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BIRD – Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial R&D Foundation to invest $2 million in new projects to foster advanced technologies for First Responders

During its meeting on June 12, 2018 held in Washington, D.C., the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation awarded funding to two homeland security projects, selected by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security (MOPS), between U.S. and Israeli companies to advance technologies for first responders. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of the two projects to approximately $4.5 million.

The program funds technology collaborations between U.S. and Israeli partners that have significant commercial potential to meet the most pressing requirements of first responders. This joint research effort supports the development of Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) technology capabilities that will increase the safety and efficiency of all first responders (law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services).  These research and development efforts will lead to new technologies that ensure first responders are better protected, connected and fully aware.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between U.S. and Israeli companies in various technological fields for the purpose of joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

Projects submitted for consideration are reviewed by representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Israel Innovation Authority and experts from the Israel Ministry of Public Security.

The projects approved include:

  • ELTA Systems (Ashdod, Israel), a group and subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries, and TLC Solutions ( Augustine, FL) will develop an advanced drone mounted search and rescue system for locating victims under ruins and in disaster areas by accurate location of their cellular phones.
  • HiRiseTech (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Allstate Sprinkler Corp. (Bronx, NY)  will develop a first responders emergency radio repeater system for existing high-rise buildings.

About the BIRD Foundation

The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects. BIRD has approved 967 projects over its 41-year history.

The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights in the participating companies or in the projects, themselves. BIRD funding is repaid as royalties from sales of products that were commercialized as a result of BIRD support. The Foundation provides funding 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 require repayment if the project fails to reach the sales stage.

The program discussed above was established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) to promote and fund jointly developed technologies for First Responders