USISTF publicizes findings of 2013 US-Israel Innovation Index in New York City at Consul General’s residence

The U.S.-Israel BioEnergy Challenge: Establishing a Binational Collaboration in Bioenergy

April 2013


The U.S.-Israel BioEnergy Challenge is a collaborative effort between the United States and Israel, and consortia of U.S. and Israeli companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies and research institutions. This initiative will competitively select and create U.S.-based partnerships for research, development and commercialization of biofuels. The BioEnergy Challenge will leverage existing R&D budgets in the U.S. and Israel, with U.S. firms and researchers competing for U.S. funding and Israeli firms and researchers competing for funding under Israel’s Magnet program.  This program is designed to catalyze partnerships among industrial firms, universities and consortia in the United States and Israel to develop and commercialize new biofuels technologies that will lead to greater energy security, economic growth, and job creation in the near term.

Lead Sponsors:  The Israel Energy Partnership (TIEP) is a (501) (c)(3) founded following enactment of the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Program. TIEP has worked since 2009 to build a consortium of institutions within Israel ready to share their intellectual property and work in collaboration with U.S. partners. To establish this consortium, TIEP visited Israel three times to hold meetings with more than 40 energy researchers, energy entrepreneurs, and Israeli government officials.

The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce and Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor with a mission of promoting economic growth through innovation. USISTF carries out its mission by promoting mutually beneficial hands-on R&D partnerships among U.S. and Israeli firms, researchers and thought leaders. USISTF also produces the U.S.-Israel Innovation Index, which benchmarks the U.S.-Israel innovation relationship against similar relationships between the United States and eight other countries. Through these efforts, USISTF has strengthened alliances between U.S. and Israeli research, business and policy communities to drive future economic growth and job creation in both countries.

Program Steering Committee:

The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF) and the Israel Energy Partnership (TIEP) are working with the following offices to guide and direct the project:

·         The White House

·         Israel Prime Minister’s Office

·         U.S. Department of Agriculture, Institute of Food and Agriculture

·         Department of Energy, Office of Science

·         U.S. Navy

·         Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation

·         Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor

·         MATIMOP (Israel Industrial International R&D Outreach Agency)

Program Kick-Off April 17-24, 2013

A delegation from Israel will be visiting the United States from April 17-24 to jump-start the establishment of the collaboration. To create serious opportunities for collaboration on projects of the greatest interest to the United States, the Israeli delegation was chosen through a competitive process. Based on formal submissions, Israel’s Ministry of Trade and Industry made initial selections, and then DOE, USDA, the Navy and the FAA participated in making final selections.  When the Israeli delegation arrives in the U.S. they will be meeting in Washington with an impressive list of nearly all of the program managers and top scientific staff at those U.S. agencies (BER, EERE, NIFA, ARS, etc.) and with leaders at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference.   They then will be traveling to the National Labs at Oak Ridge, TN and Emeryville, CA where they will engage in in-depth conversations with their counterparts there regarding potential research collaboration.

Next Steps:

Assuming these visits are a success, the project sponsors plan to develop an appropriate model structure to support ongoing collaboration between the U.S. and Israel. One model to be considered is the “Magnet” program of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. Another model is the Techcomm Model of the Center for Innovation in Arlington Texas (a USDA industrial partner). The model must allow for legally sharing Intellectual Property rights, provide potential mechanisms for competitive funding, and provide for efficient and effective research collaboration.

USISTF Co-Organized UAS Trade Mission to Israel: November 11-16, 2012

November 2012

Airlift, The U.S. Commercial Service and The U.S.-Israel Science Technology Foundation have jointly co-organized an international trade mission focused on Israel’s unmanned systems industry.
TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Airlift, The U.S. Commercial Service and The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation have jointly organized an international trade mission to bring business leaders and researchers to Israel to show the country’s emerging leadership role in the unmanned systems (UAS) sector. The mission is taking place November 11-16, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Jaffa.


UAS technology was originally developed for military applications but recently it has proven to be useful in oil and gas exploration, commercial aerial surveillance, and remote sensing. As a result, UAS technology has become an important area of research to many companies doing research and development in those spaces. And Israel’s cutting edge work in the UAS sector makes it an ideal location for this particular trade mission.


The five day mission includes site visits to leading Israeli UAS companies including: Elbit Systems/Elop, G-NIUS, Urban Aeronautics, Gilat, Simlat, Steadicopter, Sky Sapience and Blue Bird. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with executive staff and leading researchers from those companies to discuss their current UAS programs and goals.


Trade mission participants include representatives of companies throughout Europe, Asia, South America and North America including six American companies. An international business forum scheduled during the trade mission will give these companies an opportunity to give a short presentation on their organization’s technologies, products and services.


Co-organizers Ann Liebschutz, Marc-Philippe Rudel and Irit Van der Veur agree that the 2012 UAS Trade Mission is a great example of how business relationships and knowledge transfer can result in mutual economic benefits and increased innovation when companies and countries come together with similar technological interests.


For more information please contact: U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation Executive Director, Ann Liebschutz

Contact: Ann Liebschutz
Tel. 202/204-3102

USISTF, the BIRD Foundation and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation Partner Host the 2012 U.S. – Israel Neurotechnology and Neuroscience Conference

September 2012

Event to showcase the latest research and cutting-edge technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The United States-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF), the Israel – U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), and the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation(BSF) announced today the plenary session speakers and program agenda for the2012 U.S.-Israel Neurotechnology and Neuroscience Conference. The conference will bring together leading scientists from academia and industry to highlight recent developments in the study of brain function and brain disorders. The event is scheduled for September 12 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C.


“From developmental disorders to psychiatric diseases, and age-related concerns such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s, the brain is susceptible to some of the most serious health problems affecting our society,” said Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director at USISTF. “This conference reinforces USISTF’s strong commitment to discovering new methods to prevent or treat neurological disorders.”


The 2012 U.S.-Israel Neurotechnology and Neuroscience Conference will feature leading experts in the field of neurology, who will share recent breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders and how bi-national cooperation plays a key role in advancing brain research. Plenary session speakers for the conference include:


  • The Honorable Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Representative for Rhode Island’s 1st congressional district
  • The Honorable Michael B. Oren, Israeli ambassador to the U.S.
  • Dr. Steven Hyman, Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • Colonel Geoffrey LingM.D., Ph.D., Defense Sciences Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Dr. Jeffrey S. Nye, MD, PhD, VP and Global Head, Neuroscience External Innovation,
    Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of J&J
  • Mr. Zack Lynch, Executive Director at the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO).


“Research of the human brain requires a multi-disciplinary approach from physicians, biologists, physicists, mathematicians, experts in computer science, engineers, and others,” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director at the BIRD Foundation. “At this conference, researchers and industry professionals from the U.S. and Israel will present new innovations, creating opportunities for collaborations and investments that will bring about groundbreaking research and treatments.”


The program’s agenda will provide attendees with insight to new methods and more accurate diagnostics for neurological research, focusing on: Memory and Brain Training, Brain Computing and Brain Machine Interface, Trauma and Stroke, Post Traumatic Stress and Recovery, Brain Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases.


“Brain research is an area which has gained great momentum in the last several years and Israel is among the leaders of this exciting field, and among the very few countries that have reached the commercialization of its academic neurological and brain research,” said Dr. Yair Rotstein, Executive Director at BSF.

Registration is open, but attendance is limited. For more information or to register for 2012 U.S.-Israel Neurotechnology and Neuroscience Conference, please visit:


For questions, please contact Ms. Ann Liebschutz at (202) 204-3102 or ann@usistf.orgor Ms. Andrea Yonah, at the BIRD Foundation, at (609) 356-0305.


The United States-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF) is a Washington-based non-profit organization established in 1995, that promotes mutually beneficial business collaboration between the US and Israel in the advancement of science and technology. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the US and Israel economic relationship in the global marketplace through the integration of science and technology and also to serve as a model for future international collaborative efforts.


About the BIRD Foundation
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in the various areas of technology, and provides free assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products.


The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. The financial assistance is repaid as royalties from sales. The Foundation provides support of up to 50% of a project’s budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not demand that the investment be repaid if the project fails to reach the sales stage.


The BIRD Foundation works in full cooperation with the Chief Scientist’s Office at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor in Israel, and with the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


About the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation 
The U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) promotes scientific relations between the U.S. and Israel by supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes. Founded in 1972 by an agreement between the United States and Israel, the BSF has awarded some $480 million to over 4,000 research projects of the highest quality. Many of these have led to important scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs with wide-ranging practical applications. The BSF is a highly regarded funding source among researchers in both countries and scientists participating in BSF programs have won prestigious awards such as the Nobel, Lasker, and Wolf prizes.

U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation Executive Director Participates in Conversation on Export Controls

May 2012

Washington, DC – On May 9, 2012, USISTF Executive Director Ann Liebschutz participated in a panel titled a “Conversation on Export Controls” hosted by the AIAA in the Rayburn House Office Building for industry and policy leaders. The panel—comprised of representatives of international aerospace corporations, leading research laboratories, and U.S. government agencies—focused on current International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and their impact, both perceived and actual, on the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space industry. The general goals of export controls such as ITAR are to control access to dual use space technology. The panel also discussed the Departments of Defense and State Report to Congress on Section 1248 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which stimulated a robust discussion of how ITAR currently affects U.S. commercial space industry competitiveness. The panel was moderated by James D. Rendleman, Chair, AIAA Technical Committee on Legal Aspects of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The export controls currently applicable to the U.S. aerospace industry were designed in a Cold War context, when the United States was the primary innovator and exporter of aerospace technology. In 2012, however, numerous countries are developing their own civilian aerospace and aeronautical technologies.

USISTF Executive Director Ann Liebschutz said, “The objectives and end goals of ITAR are important and should not be diluted. We must achieve those goals while our laws and enforcement mechanisms keep pace with the global nature of today’s technology development.”


The U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF), is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded by a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor with a mission of strengthening the scientific and R&D relationship of the U.S. and Israel to promote economic growth through innovation. USISTF convenes U.S.-Israel scientific and industry conferences produces policy strategy and facilitates R&D framework programs that enable joint research activities.

International Science Workshop: Bioinformatics in Personalized Medicine

February 2012

The U.S-Israel Science and Technology Foundation, in partnership with the Florida International University, the Technion, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, convened an international science workshop focusing on knowledge mining and bioinformatics tools to advance personalized diagnostics and therapeutics with the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation on February 4th and 5th in Florence, Italy. The workshop scientific steering committee includes Dr. Naphtali Rishe, Dr. Yelena Yesha and Dr. Eddy Karnieli. The workshop was facilitated by Ron Ribitzky.

The workshop was very successful and included an interdisciplinary group of 40 computer scientists and clinicians representing the United States, Israel, Canada, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany. We held four scientific sessions focusing on the policy implications of implementing personalized diagnostics and therapeutics based on big data analysis, the technological challenges facing computer scientists and doctors in creating useable systems, the challenges in utilizing big data analysis to predict future health outcomes and the needs of clinicians for utilizing big data in their practices.

The workshop concluded with a long session analyzing and linking the outcomes of our scientific panels to develop a proceeding which fleshes out the conclusions of the mixed computer scientist/clinician group about the future of developing diagnostics and therapeutics. In general, the interdisciplinary group concluded the personalized diagnostics and therapeutics, based on ‘big data’ analysis that includes patient genomic data combined with natural health history and cohort data will revolutionize the ways that clinicians are able to diagnose and treat patients. In order to reach that point, policies must be in place that incentivize the use of these personalized diagnostics by clinicians, computer software must be designed that not only integrates all the available data but that makes it useable to clinical experts and finally that training of doctors will be key to making this a reality.

Moving forward, our next steps will be to write, disseminate and deliver the scientific proceedings of the workshop to the National Science Foundation and broader community, including potentially presenting our results at future international medical and technology conferences. In the longer term, the scientific steering committee, will be developing a Springer Verlag Notes in Computer Science publication fully developing the results of our work in Florence.

U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation Presents U.S.-Israel Innovation Index at the U.S. Department of State

February 2012

On February 29, 2012 the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF) presented the U.S.-Israel Innovation Index (USI3) at the U.S. Department of State. The group included professionals representing the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Commerce and National Academies of Sciences professionals working on issues of science and technology cooperation, intellectual property protection, innovation policy studies and export promotion. This important meeting brought together policy makers and senior thought leaders to discuss the ways that the USI3 can be used as a model to measure, track, evaluate and benchmark innovation relationships between other countries.

This group of policy makers emphasized the usefulness of the USI3 for helping them to understand the outcomes of not only U.S. scientific relationships with other countries, but also in terms of the outcomes of various U.S. IP, investment and free trade agreements. The USI3’s distinction from other indexes is that it tracks and benchmarks relationships rather than benchmarking and scoring countries against one another. The USI3 utilizes qualitative and quantitative indicators that explore the human capital, government, private sector and R&D relationships of the United States.

When USISTF produced the USI3, our goal was not only to help industry and policy makers in the U.S. and Israel understand the strengths and opportunities in the U.S.-Israel innovation relationship, but also to create a model for evaluating global innovation relationships. The USISTF looks forward to expanding the number of countries included in the 2012 publication.

U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation and U.S. Commercial Service Organize Commercial Space Trade Mission to Israel in January 2012

January 2012


U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation and U.S. Commercial Service Organize Commercial Space Trade Mission to Israel in January 2012


As the Governments of the United States and Israel shift their policy vision to building robust commercial space industries, the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF) is facilitating the cooperation between U.S. and Israeli industry that will help make that vision a reality.


Israel Space 2012, which took place from January 28th  – February 3rd 2012, organized by USISTF in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service and the Airlift Company brought U.S. and European commercial space companies to Israel to see first-hand next generation technologies being developed by innovative Israeli companies to develop new business partnerships.  Companies attended an international business forum, organized by USISTF that highlighted U.S. and Israel government space programs and the opportunities their new emphases on private sector capabilities open for new joint activities.

The international delegation included Virgin Galactic, the Ohio Department of Development, Optimax Systems,  Sierra Nevada Corporation, Gomspace, EaDs Astrium, Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Aldershof, Evoleo Technologies and Ruag Space.  Participating Israeli companies included Accubeat, BAE Systems Rokar, Boeing, Cyclone, Elop, IAI, Kanfit, Rafael, Satlink and Spacecom.

Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation says, “our program, which will drew together innovative U.S. and Israeli commercial space companies offers an opportunity to showcase the technology and services that each had to offer but also aims to move beyond conversations by working to create working consortia of U.S. and Israeli scientists to jointly to provide the commercial space solutions of tomorrow.”

The U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF) is a Washington, DC based 501c3 non-profit organization founded by a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor with a mission of strengthening the scientific and R&D relationship of the U.S. and Israel to promote economic growth through innovation. USISTF convenes U.S.-Israel scientific and industry conferences, produces policy strategies and facilitates R&D framework programs that enable joint research activities.

For more information, please contact Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director, U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation.

Launch of 2011 U.S.-Israel Innovation Index

November 2011

The USISTF invites you to join us for the official release of the:

“U.S.-Israel Innovation Index: Comparing International Linkages in Innovation”

The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation is delighted to release the first annual U.S.-Israel Innovation Index (USI3). Utilizing technological, scientific, and economic innovation indicators such as co-patents, cross-listed companies on national stock exchanges and cross border business investment, the USI3 illustrates the impact of international cooperation on innovation around the world. The Index benchmarks the innovation relationship between the U.S. and Israel alongside that of the U.S. and Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, Korea, United Arab Emirates and Chile. At this release event, USISTF will present the main findings of the USI3, the results of analysis of three years of data, which will reveal what is effective in international innovation relationships and the state of the U.S. innovation relationship with nine competitive countries.

Date: November 30, 2011

Registration and Light Breakfast: 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Program: 9:00 AM -10:30 AM

Location: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045

Index Presentation and Overview:

Ms. Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director, U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation

Led by Discussant:

The Honorable Phillip Bond, Former President, Tech America and Former Undersecretary of the Technology Administration in the Department of Commerce

Joined by Panelists:

Ms. Tamar Guy, Executive Director, America-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Tel Aviv

Mr. Aaron Brickman, Deputy Executive Director, SelectUSA, U.S. Department of Commerce

Mr. Eli Groner, Minister of Economic Affairs, Embassy of Israel

Ms. Holly Vineyard, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Africa, Middle East and South Asia for the International Trade Administration

To RSVP or for more information about the event or the USI3, please contact Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director, U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation or 202.204.3102.

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