HADAS BAR-OR 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The northeastern US state of Massachusetts is home to nearly 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies, and the relationship between the two advanced technology hubs is only set to grow now that the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership has been formalized.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Israel’s Chief Scientist Avi Hasson announced the creation of MIIP in Washington, DC, last Wednesday. It was set up to encourage collaboration in life sciences, clean energy and technology sectors.
As part of its promotion of business ties with Israel, Massachusetts has also appointed its first trade representative to the country: economist Hadas Bar-Or, who previously worked for the Chief Scientist’s Office, the Bank of Israel and as a lecturer at Tel Aviv University.
She will oversee the opening of a Massachusetts trade office in the Tel Aviv area, which will operate on the same level as other state offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Berlin.
Massachusetts can offer a lot to Israeli companies, given its position
as “the capital of higher education” and as a hub for the development of
various technologies, particularly in life sciences, Bar-Or told The Jerusalem Post
Several mentoring bodies operate in the state, she said, in addition to “quasi-organizations... which are semiprivate, semi-governmental and give many benefits and
grants to companies, across the board and over the whole cycle of the
company… from grants for the workforce to grants for interns from the
Bar-Or said the aim was not necessarily to see Israeli companies
relocate, but to offer them packages that would see them do business in
“Most of the technology companies do business in the US, and especially
in life sciences, where they need the approval of the FDA [US Food and
Drug Administration] in order to operate,” she said. “It’s a very
serious market, and most of the companies during their life span open an
office in the United States.
“The market is there, the regulation is there, the distribution is
there. So at some stage in their development we can offer them added
value if they choose Massachusetts.”
The establishment of the innovation partnership and the appointment of a
trade representative follow a visit to Israel in March by a delegation
headed by Patrick.
Massachusetts “came to the decision that Israel is a country with which
it wants to work, with which it wants to trade and cooperate,” Bar-Or
MIIP was modeled partly on the BIRD Foundation – the Israel-US
Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, she said.
The BIRD board of directors in Washington, DC, also approved a major
initiative last week: an $8.1 million investment in nine new bilateral
projects, including advanced developments in life sciences and
information technology for medical applications.