State-to-State Cooperation: New Mexico 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)||
|New Mexico’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2021)||45|
|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 New Mexico from U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations
Aguila Technologies Group Inc.
Los Alamos National Lab
Loveplace Respiratory Research Institute
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico State University
Sandia National Laboratory
University of New Mexico
The New Mexico-Israel Business Exchange - The NMIBE was formed to raise local awareness about Israel’s entrepreneurial and general business activities, and encourage cooperation between New Mexico and Israel in the business world. The organization helps New Mexico companies do business with Israel to encourage a collaborative relationship between the two. NIMBE provides business development connections in Israel to New Mexican companies and connects industry leaders in both states.
June 2008 - Governor Bill Richardson signed an agreement of cooperation with the Israeli government to begin a partnership that will result in more trade with New Mexico. “I came to Israel to work together to exchange ideas, techniques and explore investment opportunities,” Governor Richardson said. The agreement, signed together with Israeli Minister of Industry Eli Yishai, spells out a process to create strategic partnerships to cooperate on the advancement of joint water and energy technologies.
New Mexico Government Missions to Israel
February 2011 - Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry went on a trade and business development mission to Israel. According to Mayor Berry, most of his trip consisted of talking to Israeli companies about opportunities in Albuquerque for their investment. At the same time, the mayor was attending a conference on water conservation techniques, a problem that faces both Israel and New Mexico.
June 2008 - Governor Bill Richardson led a delegation from New Mexico on a mission to Israel with the stated aim of bolstering bilateral trade between the two states. While in Israel, Gov. Richardson met with numerous Israeli government officials including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni with whom he discussed the importance of the US and Israel standing together to combat the budding Iranian nuclear threat. In addition, Gov. Richardson signed a cooperative agreement with Eli Yishai, the Israeli Minister of Industry.
July 1999 - New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid 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, 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. New Mexico is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.
In 2021, New Mexico exported nearly $11 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, New Mexico’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $5.5 billion and Israel now ranks as New Mexico’s 28th leading trade partner. New Mexico ranks 45th among all states in exports to Israel.
Additionally, in 2015, New Mexico companies received more than $766,000 in foreign military financing (FMF) to provide materiel for the Israeli Defense Forces. Since 1996, New Mexico companies have received nearly $144 million in FMF. These include Calculex Inc. in Las Cruces and Pulsed Power Laboratories in Edgewood.
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 New Mexico.
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.
New Mexico has also received more than $1.2 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 New Mexico is limited only by the imagination.
New Mexico 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 20 New Mexico companies have discovered the benefits of doing business in Israel, including Lase-R Shield Inc., CVI Laser Corporation and Wildflower International.
Lase-R Shield sells laser safety eyewear to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Safety eyewear has numerous applications, it can be used in research and development labs in universities, within industry, and for military purposes. Caryn Brown, one of Lase-R Shield’s technical sales representatives, feels that both Israel and Lase-R Shield have benefitted greatly from their partnership. Brown says that she “enjoys the prompt correspondence of Israeli buyers.”
CVI sells optical components used in optical lasers in the field of medicine to Israeli high-technology companies. According to Roy Ralston, Director of Graphics, Israel acts as a catalyst, “They drive our product, driving the U.S. to make a better product. Israelis are very thorough and make good trading partners. It’s a great give and take relationship.”
Deborah Johnson, Chief of Operations of Wildflower International, said that her company has been doing business with Israel since 1995. Johnson says, “we find them very ethical, no problems with payments or coming to a common agreement... they are extremely trustworthy.” Wildflower International provides electronic products and telecommunications equipment for the military, universities, research and development facilities, and for medical purposes.
“We enjoy doing business with Israel, there is a lot of respect, which is beneficial to our corporation,” said Johnson. She adds that “Israel is at the forefront of quality assurance, which is one of the many reasons why Wildflower enjoys doing business with Israel.”
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.
New Mexico companies have benefited from more than $650,000 in BIRD grants. PreVision of Edgewood received a grant to work with Yavne-based Aeronautics Defense Systems to develop a Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) sensor with an automated interface to an Electro-optics payload on a UAS platform.
New Mexico 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 New Mexico have received more than $130,000 in BSF grants. Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and Los Alamos National Labs are two of the main BSF grant recipients.
Matthew Kluger received a BSF grant at Lovelace Respiratory Research in Albuquerque and is now continuing the research at the Medical College of Georgia. He is studying how fevers are caused. When a person develops a fever, it is dangerous if it gets too high, so the body produces internal chemicals, which act like Tylenol, to lower the fever. Kluger is researching the balance of the fever-reducing and fever-enhancing chemicals in the body.
Kluger believes the partnership with Israel is “beneficial to both labs, science and humanity.” His research may produce potential products that use new ways to reduce fevers and inflammation.
Raymond Dean Taylor is one of 15 scientists from Los Alamos National Labs who have received BSF grants. Taylor, a physicist, has been collaborating with scientists at Tel Aviv University through several BSF projects on research dealing with how materials behave at high pressures. He looks at the effects of pressure on phase transformation of matter. He has made several first discoveries of materials leading to more than 150 publications since he started the research.
Taylor’s research has been an impetus for studies around the world researching high-pressure physics. Without that initial BSF grant, this new field would not have blossomed.
A second scientist from Los Alamos, Alan Perelson, has received several BSF grants to research quantitative models for processes in the immune system. Perelson’s research focuses on three areas. The first is a quantitative model for the development of patterns of skin rashes. The second is an experimental model for the body’s response to T-cell vaccination (T-cell vaccination was first used in Israel for auto-immune system diseases such as multiple sclerosis in which one’s immune system attacks the body). Third, he has studied the success of the immune system's responses to different toxins.
Perelson believes the cooperation with his Israeli counterparts led to a conversation that would not have taken place otherwise. BSF has acted as a bridge for experimental findings and has pooled the talent of both countries. Perelson still collaborates with his Israeli partner even though they no longer receive BSF funds. Their research has led to a new type of research in which mathematical models are used to interpret biological experiments.
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 New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology and New Mexico State have grants worth more than $400,000.
New Mexico State’s C. Sengupta-Gopalas researches the lack of methionine, an amino acid, in alfalfa and legumes, which are used to feed animals. A methionine-rich diet allows cows to produce more milk and sheep to produce more wool. Scientists are adding synthetic methionine to the legumes, but the animals’ intake is still not high enough.
Sengupta-Gopalas is taking genes from maize, which foster the production of methionine, and is adding them to alfalfa. She believes working with Israelis has been “extremely helpful.” She has received the maize gene from them and has shared techniques with them.
BARD research done outside the state also benefits New Mexico. For example, pecan tree growers can benefit from BARD projects to save 68,000 acres of pecan trees planted in inappropriate soil in New Mexico.
Other Cooperative Programs
New Mexico State is a member of the International Arid Lands Consortium, a Congress-funded independent, nonprofit organization established in 1989 that conducts research, develops applications in arid and semiarid land technologies, and applies its projects in countries around the world including the U.S. and Israel.
In 2020, New Mexico State formed a partnership with two agrotechnology companies based in Israel, Tal-Ya Agriculture Solution and N-Drip, to study the companies’ water-saving systems: Tal-Ya’s Mitra and N-Drip’s Gravity Micro Irrigation. Researchers have already created demonstration fields at NMSU’s Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center in Doña Ana County to evaluate both systems on chile and pecan crops
“Water use for agriculture is a key component of our research as we try to mitigate concerns about drought and water scarcity, and insulate New Mexico from these vulnerabilities of the future,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu told the Las Cruces Sun News.
The Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Rolando A. Flores said they were working with Israeli companies because they have semiarid lands similar to New Mexico. “We are not reinventing the wheel, but we are applying the best technology that may help farmers in our state better manage water. Water is a precious resource, and we want to take the lead in water sustainability.”
The Mitra system they are testing increases in crop yield and decreases water and fertilizer usage. “Our system directs water to the root zone by way of gravity,” said Oded Distel, CEO of Tal-Ya.
According to Uri Segev, director of business development for N-Drip, the system’s benefits include an increase in crop yields and decreases in water and fertilizer usage. The system also reduces labor costs and soil contamination.
“Many New Mexico farmers use flood irrigation, which is the least efficient irrigation system around – but is the cheapest,” Segev said. “We believe the N-Drip system can save up to 50 percent in water usage, which is huge for an area that has suffered from water allocation and reduction year after year.”
Israeli generic drug and medical device company Panaxia entered into an agreement with U.S.-based medical cannabis distribution company Ultra Health in June 2015 to build a cannabis processing plant in the state. As part of the project, Panaxia pledged to purchase $250,000 worth of merchandise. Panaxia has developed a precise method of extraction for the active molecules in the cannabis plants, allowing producers to make medical cannabis products with exact doses.
Hillel Campus Profiles
Jewish Federation of Greater Albuquerque
5520 Wyoming Blvd., NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Sherwin Pomerantz, Director
New Mexico Economic Development Department
c/o Atid EDI Ltd
Bldg. 2, Har Hotzvim, P.O. Box 45005
Email. [email protected]
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).