In addition to generating potential business and research relationships for participating Israeli companies, the US-Israel Neurotechnology Business Exchange, held in Charleston, May 6-7, was the scene for an historic announcement of a bilateral agreement to further collaboration in the field of industrial research & development. This agreement between the Government of South Carolina and the Government of Israel will be executed by SCRA and MATIMOP, the Israeli Industry Center for R&D, on behalf of the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Economy, and will create a funding mechanism for joint industrial research and development projects between Israeli and South Carolina companies and universities.
“Israel is a hub of innovation, and, as a state, invests the highest amount in research and development per capita, but we’re lacking in the ability to scale, and that is where this partnership is critical,” said Nili Shalev, Israel’s Economic Minister to North America. SC Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said the agreement is the first of its kind in the Southeast. “When we get enough smart people together, we can make the right things happen. Innovation and incubation are important to Commerce and South Carolina, so hopefully some important business relationships and outcomes will develop from this collaboration.” According to SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney, the applied research and development corporation was glad to be facilitating the collaboration, and expected there to be more positive economic development news to come from the partnership. “I highly expect that we will have a pipeline of talent, Israeli companies that will put their operations in South Carolina,” he said
The 7 participating Israeli nuerotechnology companies participating in the business exchange included Alpha Omega, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, Insightec, Neurotech Solutions, NeuroQuest, TechTransfer Israel, and Vaya Pharma. The conference and matchmaker event was designed to further business and research relationships with US stakeholders and to attract innovative companies to South Carolina. Hosted by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), the event offered a focused opportunity for Israeli companies to present their technologies and meet with leading companies, healthcare institutions and investors in North America with the goal of fostering joint venture R&D, investment, clinical and marketing alliances.
Jonathan Zucker, President of The InterTech Group and Chairman of the South Carolina-Israel Collaboration, said many potential company pairings have been fostered through the Collaboration’s delegations to Israel in 2011 and 2012 and last week’s business exchange at MUSC. “The new agreement is the next step. Now these people have more incentive to get the ball rolling,” he said.
The two-day event was organized by the South Carolina-Israel Collaboration and Medical Committee of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce-Southeast Region, Israel Economic Mission N.Y. and the BIRD Foundation with cooperation of Israel Brain Technologies, IATI, SEMDA, and SCBIO. In addition to MUSC, other sponsors included SCRA, Dixon Hughes Goodman, Womble Carlyle, CRDA, The InterTech Group, South Carolina Department of Commerce, and Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast.