State-to-State Cooperation: Ohio 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)|| |
|Ohio’s Rank as Exporter to Israel (2021)||11|
|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 Ohio from U.S.-Israel Binational Foundations
|Agricultural Research Service |
Audio Technica US, Inc.
Bowling Green University
Case Western University
Case Western Medical School
Case Western University Hospital
Children`s Hospital Med Center
Cincinnati Electronics Corp.
Cincinnati Milacron Inc.
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Computer Logics Ltd.
Frantz Medical Development
Keithly Instruments Inc.
|Miami Valley Labs |
National Aeronautics & Space Agency
National Environmental Research Center
Ohio State University
Ohio State Medical School
Proctor & Gamble, Miami Valley Labs
Spectra-Physics Laser Plane, Inc.
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati Medical School
University of Toldeo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ohio-Israel Ag & CleanTech Initiative
The OIACI is a program of the Negev Foundation which works to benefit the state of Ohio by facilitating relationships with Israel in the agricultural, food, and CleanTech sectors. The OIACI works closely with companies that are at the forefront of development in Israeli water and agricultural management, bringing the technologies and products they produce to municipalities, water and agricultural professionals, nonprofits, and businesses in Ohio.
Ohio-Israel Chamber of Commerce
The Ohio-Israel Chamber is a statewide non-profit economic development organization created in 1996 to facilitate business between Ohio and Israel. The Chamber is also an enterprise solutions provider that works to create collaborative relationships between companies seeking to commercialize technologies in both places. Since its creation, the Chamber has helped organize and hosted the largest overseas trade mission to come to Ohio, worked with Israeli and local companies to facilitate business, matched Israeli businesses with Ohio counterparts, and facilitated multi-national joint ventures. In all, it has worked with over 500 companies to create business opportunities and has undertaken consulting assignments for Fortune 500 companies in the areas of innovative technology transfer and commercialization.
Dayton Region-Israel Trade Alliance
The Trade Alliance seeks to identify and assist in realizing opportunities for sustainable business collaboration between Israel and communities in the Dayton region of Ohio. Potential types of business collaboration include subcontracting on R&D projects, manufacturing Israeli products in Ohio, and licensing Israeli technologies to Dayton.
Ohio HB-476 was introduced to the state legislature on February 24, 2016. The legislation, if approved, would ban “state agents” from entering into or renewing contracts with companies, unless it is contractually declared that the company is not boycotting or disinvesting from Israel. The bill was signed into law by Ohio Governor John Kasich on December 19, 2016.
In June 2010, the Ohio Clean Technologies Group, based out of Youngstown, signed an MOU with LN Green Technologies Incubator in Haifa which outlines a plan for Ohio Clean Technologies and LN Green Technological to cooperate and share resources with the objective of bringing new alternative energy technology applications to market in the United States. The agreement was borne out a trade mission to Israel in January 2010 in which business, community, and government leaders visited several incubators.
In September 2009, the Dayton region and the Israeli city of Haifa signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at boosting economic development in both locations. The document lays out a framework for cooperation to enhance economic growth and create new employment opportunities in both locations. It also calls for the Dayton-Israel Trade Alliance to establish an economic development office in Haifa to promote bilateral business and development cooperation over a three-year period.
In February 2006, Akron earmarked a $1.5 million investment from local public and private sources in a Netanya-based technological incubator. Though some state governments have made similar investments, Akron was the first U.S. city to place its “faith” in Israeli technology by investing directly in an Israeli technological incubator. In exchange for the investment, any companies that are created from the incubator will then base their U.S. headquarters in Akron, a move which will provide local jobs and income tax to the city, plus dividends from part ownership in the companies.
Ohio Government Missions to Israel
November 2011 - Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory traveled to Israel with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and four other major U.S. city mayors as part of Project Interchange, and AJC-run educational institute.
July 2011 - Congressman Steve Chabot and Congresswoman Betty Sutton traveled to Israel and the West Bank to assess the progress of American aid and effort.
March 2007 - Representative Dave Hobson joined a Congressional delegation led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on a fact-finding mission to the Middle East that included stops in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Israel. While in Israel the delegation met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed the viability of the proposed Saudi Peace Initiative with both national leaders.
January 2006 - Akron Mayor Dan Plusquellic led a delegation to Israel on behalf of regional business interests from northeast Ohio, a trip that will include meetings with Israeli business and government officials as well as the American ambassador. Israel is developing new technology business and manufacturing innovations at a rapid pace,” said Plusquellic. “Their companies are coming to the United States and we can create opportunities for them in Greater Akron so that our residents can be employed.”
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. Ohio is one of 33 states that have cooperative agreements with Israel.
In 2021, Ohio exported more than $238 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel. Since 1996, Ohio’s exports to Israel have totaled more than $5.5 billion and Israel now ranks as Ohio’s 28th leading trade partner. Ohio ranks 11th among all states in exports to Israel.
Additionally, in 2015, Ohio companies received more than $745 million in foreign military financing (FMF) to provide materiel for the Israeli Defense Forces. Since 1996, Ohio companies have received nearly $1.4 billion in FMF. These include Duramax Marine LLC in Hiram, Bird Electronic Corp. in Cleveland, and General Electric in Cincinnati.
Israel is certainly a place where potential business and trade partners can be found. It can also be a source, however, for innovative programs and ideas for addressing problems facing the citizens of Ohio.
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.
Ohio has also received more than $7.7 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 Ohio is limited only by the imagination.
Ohio Firms Profit From Business With Israel
Because of Israel’s unique status as the only country with free trade agreements with both the United States and the European community, it can act as a bridge for international trade between the United States and Europe. Moreover, because of the deep pool of talent, particularly in high-technology areas, Israel provides excellent investment opportunities. Some of the nation’s largest companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, and Intel have found that it is indeed profitable to do business in Israel, as have more than 300 Ohio firms.
When Governor George Voinovich led a mission to Israel in 1993, he opened doors for many Ohio companies and institutions. Voinovich, for example, persuaded the Israeli government to hire Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus to match up Ohio users of technology with Israeli sources.
Neil Moss, chairman of the investment banking firm Global Linx Corp., announced his company would expand its Israel-based operations and work on the contracts with Battelle.
The Limited, the Columbus-based clothing retailer, closed a deal to acquire Tefron, making The Limited’s subsidiary, Macpell, one of the 100 largest companies in Israel.
Electra Form Inc., a Vandalia-based firm that manufactures plastics-processing machinery, already sells equipment in Israel. Director of sales Philip Brun found several new customers on the Governor’s mission, including one who tentatively agreed to purchase more than $1 million of new equipment.
William Lhota participated in a dual capacity as a senior executive from the American Electric Power Co. and as chairman of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. AEP is a leader in the development of clean-coal technology. Lhota explored opportunities to work with his Israeli counterparts on the use of these technologies to improve the environment. In his role with the Columbus Chamber, Lhota sought to promote the city as an air distribution point for Israeli exports to the Midwest.
Most delegates who traveled with Voinovich did not expect to make deals when they were in Israel but hoped to establish contacts that might lead to future business. Two of the participants, David Miller and Joseph Borovsky, for example, were from small companies that identified new buyers and began discussing possible joint ventures. Miller is president of Aquatech, a Cleveland-based company that manufactures sewer cleaning equipment, and Borovsky is president of Columbus-based Enzymol International, a new company that makes a nontoxic industrial resin.
One good way to break into the Israeli market is through a joint venture with an Israeli company. Funding for such projects is available from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). 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 have been approved for projects in 37 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.
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 Ohio companies have benefited from BIRD grants worth $2.5 million.
Greg Leonard, marketing manager for Cincinnati Electronics Corp., said his company does a great deal of business in Israel and was able to develop a new product in a joint venture with Ricor thanks to a BIRD grant. Ricor, he said, builds a unique cryogenic cooler that was combined with a duer made by Cincinnati Electronics to produce inexpensive, reliable packaging for focal plane arrays. These devices are used in infrared cameras that have military and commercial applications for things like surveillance and target location.
One of the big advantages of BIRD grants is that they allow smaller companies access to Israel’s talented labor force. Todd Haug, Vice President of Engineering for Triplett Corporation in Buffington, said his company had almost no chance to work with engineers who are knowledgeable in the fields of digital signal processing and radio frequency electronics. “Israel has a lot of talent in these areas that BIRD gave us access to.” The project also entailed greater risk than Triplett could normally undertake, but, Haug says, the grant helped reduce the risk to the point where it was doable.
Triplett is working with Elisra to develop a device for testing the new generation of digital cellular phones. By itself, Triplett didn’t have the expertise, but the company was able to combine its knowledge of testing equipment with Elisra’s engineering experience to design the cellular phone tester. The companies are working so well together, Haug says, “When we complete this project, we’ll be looking for the next one.”
The Cleveland Clinic - one of the four top U.S. hospitals - was awarded funding through the BIRD Foundation to partner with the Israel-based MedCPU to develop a patient care decision support system. In 2021, the clinic received another grant for a project with Sensifree of Kfar Saba to develop next-generation non-invasive, continuous blood pressure monitors for hospital use.
WizeCare of Or Yehuda and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation received a grant to develop a Tele-Rehabilitation, Monitoring, and Detection Platform for Parkinson's Disease patients.
Ohio researchers are making scientific breakthroughs and developing cutting-edge technologies in joint projects with Israeli scientists thanks to support from the Binational Science Foundation (BSF). BSF was established in 1972 to promote scientific relations and cooperation between scientists from the United States and Israel. The fund supports collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific 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 US-Israel partnership through science and promoting world-class scientific research for the benefit of the two countries and all mankind. The BSF grants help extend research resources to achieve milestones that might not otherwise be attainable; introduce novel approaches and techniques to lead American researchers in new directions; confirm, clarify and intensify research projects; and provide unmatched access to Israeli equipment, facilities and research results that help speed American scientific advances. BSF has documented no less than 75 new discoveries made possible by its research grants and counts 37 Nobel Prize and 19 Lasker Medical Award laureates among its joint partners.
Institutions in Ohio have received more than $2 million in BSF grants. Bowling Green, Case Western Reserve, Kent State, Wright State, and Ohio State University are among the universities that have received BSF grants.
Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, collaborates with his Israeli counterparts for a wide variety of scientific and medical programs through the hospitals Israel Exchange Program. Additionally, in 2009 he recently received a two-year grant through BSF to partner with Dr. Ariel Munitz of Tel Aviv University designed to research and eventually understand mechanisms of lung inflammation.
Dr. Rothenberg’s BSF-supported team has uncovered a new pathway, involving the resistin-like molecule (RELM) which is not only involved in the development of lung disease, but also insulin resistance (which means metabolism and obesity). Their work is opening new understandings and treatment strategies for these disease processes. Dr. Rothenberg, and the Children’s Hospital Medical Center, incredibly appreciate the cooperation and collaboration they are having with their partners in Israel. The BSF-funded research projects are just another way to expand medical expertise and help people all over the world feel and live better.
Albert Soloway, a chemist at OSU, is working on a promising therapy for treating malignant tumors. The idea is to develop compounds that can be used in conjunction with neutron beams to destroy tumor cells without harming normal ones. “It is scientifically stimulating to work with people in Israel who want to apply this new therapy,” Soloway says. Though his grant has expired, he is continuing to collaborate with his Israeli counterparts.
Bowling Green’s George Bullerjahn is interested in learning how photosynthesis is regulated. “Crops have to adapt to changing light intensities during the day,” he explains, “so if it is possible to understand the physiological changes that take place in plants in high and low light, it may ultimately be possible to engineer plants to thrive in different kinds of light.”
Collaborating with a Hebrew University scientist has been enormously helpful to Bullerjahn, who says that his colleague’s physiology-ecology approach complements his microbiology focus. The two have already published four papers and are working on the fifth. Bullerjahn says the work “really helped establish my career.” They are now applying for a new grant to study a particular alga that thrives in low light in the Red Sea. Bullerjahn would not have access to this unique alga if it were not for his Israeli collaborator.
While much of the research is practical, some BSF grants enable Americans to do more theoretical work. Steven Rallis, for example, is a mathematician at OSU who can work with “first-rate scientists” in Israel. “I have seen no other country that takes an interest at this level in collaborating and in maintaining such a high level of science,” Rallis says. Though his work is not “glitzy,” Rallis believes he gets enormous benefits from a relatively small grant.
In 1978, the United States and Israel jointly created the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to help fund programs between 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.
Ohio institutions have received grants worth almost $3 million, with Ohio State receiving the lion’s share.
Professor Erich Grotewold of Ohio State University used a BARD grant to collaborate with Dr. Rivka Barg of the Volcani Center in Israel on a project entitled, “Regulation of tomato fruit development by interacting MYB proteins.” So far, their research has enabled them to identify and characterize three plant-specific MYB-like proteins capable of physically interacting with each other, and which collectively control plant cell enlargement. These three novel genes are founders of a new network of factors controlling cell and organ development, which impact tomato fruit size and shape, two important attributes affecting fruit quality. Overall, this BARD-sponsored project offers new target genes to be exploited in breeding for desirable fruit attributes. Additionally, Dr. Grotewold and Dr. Barg anticipate that in the future, genes like these could be exploited for the shaping of other crop organs, which might be highly beneficial in the breeding of leaf vegetables.
Without the support of BARD, though, the collaboration and future scientific achievements and advancements made by Dr. Groteworld and Dr. Barg would never have been able to be realized. “The interaction between Dr. Rivka Barg and my lab would have been impossible without the BARD support,” Dr. Grotewold says, “The BARD has enormously facilitated a synergy between both labs that would have been impossible without it.”
Ohio State received another grant to investigate the cause of wheat diseases. The Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center at OSU and Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization also worked together to find the natural enemies of sap beetles, an insect that is responsible for up to 10 percent of the losses in Ohio strawberry fields.
One problem common to Israel and the United States, as well as many other countries, is plant diseases caused by a combination of fungus and a microscopic type of roundworm. “Today, there is growing concern about the environmental impact of soil fumigant chemicals typically used to fight these diseases,” said Randy Rowe, a plant pathologist at OSU. “We are doing preliminary research into the cause of these diseases that may eventually lead to the development of alternative ways of controlling them.” Rowe has now been working for several years with Israeli scientists at the Volcani Institute who share his interest.
Another OSU plant pathologist, Harry Hoitink, has been working for more than a decade with Israelis interested in waste recycling by composting. Hoitink is now working under his second BARD grant to measure the decomposition of waste. By developing a new way to analyze organic matter, he says, it will be possible to predict the sustainability of soil. Ultimately, the research could lead to products that will help plants, particularly ornamental flowers, suppress diseases, and reduce the need for fumigants.
BARD grants have also helped fund numerous other projects run through OSU. In 2006, researchers from The Ohio State University and Hebrew University collaborated and studied the functionality of Saponins, including soybeans and chickpeas, which have been shown to lower cholesterol. Their research developed a procedure to extract Saponins that can then be inserted into bread to increase its health benefits. The results of this research resulted in another grant from BARD to pursue further research on Saponins and will hopefully lead to a business collaboration with an Ohio company.
Additionally, researchers from Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization, The Ohio State University, and Hebrew University jointly studied the microbiology of compost as it relates to plant disease suppression. Using multiple rRNA gene sequences, the researchers found that as compost cures, several different microbial communities are produced depending on the stage of the compost
A 29-person delegation of Ohio farmers traveled to Israel at the end of February 2006 to learn about Israeli approaches to water management, milk processing, urban expansion, and other agricultural issues.
Ram Ben-Dor, who lived on an Israeli farm for 20 years, said Ohio farmers should be able to help the Israelis with technologies that would increase their productivity and make them more competitive in world markets. He said it would be an opportunity for the Israelis to make contacts that could increase soybean imports from Ohio.
“I’m extremely intrigued by the ability of them to grow enough crops for 7 million people in the desert,” said Daniel Corcoran. Corcoran raises soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa on his 4,000-acre family farm near Waverly. “Hopefully,” he said, “there are things we can bring back here.”
John Bechtel raises trout, perch, and bluegill near Fredericktown. He wanted to learn how Israelis prevent the spread of disease among fish as well as pick up tips on fish nutrition, genetics and water-quality management.
Michael Putnam, a dairy farmer from Frankfort, wanted to see if Israeli equipment will allow him to process milk on his farm rather than ship it out. This would allow him to save transportation costs and enable him to make cheeses and yogurt he can sell to niche markets.
Bob Peterson raises hogs and grows corn, soybeans, and wheat on his farm near Washington Court House in central Ohio. He said that residential and commercial development from Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton are limiting his ability to expand his operation. He was interested in how the Israelis managed to farm in densely populated areas while increasing production and profits.
Other Cooperative Programs
The Israel Exchange Program: The Israel Exchange Program (IEP) is a collaboration and exchange of knowledge and expertise between Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and leading pediatric clinical, academic, and research institutions in Israel.
The benefits of this collaboration include Improved Clinical Care for Children; Accelerated Research; Shared Best Practices in Quality and Safety; Enhanced Education and Training; and Innovations in Global Health.
UJA Partnership 2000 Communities
Hillel Campus Profiles
85 E. Gay St., #1010
Columbus, OH 43215
|JCC of Cincinnati |
105 W. 4th St., #810
Cincinnati, OH 45202
|Jewish Federation Of Cincinnati |
4380 Malsbary Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45242-5644
|Jewish Federation Greater Toledo |
6505 Sylvania Ave
Sylvania, OH 43560-3918
|Association of America-Israel |
Chambers of Commerce (AAICC)
1111 Chester Ave., #810
Cleveland, OH 44114
Email. [email protected]
|Jewish Community Council |
300 Lovers Lane
Steubenville, OH 43952
|Jewish Federation of Cleveland |
25701 Science Park Drive
Cleveland, OH 44122-7302
|Ohio-Israel Chamber of Commerce |
1111 Chester Ave., #810
Cleveland, OH 44114
Email. [email protected]
|Cleveland College of Jewish Studies |
26500 Shaker St.
Beachwood, OH 44122
|Jewish Community |
4380 Malsbary Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45242-5644
|Jewish Federation Columbus |
1175 College Ave
Columbus, OH 43209-2827
|Ohio Department of Development |
1 Azrieli Center, 35th Fl.
Derech Petach Tikva 132
Email. [email protected]
|Dept. of Development |
77 S. High St., P.O. Box 1001
Columbus, OH 43266-0101
|Jewish Federation of Akron |
750 White Pond Dr.
Akron, OH 44320
|Jewish Federation Greater Dayton |
4911 Covenant House Dr
Dayton, OH 45426-2007
|Youngstown Area Jewish Federation |
505 Gypsy (Roma) (Roma) Lane
Youngstown, OH 44504-1314
|Government Affairs Committee |
of Ohio Jewish Communities
50 West Broad St., #1915
Columbus, OH 43215
|Jewish Federation of Canton |
2631 Harvard Ave., NW
Canton, OH 44709
|Jewish Federation Greater Dayton |
4501 Denlinger Rd
Dayton, OH 45426-2308
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).
AP, (February 23, 2006).