Last Thursday evening at the Max M. Fisher building in Bloomfield Township, an opportunity was expanded for those companies interested in leveraging their ideas into action within the metro Detroit community.
Limor Nakar-Vincent, Director of U.S. Business Development & BIRD Energy came to speak at a Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) networking event. She spoke about connections made between the BIRD Foundation and willing partners interested in research and development between U.S. and Israeli companies. Before elaborating on the opportunity, let’s take a step back and describe these two organizations that are expanding business opportunities throughout Michigan.
BIRD is the Word
BIRD stands for Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development. The Israeli foundations’ mission supports industrial research and development and promotes such development for the benefit of both the United States and Israel. The organizations’ interest lies in assisting both established startups and existing corporations in high tech industries. There is a 35 year success story with the BIRD Foundations’ activities of matching services between U.S. and Israeli companies in the R & D field with BIRD taking no equity in their activities. More than 800 projects have been reviewed with approximately 30% of the projects being commercialized.
Funding is provided by BIRD for up to 50 percent of project development and product commercialization costs. BIRD concentrates in the following business sectors: Communications, Life Sciences, Electronics, Homeland Security, Software along with Renewable and Alternative Energy. The purpose of Ms. Nakar-Vincents’ visit was to explore additional opportunities between this very successful foundation and the MIBB, a newer organization also designed to ramp up business between Israeli and American companies. Having followed the Michigan Israel Business Bridge since its inception, I know they are up to the task for the BIRD Foundation to spread its wings in Michigan and follow-up with more success stories. And the MIBB is the perfect partner for this enhanced cooperation to take hold.
MIBB expands its Mission through promoting BIRD funding
The mission of the Michigan Israel Business Bridge is to facilitate business and investment collaboration between Israeli and Michigan companies. MIBB fosters and supports new Israeli businesses coming to Michigan and helps open up new markets in Israel and elsewhere for Michigan companies to compete, grow and succeed. With its skilled engineering and work force, state of the art manufacturing facilities, the worlds’ largest reserves of freshwater and top notch universities, Michigan is poised to lead the world into the new economy. What better partner to have than cutting edge Israeli companies supporting and expanding local company’s products and services through Michigans’ workforce, research universities and existing infrastructure to support the new economy. With Israel being a world leader in technology, innovation and also having a well-diversified manufacturing base with some of the largest tech companies in the world conducting research in their country, Israel becomes a perfect partner to forge ahead with new products and services in markets across the globe.
A Focus on Significant Business Growth Sectors for the Future
We hear the “growth sector” conversation from L. Brooks Patterson, Governor Snyder, Automation Alley, MEDC and a host of other economic development entities and politicians. Not because its hip, but because these growth sectors are leading the way for up and coming companies to gain a foothold in the “new economy”. Israel has literally thousands of companies focusing on major growth areas, including: life sciences, homeland security, alternative energy, water technology, medical devices, etc. With more U.S. companies focusing on these same growth areas, a unique opportunity becomes available for first generation collaboration linking startup and established companies with the expertise and high tech know-how emanating from Israel. Furthermore, the fact that Israel has preferred trade status with the United States makes it a natural global partner for Michigan companies looking to expand their markets.
Back to the Future
More collaboration between these two organizations and interested companies will beget more jobs, growth and success both here in Michigan and Israel. That’s why events like the one on September 6thwith BIRD and MIBB set the stage for even stronger business relationships between Israeli and Michigan companies in the future. Keep an eye on these two organizations here in Michigan and learn more about both organizations by checking out their websites: http://michiganisrael.com ; www.birdf.com.
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of Green Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He also is senior editor at www.GreeningDetroit.com. Bob speaks, writes and blogs about emerging green real estate issues in Michigan and elsewhere. For more information, contact Bob at Armada Real Estate (248) 855-1221; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org