Boston Business Journal: Massachusetts, Israel ink science deal

Boston Business Journal: Massachusetts, Israel ink science deal

June 2011

Three state agencies will put up a combined $1 million for Massachusetts companies that collaborate with Israeli companies in clean technology or life sciences — and an Israeli office will provide $1 million to fund similar efforts — officials from the two countries announced Wednesday.

The pact, called the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership, was announced by Gov. Deval Patrick and a representative of Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist in Washington at the annual convention BIO. It will take effect once approved by legislators in Israel.

The Massachusetts agencies participating are the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

The deal is the first of its kind involving a U.S. state, the Life Sciences Center said in a prepared statement.

“Today we have made a significant commitment to the long-term success of our economy,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in prepared remarks. “This agreement will promote research collaborations, industrial partnerships and commercialization of new technologies, expanding opportunity and job growth both in Massachusetts and in Israel.”

To get funding, companies in Massachusetts and Israel will have to simultaneously file requests with agencies in their home countries.

“This agreement serves as another example of the Office of Chief Scientist’s mission to implement programs that establish Israel as a hub of hi-tech industry,” said Chief Scientist Avi Hasson of the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor in a prepared statement. “We will continue to build international partnerships like the one with Massachusetts that enable Israeli and international companies to engage in joint technology development projects that drive economic growth.”

According to Massachusetts’ statistics, there are about 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies operating Massachusetts. In 2009, they employed 6,000 workers in the state.

Also according to Massachusetts’ data, Israel has 377 hospitals and 37,000 practicing physicians.