February 2021
Executive Director’s Message

It is difficult to find the right words to summarize the year 2020. We have seen and continue to see much health related suffering and economic distress that has severely interrupted many work environments with huge job losses and unemployment.

The COVID-19 crisis has caused us to rethink many aspects of our lives, both work-related and personal. Like many others, the BIRD Foundation’s team was forced to adapt rapidly in order to continue, without interruption, fulfilling its mission of supporting U.S.-Israel collaboration.
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Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D. 
Executive Director
BIRD Announces Upcoming Call for Proposals

Companies in the U.S. and Israel are now invited to apply for the first general BIRD funding cycle of 2021. Executive Summary deadline is March 1, 2021. See Call for Proposals.
NEW: While the maximum conditional grant per project is still up to $1 million, the BIRD Board of Governors may exercise its discretion to increase the award to $1.5 million for exceptional proposals. This is contingent on the quality of the proposal and available funding.
Deadlines: Executive Summaries  | March 1, 2021 
Full Proposals | April 13, 2021  Decisions | June 2021
Eight New Projects Approved in December 2020 and First Call for Proposals for 2021 Announced

On December 22, 2020, BIRD’s Board of Governors approved $7.45 million for the funding of eight new projects in BIRD’s second bi-annual general funding cycle. Among them were projects with innovation relating to AgTech, Advanced Manufacturing, Communications, Healthcare IT, Medical Devices and others. Please see Press Release for companies and projects approved. 

BIRD Energy Selects Eight Projects in 2020
Eight U.S.-Israel clean energy projects were selected in the 12th annual cycle of BIRD Energy, a program supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Israeli’s Ministry of Energy (MoE) together with the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA).
$7.15 million was awarded for projects in the areas of Batteries, Electric Aircraft, Fuel Cells, Electric Vehicles, Natural Gas, Wind Energy and Energy Efficiency.
For additional details see 
Press Release.
BIRD HLS Approves Two Projects in the Fifth Annual Cycle and Announces 2021 Call for Proposals

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Israel Ministry of Public Security together with the BIRD Foundation announced the recipients of its fifth annual HLS cycle on January 11, 2020.
Two projects, each consisting of a U.S. and an Israeli company, received approval for a total investment of $1.5 million.  Projects selected addressed topics relating to detection imaging and air and ground 3D mapping. For additional information see
Press Release.
Companies in the U.S. and Israel are now invited to apply for the sixth annual BIRD HLS funding cycle of 2021. Executive Summary deadline is April 27, 2021. See Call for Proposals.
BIRD Opens New Office in Austin, Texas 

The BIRD Foundation is thrilled to announce the opening of its new office in the Southern U.S., located in Austin, Texas – one of the nation's fastest-growing tech hubs. 

Heading our southern office is Ms. Shiri Freund Koren, an Austin resident with Israeli roots, who specialized in the Israeli cleantech and Agtech sectors during her tenure at the Neaman Institute for National Policy Research and worked closely with the Israeli Economic Ministry in promoting promising Israeli innovations in the U.S. market. 

Why Austin? Also known as "Silicon Hills," this vibrant hotbed of talent and innovation has already attracted major tech giants like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, as well as the CEOs of Dropbox and TESLA. A recent study of the top 25 U.S. innovation centers ranked Austin 1st for talent and an impressive 5th overall. 
The greater state of Texas is also fertile ground for commercial joint ventures, with a buoyant economy, a strong culture of independent, out-of-the-box thinking, and an evolving mix of technology companies. There is much-untapped potential in Texas for dynamic Israeli companies interested in joining forces with the vast talent and expertise of U.S. entrepreneurs.  
Shiri's years in Austin – and her familiarity with the state's rich startup and tech landscape – uniquely position her to identify strategic partners and opportunities for synergistic collaboration. Feel free to contact her to discuss potential ventures with Israeli companies in Texas and in the broader Southern U.S. region. Connect to Shiri on
or email her at shirik@birdf.com.  
Spotlight on BIRD Projects:
ImageSat and Balcony.io Work Towards Successful Commercialization of their Validated Situational Awareness Platform that Provides Quick Response to Disaster Situations
ImageSat (ISI), a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industry, partnered with Sunnyvale, CA company, Balcony.io, to develop a system that aggregates high-resolution satellite imagery with crowdsourced mobile user information. 
The companies were awarded a BIRD Foundation grant in 2017 and jointly developed the 'Closeup' solution based on the ISI intelligence platform and Balcony’s geo communication platform. This platform merges geo-data validation by seamlessly aggregating high-resolution satellite imagery with smartphone users on the ground, providing a new source of information and insights into developing incidents.
The platform will enable organizations to quickly gather, analyze and identify locations of interest from satellite imagery and immediately reach mobile phone users at those locations with targeted requests for information and receive eyewitness accounts that only a person on the ground can provide. 
The solution intends to offer Validated Situational Awareness faster and more accurately than traditional information sources and it can be applied as a real time management tool for unfolding events.

The companies are focusing on commercializing their joint platform and recently sold their first system this past year.
BIRD Project Leads Grantee, NovellusDx, to Develop New Drug for Treating Certain Types of Cancer
NovellusDx, of Israel, and Christiana Care's Gene Editing Institute, of Delaware, were awarded a BIRD grant in 2016 to identify the genetic mechanism responsible for many types of cancer progression. 
The NovellusDx technology uses computer algorithms and live cells to probe the genetic mutations in the tumor of a cancer patient. The technology identifies the "driver mutations" which are involved in the cancer’s progression. The technology can also screen a series of cancer drugs to determine which treatments are likely to be most effective at shutting down these particular driver mutations.
This joint project integrated a pioneering new gene-editing technique developed by the Christiana Care Gene Editing Institute into NevellusDX's cancer diagnostic process. It led NovellusDx to identify a specific drug as a candidate to treat various types of cancer.
In June 2020, Novellus signed an exclusive licensing agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company to develop their compounds further to identify hyper-specific biomarkers and match them with the right cancer patients.
Upcoming: First Annual U.S.-Israel Energy Center Event - April 6, 2021 (tentative)
BIRD will be hosting the first U.S.-Israel Energy Center annual event on April 6 (tentative) at 11:30 am – 1:00 pm (EST)/8:30 am – 10 am (PST)/18:30 – 20:00 (Israel). At this year’s event, which will be held virtually, the Energy Cyber winner is expected to be announced. There will also be a presentation on the progress of the three consortia currently working on the topics of Fossil Energy, Energy Storage and Energy-Water Nexus. Senior officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Israeli Ministry of Energy and the Israel Innovation Authority will make welcoming remarks. More information and an invitation with the final date and registration link will be sent in the next few weeks. 
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