52 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Maryland’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $1.9 billion, and Israel now ranks as Maryland’s 41st leading trade partner. Maryland ranks 35th among all states in exports to Israel.

Additionally, in 2015, Maryland companies received more than $29 million in foreign military financing (FMF) to provide materiel for the Israeli Defense Forces. Since 1996, Maryland companies have received nearly $324 million in FMF. These include Advanced Defense Technologies in Baltimore, Custom Cable Solutions, Inc. in Salisbury, and DRS C3 & Aviation Company in Gaithersburg.

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 Maryland.

Israel has developed several 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.

Maryland has also received more than $11 million worth of grants from binational U.S.-Israel foundations for joint research in science, agriculture, and the promotion of commercial ventures.

A variety 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 Maryland is limited only by the imagination.

Maryland 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, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, and McDonald’s, have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.

More than 80 Maryland firms, including Motorola, Black & Decker, and Westinghouse, have made similar discoveries.

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). 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 companies 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 1977, the Foundation has approved investments of more than $125 million in more than 1,000 projects in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Hundreds of companies, including AOL, GE, BP Solar, Texas Instruments, and Johnson & Johnson, have benefited from BIRD grants.

Dr. Eli Opper, the former Israeli chair of BIRD, has said that BIRD is a strong pillar of U.S.-Israel industrial cooperation and that the extreme success of BIRD has led Israel to adopt similar models of R&D with other countries.

Several Maryland companies have benefited from BIRD grants, including Comsat, New Horizons Diagnostics, and Online Computer Systems. Grants shared by Maryland companies have totaled nearly $4 million.

In 2011, two Maryland companies gained sponsorship for collaborative projects with Israeli companies through the BIRD Foundation with help from the Maryland-Israel Development Center. Ariadne Genomics, from Rockville, will work with Israeli-based BioMarCare Technologies to develop a companion diagnostic test for metastatic colorectal cancer. In Owings Mills, Direct Dimensions will be teaming with Israeli company Mantis Vision to develop a 3D imaging system for facilities’ measurements. “The American and Israeli companies will benefit from these grants,” explained MIDC executive director Barry Bogage, “because it leverages their own R&D budgets and brings a new partner into their activities that complement their own technological skills. For Maryland companies, Israel offers world-class high-tech talents, which will help Maryland companies create new products to sell in the global marketplace.”

For example, BIRD gave a grant to the Baltimore company Sensics, Inc. to develop an innovative, head-mounted virtual-reality display with an Israeli partner. The joint initiative will create a new lightweight head-mounted display that delivers high performance and substantial ease of integration and ease of use. The end goal is to make head-mounted displays easier to own, easier to integrate, and easier to use. Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics, said that “the BIRD grant will give Sensics the opportunity to work with another technology company halfway around the world, taking full advantage of each firm’s intellectual property, R&D, manufacturing and marketing capabilities.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley also very much supported the partnership. He said, “We celebrate Sensic’s recognition as one of Maryland’s most innovative technology firms with whom an Israeli company can partner. We support this prestigious BIRD grant to deliver new products to drive the 21st century economy.”1

BIRD also sponsored a joint project between the Israeli company SolarEdge and Maryland-based BP Solar International that investigated the creation of a module-integrated power harvesting unit. Another BIRD grant was awarded to File X in Ness Ziona and Brimrose in Sparks for the development of a Real-Time AOTF-based hyperspectral imaging system for pollution detection.

Other business ventures have been the result of trade missions sponsored by the Maryland/Israel Development Center. As a result of one, Morton Management, Inc. of Silver Spring developed a new relationship with Y.A.D. Computers. The Center also played a role in putting together another Silver Spring company, COMSIS Corp., with Eyal Dani Ltd. of Israel to market a unique in-vehicle automated data collection device for the elderly and handicapped transportation market. It also helped Lee L. Dopkin/Standard Plumbing Supply of Baltimore arrange to sell plumbing fixtures designed and manufactured by Israel’s Hamat Fittings Ltd.

Maryland businesses invest about $70 million a year in Israel, and 18 Israeli companies have their offices in the state. In November 2003, Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. announced that Oblicore, an Israeli business software development company planned to expand its U.S. operations by opening a headquarters in Columbia, creating dozens of new jobs in the state. Another Israeli company, Medispec, which has developed a new technique for using shock waves to break up kidney stones, planned to open an office in Germantown.

Governor Ehrlich and Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert discussed establishing Israel’s first international R&D fund at the sub-national level during Governor Ehrlich’s trade mission to Israel. Israel has international R&D funds at the national level with 20 countries, including the United States. In July 2005, the Maryland/Israel Development Fund (MIDF) was established to foster job creation through the growth of companies selling technological products developed jointly by Maryland/Israel company teams.

The MIDF is a joint project of the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC), Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), and the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. The $5,000,000 five-year fund will make investments between $100,000 and $300,000 in Maryland/Israel company teams collaborating on new product development joint ventures.

The program is valuable for companies seeking to leverage their technical and marketing talent by partnering with a complementary business. It will also help companies expand into international markets. Investments may range from $100,000 to $300,000, half from DBED for the Maryland company and half from MOIT for the Israeli firm. The Maryland/Israel Development Fund has limited financial resources. Investment decisions will be made on a competitive basis. The funds can only be used for the R&D expenses of the project. Company matching funds are required, equal to a minimum of fifty percent of total project costs. For products successful in the market, investments will be repaid with interest.

During a November 2005 trade mission, Lt. Governor Michael Steele announced the formation of the Maryland/Israel Incubator Partnership, under which incubators in each country will welcome each other’s companies and provide up to six months of free office space. The Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore and the Misgav Technology Center in the Galilee are the first incubators to participate in the program; four additional Maryland and Israeli incubators will soon join the program.

More than 25 Israeli companies have a presence in Maryland. In 2022, Forrest Innovations, an agri-tech company, opened a lab in Frederick, IDenta Corporation, a leading detection, and forensic science company began operations in Silver Spring and Agrint, which provides sensing solutions for tree protection, has an office in Rockville.

Scientific Innovations

Maryland 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 fields for peaceful and non-profit purposes.

Since its inception, and in today’s value, BSF has awarded over $700 million to more than 5,000 research projects involving thousands of scientists from more than 400 U.S. institutions located in 46 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Many of these projects have led to important scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs with wide-ranging practical applications.

BSF-sponsored studies are highly successful in achieving their two main goals: strengthening the U.S.-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.

Maryland institutions that have benefited from the program include the Fredrick Cancer Research Center, Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Mental Health, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Researchers have been awarded grants in life sciences, physics, chemistry, and mathematics worth more than $4 million.

With continued financial support from BSF, Dr. Henry Brem, the Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, together with Professor Joseph Kost, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Ben-Gurion University, is developing a new non-invasive approach against brain cancer by combining gene therapy and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in patients below the age of 35 and, unfortunately, the prognosis for brain tumors treated by existing conventional therapy is extremely poor. This BSF-sponsored bilateral research is therefore incredibly important in helping to eventually cure brain cancer and give life to thousands of patients who suffer from tumors.

Dr. Gilad Chen, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, received a four-year BSF grant to work with Professor Mina Westman of Tel Aviv University on an investigation of the work-family interface on international business assignments. While the research was only in the developmental stages at the end of the calendar year 2010, Dr. Chen shared with AICE the main goals and hopes for how his research will be used in the real world. “The main goal of our research is to learn about factors that enable expatriate managers and their spouses to perform effectively both at work and at home, during international assignments,” said Dr. Chen. “That is, we want to understand better why some managers, when sent abroad, perform more effectively than others at work, and also how expatriate managers are able to balance between work and non-work demands during such assignments.”

This collaborative, BSF-funded research will likely enable companies to prepare and manage expatriates more effectively but also provide expatriates with guidance as to how they can perform their assignments well while maintaining effective functioning in their personal life, as well. Dr. Chen was pleasantly surprised with the ease in which applying and receiving funds through the BSF program was carried out.

Dr. Laure Aurelian, a virologist in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland, is interested in research related to skin cells that appear to protect the body from infection and cancer. Working with a collaborator at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Dr. Aurelian hopes to learn how to stimulate responses from dendritic cells to prevent disease.

Cooperation is valuable on several levels, according to Dr. Aurelian. One is that her Israeli colleague is one of the few people in the world interested in the type of cell she is studying. She also has a personal attachment, having grown up in Israel. “I also genuinely believe Israel has a powerful cadre of intellectuals who have trouble contributing because of financial constraints.” Dr. Aurelian believes she and her collaborator have made greater progress together than they could have alone, and that their work has stimulated younger researchers to conduct similar studies.

For 15 years, the BSF supported cooperation between Prof. Ilana Gozes of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Douglas Brenneman, of the National Institute for Health in Bethesda, who jointly studied brain-specific molecules that are related to loss of memory, decreased learning ability, and inhibition of sexual function. These studies resulted in the synthesis of novel neuropeptide-based drugs, including for cancer therapy, the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Allon Therapeutics, a start-up company based on these discoveries, is now performing clinical studies on the first of these potential new drugs.

By studying protein molecules in fruit flies, Craig Montell of Johns Hopkins Medical School, and his Israeli partner hope to learn more about human vision. Dr. Montell has characterized a previously unknown protein that is important in visual transection.

A biochemist at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology at the University of Maryland can study organisms unique to the Dead Sea thanks to his BSF grant. Dr. John Moult is interested in the properties of protein molecules, the understanding of which is crucial to the future development of medicines. Moult is looking at organisms that survive in high salt conditions and testing a computer model that helps explain differences in organisms.

Researchers Joseph Kost from Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Robert Langer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and Henry Brem from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore are all researching this project together. Using a group of molecules that combines to form a polymer, a timed release of a drug was developed. Langer and Brem saw the possibility of a polymer as a “remote control” device for the controlled release of drugs. The same idea has been developed for the use of women’s birth control and brain cancer treatment.

Professor Ilana Gozes at Tel Aviv University, along with Douglas E. Brenneman at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, used a BSF grant to research the effects of a neuropeptide called VIP (Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide) found in neurons on different areas of the brain. Neuropeptides transmit information related to many body functions, including learning, memory and aging, sexual function, and brain development. They are linked to conditions such as gastric diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and arthritis.

In 2020, the U.S.-Israel Energy Center, managed by BIRD, provided funding to the University of Maryland and Bar-Ilan University to develop lithium and sodium metal solid-state batteries for advanced energy storage applications. The other U.S. partners are Saft America and Forge Nano. The Israeli partners are Tel Aviv University, Materials Zone, and 3DBattery.

Agriculture Benefits

In 1978, the United States and Israel jointly created the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to help fund programs between U.S. and Israeli scientists for mutually beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic, and applied research into agricultural problems. Since its inception, BARD has awarded more than $130 million to U.S. institutions for 1,352 joint projects. A 40-year review in 2019 involving 20 case studies estimated the foundation’s contribution to the U.S. economy at $2.7 billion. BARD research has resulted in the adoption of approximately 200 new agricultural practices, around 40 commercial engagements, and approximately 100 patents and breeding rights licenses.

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 administers 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.

Two of the major beneficiaries of BARD grants have been the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville. Overall, Maryland institutions have been awarded nearly $3 million worth of grants.

Israel is such a small country the whole state can sometimes be a laboratory. Also, unique institutions like kibbutzim allow for controlled experiments. Richard Just of the University of Maryland, for example, was able to develop a data set from Israeli moshavim (a type of agricultural cooperative) to create econometric models for estimating efficient agricultural production. The model has been used to make estimates for growing tomatoes, peppers, onions, and other crops.

John McMurty of ARS worked with the Israeli Agricultural Research Organization to develop techniques to stimulate growth in broiler chickens and turkeys. The approach they developed increases feed efficiency and reduces fat in the birds. “The result is the farmer saves money on feed and the consumer gets a leaner bird,” he said.

Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Israel’s Kimron Veterinary Institute, and the University of Alabama developed a vaccine that protects pregnant sheep from Rift Valley Fever. The vaccine can help protect animals in Africa, where RVF is common, as well as cattle in the United States.

Working with Hebrew University scientists who pioneered solarization techniques that protect and boost yields in a variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables, Deborah Fravel of the ARS is looking for ways to cover crops for shorter periods and with fewer fumigants. Fravel enjoys the collaboration and benefits from her counterpart’s years of experience. “He sees things I haven’t,” she says, “and that makes me think.”

Another ARS researcher, Roger Lawson, is one of the few American scientists doing research on ornamental flowers. He received two BARD grants to work with the Volcani Institute to develop a better understanding of viruses in gladiolas and lilies. The floral industry in the United States, Lawson says, is about $9 billion, and gladiolas is approximately fifth on the list of flowers sold. In Florida alone, gladiolas are a $14 million industry. The research helped make it possible to develop more sensitive tests to detect viruses in the flowers. Because ornamental flowers are a big industry in Israel and scientists there share his interest, Lawson found the collaboration a natural.

In 2003, the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) and BARD established a framework for conducting collaborative aquaculture research between UMBI and Israeli scientists – the UMBI/BARD Program. A year later, it was announced that the collaboration will study and develop new environmentally sustainable and economically feasible aquaculture technologies and explore new avenues to produce marine natural compounds with pharmaceutical potential. The program was initiated by the Maryland/Israel Development Center and the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture. Each government originally agreed to provide $250,000 annually for three years to fund the project, which will be administered by UMBI and BARD. During his November 2005 visit to Israel, Lt. Governor Michael Steele announced the program would be funded for another three years.

Other Cooperative Programs

The Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt and Ben Gurion have worked on several joint projects related to Satellite-ranging systems and the study of atmospheric and surface properties in the desert.

In 1998, Elron Electronic Industries, a holding company for Israeli high-tech firms, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maryland to collaborate on the study of emerging Internet technologies for conducting business. Israel will now be a partner in the Institute for Global Electronic Commerce at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Also, in 1998, the University of Maryland School of Nursing and Hadassah announced a partnership to develop and offer a clinical master’s degree program in nursing at the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing in Jerusalem. This will be the first master’s degree program in nursing offered in Israel.

In 1999, the University of Maryland in Baltimore created the Maryland/Israel Visiting Fellows Program in Biotechnology. The program is designed to build and encourage ties between the bioscience communities of Maryland and Israel. Fellowships will be offered to qualified Israelis at the M.D. and Ph.D. levels to conduct collaborative research at Maryland biotech research institutions.

In 2000, the University of Maryland business school is offering a course, High Technology Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with Israel’s Technion.

The University of Baltimore Law School is collaborating with the University of Haifa in offering a summer study abroad program in 2000 with courses offered to compare the U.S., Israeli, and other legal systems.

The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) and the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) offer a joint grant to a postdoctoral scholar in the natural sciences who is about to begin a program of research at an accredited university, or at a public or private nonprofit research institute in the State of Maryland. The program grant provides $20,000 in partial support of the recipient’s first year of activity in Maryland.

In 2003, a new program was initiated between the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI) and BARD) for joint research.*

In May 2011, The University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship collaborated with the Technion Entrepreneurship Center, The Technion T3, and the Technion Seed Incubator to create a 10-week fellowship program for MBA students to work on commercializing technology at the Technion. Teams of U.S. students worked with Israeli students to develop feasibility studies and commercialization plans for Technion-owned intellectual property. Throughout the fellowship, students were guided by a panel of entrepreneurs, researchers, and venture capitalists. In addition, students had the opportunity to travel to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and hear in-depth information about Israeli industry through a lunchtime speaker series called the eClub.

In 2014, the University of Maryland began an Israel Studies course that paired local students with peers at Tel Aviv University. This course is the result of University President Wallace Loh’s Israel visit in April 2013, where he signed academic partnerships with a few Israeli universities and colleges. Maryland, students can learn with other students in Tel Aviv through video-conferencing software in their Israel studies classes. Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies and visiting Israeli professor Paul Scham said: “For someone who teaches about Israel, the sense of connection is important in ways we don’t see, we don’t realize.”

Cyberbit Ltd., a subsidiary of Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems, partnered with Baltimore Cyber Range LLC, to open a cyber-security training facility in Baltimore, Maryland, in August 2017. This training center will give students the skills necessary to tackle 21st-century cyber-security threats, by providing them with accurate simulations of real-world issues.

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State Contacts

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Baltimore Jewish Council
2701 North Charles St., #510
Baltimore, MD 21218
Tel. 410-542-4850
JCC of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Rd.
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel. 301-881-0100
Jewish National Fund (JNF)
4 Reservoir Circle, #104
Baltimore, MD 21208
Tel. 410-486-3317
Baltimore Zionist District
3723 Old Court Rd., #200
Baltimore, MD 21208
Tel. 410-602-1200
Jewish Federation of Howard County
5885 Robert Oliver Pl
Columbia, MD 21045-3734
Tel. 410-730-4976
Maryland/Israel Development Center
217 East Redwood St., #1300
Baltimore, MD 21202
Tel. 410-767-0681
Fax. 410-333-4302
Board of Jewish Education
11710 Hunters Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel. 301-984-4455
Fax. 301-230-0267
The Jewish Historical Society of Maryland
15 Lloyd St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Maryland Office of Economic Development
Trendlines International Ltd.
Moshav Shorashim, Israel
Tel. 04-958-3323
Fax. 04-958-3325
6101 Montrose Rd., #205
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel. 301-770-0881
Fax. 301-770-7553
Jewish National Fund (JNF)
8607 Second Ave., Suite 404A
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel. 301-589-8565
UJA Federation of Greater Washington
6101 Montrose Rd.
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel. 301-230-7200

Sources: World Institute for Strategic Economic Research.
Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD).
United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD).
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF).
Maryland/Israel Development Center.