Worcester Business Journal: Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership

Worcester Business Journal: Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership

July 2011


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Israel have launched a $2 million effort to encourage collaborations between their life sciences, clean energy and technology industries.

How can companies take part in the effort?

Massachusetts and Israeli agencies will issue a request for proposals seeking research and development collaborations between Massachusetts and Israeli companies.

Where does the money come from?

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will provide a total of nearly $1 million for Massachusetts companies that are part of a cooperative effort. Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist will contribute another $1 million to the Israeli partner companies.

How did the partnership come about?

It started with Gov. Deval Patrick’s Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission to the United Kingdom and Israel, which included a number of industry leaders from Massachusetts.

Patrick signed a memorandum of understanding with Shalom Simhon, Israel’s minister of industry, trade and labor, to encourage joint efforts.

Why Israel? Why Massachusetts?

In a statement from the governor’s office, Patrick Larkin, director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute, said Israeli and Massachusetts companies share many areas of focus in fields like cybersecurity, social media and digital health care management.

How connected are Israel and Massachusetts now?

According to the governor’s office there are almost 100 companies in Massachusetts with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies. Massachusetts companies exported more than $180 million in goods to Israel in 2009.

Are there any other aspects to the partnership?

Massachusetts has hired a new trade representative to Israel, Hadas Bar-Or. Patrick said Bar-Or, an international economic development expert, will be responsible for increasing trade, investment and partnerships with Israel.