26-Hour Israel Innovation Blitz of South Carolina
Last month, a series of six programs held over the course of just one day and a couple of hours exposed all three regions of South Carolina to the impact of Israeli innovation on the US economy and the opportunities to connect with it. Ann Liebschutz, Executive Director of the US-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF), traveled through the state on August 26 and 27 with Conexx President and CEO Shai Robkin, with three objectives in mind: (1) share the results of the most recent Israel Innovation Index; (2) inform researchers at major academic research institutions as to how they can secure grant funding to collaborate with Israeli colleagues in their fields; and (3) spread the word about the forth annual South Carolina Business and Research Mission to Israel.
This road show was part of the ongoing efforts of the South Carolina-Israel Collaboration, a special initiative of Conexx chaired by Jonathan Zucker, President of the InterTech Group, to connect South Carolinians and Israelis through business. At a Greenville luncheon, a Columbia early evening reception and a Charleston breakfast, all open to the public, Liebshchutz explained the key factors that put Israel just behind Switzerland and Canada in terms of the impact foreign countries’ innovation have on the United States (http://www.usistf.org/us-israel-innovation-index/). Robkin told the audiences about the various programs taking place within the Collaboration framework including the industrial R&D that recently announced its first grant recipients (http://lowcountrybizsc.whosonthemove.com/scra-and-israels-chief-scientist-announce-first-s-c-israel-rd-awards/). He also presented the outline for the December mission to Israel that offers participants two tracks to choose from: a general business track and a sustainable systems track.
In each of three cities, academics gathered to hear about the work of the USISTF does to facilitate collaboration between Israeli and American research institutions. Meetings were hosted by Clemson in Greenville, the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, at which College of Charleston representatives were also invited.
Conexx thanks the South Carolina universities, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and the Charleston office of he South Carolina Research Authority for their help in organizing and hosting these meetings.