Globes: Chief Scientist, Massachusetts sign joint ventures deal

Globes: Chief Scientist, Massachusetts sign joint ventures deal

August 2011

The Office of the Chief Scientist and Massachusetts have signed an agreement to encourage collaboration between Israeli and Massachusetts high-tech, life sciences, and clean tech companies. The Chief Scientist and three Massachusetts agencies –Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) – will finance the joint ventures in equal shares, each in its respective field. The centers will publish calls for papers for ventures, which the Office of the Chief Scientist will coordinate in Israel.

The budget for the first call for papers is $2 million, but may be increased.

In June, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, and theUS Israel Science Technology Foundation (USISTF) launched the Massachusetts Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP). Massachusetts also set up a trade office in Israel, run by Hadas Bar Or, formerly a manager of Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) and a senior researcher in the Research Department of the Bank of Israel.

Massachusetts is one of the high-tech centers of the US, and many Israeli researchers go the state’s universities and often join companies there.

The USISTF said that 100 companies in the Boston area were founded by Israelis or are based on Israeli technologies. In 2009, these companies generated $2.4 billion in revenue and 6,000 jobs. The figures are sometimes cited as examples of Israel’s brain drain, but in this case they are presented as a foundation for collaboration.