Friday, December 19, 2014

US and Israeli tech cooperation grows. BDS fails

While activists at Wesleyan were busy channeling their energies into getting 2 types of hummus in their dining hall (and calling it a huge victory for BDS), the US Department of Energy and the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructure Energy and Water awarded  $4 million dollars in funding to 5 Israeli/ American collaborative projects under the auspices of the Bilateral Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) foundation.

The BIRD  Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in a wide range of technology sectors by providing funding and assistance in facilitating strategic partnerships for developing joint products or technologies.

During its 37 years, the BIRD Foundation has invested in close to 900 projects.

This years projects include:

Advanced MemTech (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Arkema (King of Prussia, PA) will develop a carbon nanotube composite membrane that is electrically conductive

Aquanos (Shoshanat HaAmakin , Israel) and Aquagen ISI (South Yarmouth, MA) will collaborate on the development and commercialization of an algae activated aerobic wastewater treatment technology

Fridenson Logistics (Haifa, Israel) and ChargePoint (Campbell, CA) will develop a smart grid capable cloud connected electric vehicle charging station

NewCO2Fuels (Rehovot, Israel) and Acumentrics (Westwood,MA) will collaborate on the development of enhanced performance solid oxide fuels cells for dual application

Silentium (Rehovot, Israel) and GE Energy (Houston, TX) will collaborate on the development of active noise control for power generation ventilation.

At the  Bilateral Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) foundation conference in Tel Aviv, companies dismissed the overall impact of the BDS movement

Via the Jerusalem Post
“I’m not aware of any boycott concerns or issues, at least from GE’s perspective,” said Oded Meirav, manager of GE Global Research’s Israel Technology Center. A greater threat, he continued, would be for Israel to lose its competitive edge through excessive taxes, bureaucracy, or a decline in educational excellence.

Dan Shimmoff, McGraw- Hill Israel’s general manager, said the issue hasn’t come up seriously.

“I’m not aware of any concerns McGraw-Hill has toward that,” he said.

The large numbers of international companies working Israel also makes the movement’s success more precarious; it would be hard for people to cut Microsoft products and Intel chips out of their lives. The more multinationals come to Israel, he said, “the more difficult it is to even consider the possibility of a boycott.”

Philips Electronics (Israel) CEO Guido Pardo Roques agreed, arguing that the presence of companies such as Intel puts companies that might worry about it at ease.

Orna Berry, EMC vice president of corporate growth and innovation, noted that Israel’s ability to keep producing – despite rockets, war and boycott attempts – is the bottom line for most companies.

BDS.  Failing for well over 13 years.

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