The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has approved funding for two new projects, totaling $1.5 million. The funding will go toward the development of advanced homeland security technologies in the areas of threat detection and 3D mapping.

The BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program is a joint initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) to develop advanced technologies for the homeland security mission.

The 2020 HLS awardees include:

  • Liberty Defense Technologies (Peachtree Corners, Georgia) and Levitection (Haifa, Israel) will develop a detection solution based on electromagnetic imaging and artificial intelligence to detect threats and concealed items in wide-open areas.
  • Hivemapper (Burlingame, California) and Ception Technologies (Jerusalem, Israel) will develop a fused air and ground 3D mapping system.

In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value for the projects to approximately $3 million. Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said, “We are pleased to announce the newly selected BIRD Homeland Security projects that will fulfill critical homeland security needs in both countries. This is the fifth year of the program that was initiated to develop new technologies for first responders, and was expanded to respond to additional needs that will secure public safety.”

Since 2016, DHS S&T and MOPS have been partnering to fund technology collaborations between U.S. and Israeli partners to address Homeland Security needs in both countries. “The 2020 selections reflect DHS S&T’s and MOPS’ important and broad homeland security interest areas,” said Megan Mahle, DHS S&T Industry Partnership Director.

In addition to providing grants for approved projects, the BIRD Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions. The U.S.-Israeli partnerships can be between U.S. and Israeli companies, academia and other research institutions in a wide range of technology sectors.