BIRD Foundation Newsletter

September 2018
Executive Director's Message

Collaboration for innovation has become a relatively standard approach to expedite a go-to-market strategy, reduce risk and increase profitability. Technology companies worldwide seek partnerships to tap into complementary capabilities, penetrate markets and for other reasons.

The process of pursuing a partnership can be very challenging. Large corporations develop methodologies and internal procedures to evaluate and make decisions about potential alliances. 
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Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D. 
Executive Director
New Project Approvals Announced  

BIRD’s Board of Governors approved $6.3 million for the funding of seven new projects on
June 12, 2018. Projects included emerging sectors such as advanced manufacturing, drones and construction tech. The Board of Governors meeting was followed by a reception held at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. For companies and projects approved, see Press Release.
Board members and BIRD Foundation executives at BIRD's Reception at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.
BIRD NextGen
First Responders/HLS Approves Two Projects in Third Annual Cycle

BIRD announced the recipients of its third annual NextGen First Responders/HLS cycle on July 31, 2018. Two projects, each consisting of a U.S. and an Israeli company, received approval for an investment of $2 million. One project focuses on a search and rescue system using drones and the other on an emergency radio system for use in high-rise buildings.For company names and other details, see Press Release.
BIRD Foundation Seeks to Promote Collaborations in Construction Tech
The BIRD Foundation has recently been following new developments in Construction Tech. Construction Tech, itself, is not an industry but a process that is part of many industries. There is great potential for U.S.-Israel collaboration in Construction Tech related fields such as Robotics, Materials, AI, AR, Energy, Drones, 3D Imaging, Computer Vision, Big Data, 3D Printing, Data Analytics, Smart Cities and more.
As part of BIRD’s efforts to promote projects in this sector, Tal Kelem, Director of Business Development, participated in the investments panel at the largest U.S. Construction Tech conference – ENR FutureTech, which was held in San Francisco on June 4, 2018. Tal emphasized the potential for cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in this sector, offering the opportunity to receive funding of up to $1 million per project. Along with Tal on the panel were Darren Bechtel, Founder and Managing Director of Brick & Mortar Ventures and Gonzalo Galindo, Head of CEMEX Ventures.
U.S. and Israeli companies interested in joint Construction Tech projects are encouraged to contact
Mr. Kelem at: 
Spotlight on BIRD Project:  ECOncrete & Besser Company

Kevin Curtis, Besser Company President and CEO, together with Dr. Ido Sella, Co-Founder and CTO of ECOncrete delivered the keynote address at the BIRD reception on June 12th at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. The project between Besser Company and ECOncrete was approved in December 2015 to develop and manufacture an environmentally sensitive “green” concrete reef design. The concrete masonry product is now being deployed around the world to support erosion control, coastal restoration, bio-diversity and shoreline marine life.

An example of a BIRD funded project that exemplifies positive social impact, this product looks to reduce the ecological footprint of urban and coastal infrastructure and mitigate the impact of climate change. 
New Project Approved to Advance Crop Abiotic Stress Detection & Prevention between Advanced Microbial Solutions, LLC dba Agricen & A.A.A Taranis Ltd. (“Taranis”)
In December 2017, Taranis, a leading Israeli precision agriculture company and Texas-based Agricen, an industry leader in plant health technology, were awarded a grant from the BIRD Foundation to develop a new precision agriculture system to detect and prevent physical stress factors on plants like drought, salinity, extreme temperatures and nutrient deficiency. The companies will use deep learning algorithms and field imaging technology to assess and predict plant stress in order to mitigate its impact and maximize crop yields for millions of acres of farmland worldwide. See the full article.
Drought stress in corn: Symptoms of drought stress (areas inside red boxes) identified in corn using the Taranis platform
Summit to promote BIRD NextGen First Responders/HLS to be held in Atlanta, GA on November 8, 2018
BIRD’s fourth annual summit to promote the NextGen/HLS First Responders initiative will be held on November 8, 2018 in Atlanta, GA. The event is being hosted by CONEXX (America Israel Business Connector) in cooperation with the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE), and the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeastern U.S. in Atlanta.
The summit will focus on exploring opportunities for U.S.-Israel technology partnerships to advance innovations for first responders and homeland security in the public and private sectors.
Speakers and participants will include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Local First Responders Group (FRG) agencies, U.S. and Israeli companies and integrators, as well as utilities, transportation centers and other key sites requiring technology to protect critical infrastructure.
Funding of up to $1M per project is available for technology collaborations between U.S. and Israeli companies and eligible entities through the BIRD Foundation. This funding opportunity will be discussed along with presentations by past grantees.

Israeli and U.S. companies interested in participating and pitching their companies and technologies at the summit should contact: Andrea Yonah, BIRD Foundation, East Coast/Midwest,
The following are the deadlines for BIRD’s next general cycle including all technology sectors:
Executive Summaries: September 13, 2018
Full Proposals: October 16, 2018
Decisions: December, 2018
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