The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) will invest some $7 million in eight new Israeli-American projects across a wide range of hi-tech disciplines.The projects will each receive conditional grants of up to $1m., to advance joint research ventures in topics such as autonomous vehicles, biotechnology, digital health, homeland security and nanotechnology, the foundation announced on Wednesday.The companies will also have access to private sector funding, boosting the total value of all the projects up to $18.5m., the foundation said.The projects received final approval on June 14, at a BIRD board of governors meeting in Washington. Established in 1977 with grants from the US and Israeli governments, the BIRD Foundation is managed cooperatively by the Economy Ministry’s Israel Innovation Authority and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.“Since the establishment of the BIRD Foundation, hundreds of successful joint projects have been launched, creating opportunities for Israeli companies and Israeli innovations to enter into new markets, in the US and elsewhere,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. “The foundation’s support of these R&D ventures is evidence of the strong bond that exists between Israel and the US and is an important expression of trust that will enable Israel to continue to advance in these areas around the world.”Several of the new teams receiving funding come from the biotechnology and digital health fields. One such partnership involves Nesher- based Atvio and the Telford, Pennsylvania-based Secant Group, which will be creating a three-dimensional culture platform of therapeutic cells manufactured using biomaterials.Also in the medical sector, Usfiya-based Check-Cap and Marlborough, Massachusetts- based GE Healthcare will be developing a new colon cancer screening system for high volume manufacture.Tel Aviv-based Nutrino Health and Denver, Colorado- based Welltok will be establishing personalized nutrition recommendations for employers and health plans to support consumers, while Tel Aviv-based Pill Tracker and New York, New York-based Target Health will be working on a mechanism for medication tracking and drug compliance.In the autonomous vehicles sector, Holon-based OpSys Technologies will partner with Orlando, Florida-based sdPhotonics to create solid-state miniature light detection and ranging (LiDAR ) sensors.Yavne-based Isorad and Mukilteo, Washington-based Synrad will be creating new laser technologies for industrial applications, while Tel Avivbased C4 Systems and Boulder, Colorado-based Churchill Navigation will be working on an airborne augmented reality mission system for first responders.Rehovot-based Melodea and St. Louis, Missouri-based ICL Performance Products, will be developing cellulose nanocrystal formulations for environmentally friendly architectural and industrial coatings.BIRD has provided grants for 940 industrial research and development projects, and generates its funding income from repayments by successful projects, as well as interest earned on endowment grants.Over its 40-year history, BIRD has invested more than $340m. in joint projects, yielding more than $10 billion in direct and indirect revenue.