Breakfast Bio State Economic Development

U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation Hosted a Breakfast at BIO Global Convention to Announce a New R&D Cooperative Agreement with the State of Massachusetts

June 2011

The USISTF hosted its second annual U.S.-Israel Biotechnology Breakfast at the BIO Global Convention to share the details of a collaboration framework for a research and development (R&D) Cooperation Agreement between Israel and the State of Massachusetts. This Agreement, known as the Massachusetts Israel Innovation Partnership, is designed to facilitate MA-Israel innovation cooperation across a range of fields including biotechnology, renewable energy and information technology. The first RFP announced within the partnership program focuses on biotechnology cooperation between Israeli companies and Massachusetts companies managed by the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC).

The program included keynote addresses from distinguished speakers:

  • Gov. Deval Patrick, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Mr. John Fernandez, U.S. Department of Commerce, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
  • Chief Scientist, Mr. Avi Hasson, Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor

Each distinguished speaker shared his perspective on ways that unique initiatives such as these can serve as models for further cooperation and can spark new innovation that will drive economic growth in the United States. In particular, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said, “We have made a significant commitment to ensure the long-term success of life sciences in Massachusetts by exploring growth opportunities and common interests within the Commonwealth’s and Israel’s innovation-based industries.” He continued to note that “this Agreement seeks to promote research collaborations, industrial partnerships, and collaborative investment in early-stage technologies, with the objectives to strengthen economic ties to our partners in Israel and help support job growth.”

The breakfast which debuted this new type of R&D Framework Agreement, sparked discussion among policy leaders and explored the ways Israeli biotechnology can help drive U.S. State Economic Development and the ways that other countries might utilize similar models for cooperation with the United States. It proposes a flexible framework of parallel funding for each participating company, having its R&D expenses supported by its own State according to its respective internal laws, regulations, rules and procedures. It will also help expedite and enhance development cycles, reduce risks associated with R&D projects, and promote mutually beneficial business-to-business cooperation. The R&D Cooperation Agreement is unique as it serves as a model to leverage existing R&D funds within U.S. States and funds residing with international partners to advance innovative research.

Panelists from the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program all shared their vision for international science cooperation and investment as a vehicle to drive economic growth. They also discussed how this program can be implemented in other regions and countries to achieve economic development and scientific goals.

Panelists Included:

  • David Miron-Wapner, Director, U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Commission
  • Susan Windham-Bannister, President Massachusetts Life Science Center
  • Aaron Brickman, Deputy Executive Director, SelectUSA