State-to-State Cooperation: Missouri and Israel
Trade and Population Statistics
|Exports to Israel (2021)|| |
|Percentage Change (2020-2021)|| |
|Total Exports to Israel (1996-Present)|| |
|Israel’s Trade Partner Rank (2021)|| |
|Missouri’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2021)||20|
|Military Contracts with Israel (2015)|| |
|Jewish Population (2022)|| |
|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 Missouri From U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations
Danforth Center for Plant Sciences
GEMACO Playing Card Co.
George Washington University at St. Louis
ICL Performance Products
McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Missouri Botanical Garden
St. Louis University Medical School
University of Missouri
University of Missouri Medical School
University of Missouri- Kansas City
USDA Bio-Control Research Lab
Washington University Medical School
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Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill that requires companies entering into a contract with the state to certify that they are not, and will not, engage in a boycott of Israel. The law applies to companies worth over $100,000 with 10 or more employees.
In 1988, the Department of Economic Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Israel signed the Missouri-Israel Cooperative Agreement, which calls for projects of mutual economic benefit through improved trade, technology development, science, agriculture, and tourism.
Missouri Government Missions to Israel
November 2017 - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens traveled to Israel during the second week of November 2017 on a trade mission sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition. Greitens visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Gaza Strip, in addition to his scheduled meetings with Israeli officials and business leaders.
August 2011 - Congressman Russ Carnahan traveled to Israel with the 81-member delegation to meet with top Israeli officials, and learn more about the American-Israeli relationship as well as current political affairs in the region.
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. Missouri is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.
In 2021, Missouri exported more than $126 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Missouri’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $1.5 billion and Israel now ranks as Missouri’s 18th leading trade partner. Missouri ranks 20th among all states in exports to Israel.
Additionally, in 2015, Missouri companies received more than $1.1 million in foreign military financing (FMF) to provide materiel for the Israeli Defense Forces. Since 1996, Missouri companies have received nearly $58 million in FMF. These include: Remington Arms Company, LLC in St. Louis, Evraz Oregon Steel Mills, Inc. in St. Louis and Bull Moose Tube Company in Chesterfield.1
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 Missouri.
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.
Missouri has also received nearly $2.7 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 Missouri is limited only by the imagination.
Missouri 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 National Semiconductor have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel.
More than 70 Missouri companies have discovered the benefits of doing business with Israel, including Union Carbide, Tiger Corp., and Monsanto.
The company that has had the greatest involvement is probably McDonnell Douglas, which has had a longstanding relationship with Israel. The St. Louis-based defense contractor sells aircraft to the Israeli Air Force, and Israeli companies provide components for the company’s fighter planes and MD-11 commercial airliner. Rich Bedarf, program manager for Israeli programs, observed that Israel has “highly qualified suppliers who provide high-quality supplies.”
McDonnell Douglas won a major contract to supply the Israeli Air Force with its next generation of fighters. The deal, to produce 21 F-15I Eagles-a version of the U.S. Air Force’s F-15E-is worth $2 billion. The contract, Bedarf says, helps the company maintain a higher rate of production and allows the company to keep, if not increase jobs.
Sigma-Aldrich Corp. is the only Missouri company that has a subsidiary in Israel. It has two, Sigma Israel Chemical in Petach Tikva and Makor Chemical in Jerusalem, which sell chemicals manufactured in the United States primarily for research purposes. Controller Kirk Richter said the company established a presence in Israel in the 1970s because it was a good source of chemists and a potentially lucrative market.
Patrick Anderson, a sales manager for Labconco Corp., said his company has also been doing business in Israel for more than a decade and now have a sales representative in the country. The company manufactures lab equipment that is used for research in microbiology and blood work. Anderson said they had sold a significant amount to the Weizmann Institute.
Eagle Pitcher has been selling high-performance batteries for 15 years to the Israeli Air Force and space programs. Another division of the company is planning to sell batteries and other parts for an automated toll tagging system Israel is developing for the civilian market.
Ron Workman, Vice President of George P Reintjes Co., says his company has had a good experience over the last 15 years selling refractory applications for chemical factories in Israel.
Missouri companies interested in developing business relationships with Israel can find help from the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis (314-432-0134). The Chamber has a database of Israeli businesses and provides various services to facilitate contacts with potential business partners.
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 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 in more than 1,000 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of more than $10 billion. More than $125 million worth of grants has been approved for projects in 37 states and the District of Columbia.
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.
Missouri companies have received grants worth more than $2.6 million.
St. Louis-based medical device company EndoStim was awarded funding through the BIRD Foundation to partner with the Israeli-based company AGM Tonson to develop a miniaturized implantable device for Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. Another BIRD project brought together Melodea of Rehovot and ICL Performance Products of St. Louis to develop environmentally friendly coatings for buildings.
Missouri 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.
Institutions in Missouri have received more than $660,000 in BSF grants. The University of Missouri, St. Louis University Medical School and Washington University are among the grant recipients.
In 2009, Washington University professor of animal sciences Alan Templeton received a BSF grant to work with Dr. Shirli Bar-David of Ben-Gurion University to study the wild ass in the Negev desert. The wild ass, which went extinct in Israel during the 1920s, was reintroduced through captivity during the 1980s and is now back in good numbers in the wild. Unfortunately, though, little is known about the animals in the wild. The BSF-sponsored study intends to examine the wild ass population to determine how many animals now exist in the wild and their dispersal patterns throughout the Negev – essential information for managing this endangered animal.
Professor Templeton and Dr. Bar-David, though, do not want to disturb the natural patterns of the animal in the wild so they have developed protocols for amplifying DNA from fecal samples that can be collected without disturbing the animals and for developing genetic markers to monitor the population and specific individuals. They have had great success in research through this procedure and are excited about the possibility that these protocols potentially also have application in the field of forensics, where DNA must often be amplified from old and less-than-ideal samples.
The BSF played a key role in the worldwide use of PET (Positron Emitting Tomography) to identify functional disorders, indicating cancer. The development of this basic oncological diagnostic tool and multibillion-dollar business was almost abandoned, due to a lack of abundant short-lived isotopes F or C, required for the imaging. Supported by the BSF, Prof. Shlomo Rozen of Tel Aviv University and Prof. Michael Welch of Washington University in St. Louis synthesized Acetyl Hypoflurite, which was immediately adopted by the NIH (National Institute of Health) and by industry. It became the single most important source of F for 15 years and secured the development of the method until other sources were discovered.
Paul Schmidt, a physicist at the University of Missouri, is interested in the structure of materials. The application of his research could lead to the production of higher-quality glass, which could be used for optical fibers in communications. He found that his interests meshed with those of his Hebrew University collaborator.
Washington University Medical School has a positron tomography facility that is used to study how the brain works. A BSF grant made it possible for an Israeli student to come to St. Louis to learn imaging techniques involved in positron tomography from Michael Welch.
The Israeli, meanwhile, is teaching Missouri scientists techniques developed in Israel for labeling molecules, which can be used to evaluate diseases like breast cancer. “It was a great experience for both groups,” said Welch.
Carmine Coscia, a biochemist at St. Louis University Medical School, is also interested in brain research. He is studying the effects of opiates in hope that it might lead to new treatments for brain tumors.
The BSF grant gave Coscia an opportunity to interact and perform experiments with his colleague at the Weizmann Institute. It also gave him access to instruments that are only available in a handful of labs worldwide.
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 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.
The University of Missouri and Washington University are two of the Missouri institutions that have received BARD grants worth nearly $700,000.
The University of Missouri’s Donald Spiers is interested in a hormone that stimulates growth and milk production in cows. The eventual application may be the development of an artificial hormone with limited side effects that will help the dairy industry by allowing cows to convert food more efficiently to muscle or milk. One of the advantages to the collaboration, Spiers said, was to combine his expertise in physiology with the Israelis’ in molecular biology.
Biological insecticides are a safe and effective alternative to chemical agents. One problem is that a bacterium that kills caterpillars and other insects is sensitive to ultraviolet light and often becomes ineffective in the field. Carlo Ignoffo of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bio-Control Research Lab in Columbia, and a Hebrew University scientist have developed and tested a dye that absorbs and reflects ultraviolet light to protect and stabilize the bacteria. According to Ignoffo, the research could lead to important advances in the use of biological insecticides.
In another project designed to reduce expensive pesticide use and develop more resistant plants, a University of Missouri-Hebrew University team has been examining the biochemical ways in which tomatoes resistant to bacterial leaf spot disease differ from susceptible ones.
Missouri also benefits from BARD research done elsewhere. For example, BARD grantees have developed new, economical procedures for degrading water-borne pesticides using the sun. These are particularly valuable for treating sorghum, one of the state’s major field crops.
A team of agricultural economists from the University of Maryland and the University of California found that the economic benefits of just five projects -related to cotton, pecans, and solarization - exceeded all U.S. investment in BARD.
Other Cooperative Programs
McDonnell Douglas of St. Louis received a grant from the U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Commission to work with the Israeli company, Rotem, on a project regarding the utilization of solar energy for the development of new technologies.
UJA Partnership 2000 Communities
Hillel Campus Profiles
America-Israel Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis
967 Gardenview Office Parkway, #7
St. Louis, MO 63141-5915
Email. [email protected]
State of Missouri Israel Trade & Investment Office
3 Aluf Kalman Magen St.
Tel Aviv, 67897
T: +972 (0) 54 599 6160
E: [email protected]
Dept. of Economic Development
8182 Maryland, #303
St. Louis, MO 63105
Fax. 314-425-3381 (f)
12 Millstone Campus Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63146-5776
Tel. 314-432-0020 (w)
Fax. 314-432-1277 (f)
Jewish Federation of St. Louis
12 Millstone Campus Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63146-5776
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).