Both the United States and Israel want new technological innovations in the field of homeland security, and to make that happen, they’re putting up to $1 million on the line for relevant companies.
A call for proposals has been issued by the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, urging US and Israeli entities to submit joint proposals for the development of advanced homeland security (HLS) technologies. An approved project can receive up to $1m. in grants, covering up to 50% of its budget.
The BIRD HLS program is co-funded by the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the Israeli National Security Ministry. It will be managed by the BIRD Foundation and will focus on innovative technology solutions to support first responder and homeland security needs shared by both countries.
The HLS program has been running for nearly a decade. Over the course of the first seven years, 12 BIRD HLS projects have been approved with a budget of $24.5m. The program aims to encourage advancements in HLS technology via a variety of technologies, including video analytics, robotics, biometrics, screening systems, command and control, communication, wearables, protective equipment, UAVs (drones), standoff detection and identification of hazards, securing critical infrastructure and public facilities, safe and secure cities, and border protection.
A BIRD with many eggs in many baskets
The BIRD Foundation is far from limiting its efforts to the field of homeland security. Just last month, the organization approved $8.4m. in funding for nine new projects by US and Israeli companies that are developing a host of projects in various fields, including diabetes care, robotic navigation, CO2 emission calculation, and cancer treatment.
The nine projects approved by the foundation’s board of governors are in addition to more than 1,000 projects it has approved for funding during its 45-year history. To date, BIRD’s total investment in joint projects is over $370m., helping to generate direct and indirect sales of more than $10 billion.
“We are pleased with the bilateral US and Israel support of technologically innovative projects that are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges including Climate-tech, Agritech, and Health Services.”Amiram Appelbaum
“We are pleased with the bilateral US and Israel support of technologically innovative projects that are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges including climate-tech, agritech, and health services,” said Dr. Amiram Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and co-chair of BIRD’s board of governors.
Outgoing BIRD Foundation executive director Dr. Eitan Yudilevich also noted the value presented by the kind of bilateral collaboration promoted by the foundation.
“This cycle demonstrated, once again, that there is great interest among US and Israeli companies in jointly developing innovative technologies and leveraging BIRD funding as a way to reduce their risk,” he said. “I wish the awardees much success in bringing their jointly developed technologies to market.”