Newsletter - October 2014



  Dr. Eitan Yudilevich
Executive Director


BIRD's Challenges

In a recent interview, I was asked what challenges I see for the BIRD Foundation in the future. It's a good and relevant question.


To answer it, we need to take a look at two different points of view.

From the Israeli point of view, the goal is to support the continued development and growth of Israel’s technology sector, which faces increased global competition.  Leaders everywhere understand the power of innovation as a growth engine. Governments are seeking ways to build innovation hubs and attract investors to tap into their local talent. Many of them visit Israel to study the hi-tech ecosystem and the roots of its achievements. Hi-tech and medium hi-tech industries have become a significant driver of the Israeli economy (together they amount to ~$37B of industrial exports in 2013, ~80% of the total industrial exports). However, sustained growth is not assured. 
There is tough competition, first for investments and second, for the markets. In between, there is additional competition: for partnerships with well established companies which can themselves become investors and/or help a start-up acquire market share.


From the U.S. point of view, we can define two different goals. One is to support well established U.S. companies in their constant pursuit of innovation to gain competitive advantage. The other - no less important goal - is to help small and medium size U.S. companies, including start-ups, to access Israeli innovation. The former is a traditional BIRD objective, since its creation. The latter is a relatively new objective and is in-sync with the U.S. Government’s policy to support entrepreneurship ("Startup America"). It has become possible and significant, due to the relative maturity of the Israeli technology sector, which enables successful partnerships between U.S. young companies and Israeli companies. In addition, a U.S. company can access export markets, following a successful R&D project with an Israeli company.

To address this objective, The BIRD Foundation is organizing a seminar in Israel on December 17, 2014, “Capitalizing Global R&D Collaborations,” that will focus on ways and methods to create global partnerships and will share the experience of Israeli companies and multinational companies who are active in creating these partnerships.

In order to successfully continue fulfilling our mission of supporting joint R&D for mutual benefit, we must understand very well the needs of our customers: Israeli and U.S. companies, which most certainly include R&D collaboration as part of their business strategies. We must be alert to new technology trends and developments. We must manage our resources effectively and we must work to increase our funding capability to support more collaboration.


These are our main challenges, derived directly from our mission and its application to present times.
Eitan Yudilevich, Ph.D.
Executive Director

 Latest Investments

BIRD to invest $9 million in 11 new projects
The approved projects involve innovations in the areas of 3D Printing, Agro-technology, Information Security, Homeland Security and others
During its meeting on June 26, 2014, held in Washington D.C., the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, approved $8.9 million in funding for eleven new projects between Israeli and American companies. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of all projects to approximately $25 million.


Click here to read the whole article



 Spotlight on BIRD Projects


eyeSight Mobile Technologies and TriLumina Corp Begin Joint Product Development of a Smart Illumination Gesture Control System

  The grant funds the development of an integrated system utilizing eyeSight’s industry leading gesture recognition solutions and TriLumina’s revolutionary smart laser illumination technologies to considerably enhance gesture control capabilities on mobiles, computers, televisions and other devices. TriLumina will integrate its arrayed IR illumination solution while eyeSight will develop an integrated smart system to control environmental illumination.
Gideon Shmuel, CEO of eyeSight commented on the BIRD Foundation project – “The collaboration between eyeSight and TriLumina will make possible the most power efficient Natural User Interface solution that works just as well in dark rooms as it does under direct sun light. This innovation will fill a significant void in these evolving and fast growing markets for gesture control, sensing and machine vision.”

Under the grant, TriLumina will leverage its smart IR laser illumination technology with eyeSight’s industry leading image processing technology to implement an integrated solution to enhance gesture recognition and image processing in dark and low light environments. No other integrated solution is available, particularly for the size and power efficiencies offered.
Click here to read the full article

CliniWorks Forms a Strategic Alliance with Pfizer to Develop a Population Health Management Platform with Advanced Analytics and Patient Care Capabilities

  CliniWorks announced a strategic alliance between its Israeli subsidiary CliniWorks (Israel) Ltd. and Pfizer Inc. The two companies are partnering to develop a population health management platform solution that leverages CliniWorks’ technologies in disparate data aggregation and Natural Language Processing (which interprets free text information) of de-identified healthcare data and Pfizer’s scientific, clinical and disease expertise. This platform will aim to enable large medical groups and integrated delivery system institutions to deliver near real-time and more efficient and effective quality healthcare, as well improve patient engagement or activation, reaching the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Triple Aim. The development work will be partially supported by a grant received by CliniWorks and Pfizer from the BIRD Foundation.   

 Click here to read the full article


BIRD Grantee Simbionix, the global leader in 3D virtual reality surgical simulation and training, will be acquired by 3D Systems for $120 million. Simbionix (Israel) and Health Professions Conferencing Co. (Florida) received a BIRDF grant in 2010 to develop a simulation module for laparoscopic hysterectomy.


3D Systems  announced the addition of the Simbionix RobotiX Mentor™, a new robotic surgery skills and procedural training simulator. The simulator is integrated into 3DS' online curricula management system, MentorLearn™, to help programs incorporate the simulator and unique procedure modules into the robotic curriculum. 

"We expect that the future direction of integrating simulation based training and curriculum will expand," said Ran Bronstein, Vice President, Chief Research and Operations Officer, 3DS.  "We will continue to work in collaboration with institutions and associations to fulfill training and operative needs for complex surgical procedures based on our new simulation and 3D printing technologies."

Click here to read the full article

 2014 Israeli Cyber Security Delegation

The BIRD Foundation together with the Economic Mission in Chicago, NY and the New England Israel Business Council led the 2014 Israeli cyber security delegation to the U.S. September 8th-12th. Fourteen leading Israeli cyber security companies were selected to travel to the U.S. and present their solutions in cyber and data security to industry stakeholders, executives and investors in Chicago, Boston and NYC.

With no time for jet lag, the companies presented and met one on one with CSOs, CISOs and other executives from key verticals including banking, finance, healthcare, insurance, IT, manufacturing and critical infrastructure. State Farm, Motorola Mobility, Enova, Discover, Akamai, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, State Street Partners, Cognizant, Citi, Lockheed Martin, and JP Morgan were just a few of the participating companies.The feedback from the Israeli companies has been overwhelmingly positive and we are looking forward to continuing our support for partnerships between U.S. and Israeli companies in cyber security

This was certainly a team effort. We thank our partners for their hard work and dedication in helping to make this delegation a success.

Save the Date!

December 17, 2014: Capitalizing on Global R&D collaboration - Azrieli Center, Tel Aviv

In the current global economy, both young and established companies must establish international collaborations in order to develop new innovations and implement them into the marketplace. 

The half-day seminar, organized by the BIRD Foundation, will focus on ways and methods to create global partnerships and share the experience of Israeli companies and global multinational companies who are active in creating these partnerships.

For registration and additional information, contact

 Upcoming Events


October 9, 2014: BIRD Funding Seminar at the Ohio Innovation Summit

Featuring: BIRD Recipients CVG/Silentium
University of Dayton Research Institute, 1700 S. Patterson Blvd, Dayton, OH

October 13-14, 2014: BIRD Funding Presentation  The Future of Life Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

October 22, 2014: BIRD Presentation
Akron Global Water Alliance (AGWA), Akron

October 27-28, 2014: BIRD Funding Presentation at Israel Technology Conference, Philadelphia, PA

October 28, 2014: BIRD Funding Presentation at the Merage Institute, Irvine, CA

October 29, 2014: BIRD participation at IMPACT 2014 Venture Conference, Philadelphia, PA

November 4,5, 2014: BIRD Energy Executive Committee & Dinner Reception, Jerusalem& Herzliya Pituach

December 7-9, 2014: “Internet of Things: Advancing Energy Efficiency” - A panel discussion organized by the BIRD Foundation at Eilat Eilot Green Energy Conference, December 9, 2014, at 11:40 am

December 17, 2014:
 Capitalizing on Global R&D collaboration, Tel-Aviv

For additional information, please contact Andrea Yonah - Tel: (609) 356-0305

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