In the framework of the Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) – the highest-level inter-governmental economic forum between the American and Israeli governments – the US and Israel signed a new cooperation agreement. The deal is intended to help map and align existing support frameworks of industrial R&D and innovation in both countries, so that R&D partnerships can be established and fostered.
A first of its kind umbrella agreement has been signed between the Israel Innovation Authority and the US Department of Commerce. The deal was signed during an intergovernmental conference involving representatives from Israel and the US. The JEDG was headed this year by US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin on the American side and by Director General of Israel’s Finance Ministry Shai Babad on Israel’s side. The agreement was signed by Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, Mr. Avi Hasson and by Mr. Kenneth E. Hyatt, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade at the US Department of Commerce, in the presence of US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug, Deputy Director at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jeremy Issacharoff and sixty other senior officials from both countries. The deal is intended to leverage aid programs and sustainability programs in the US and Israel that are implemented by the Israel Innovation Authority through its Americas Operations and US Department of Commerce agencies to promote cooperation between companies, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors, beyond existing frameworks (i.e. the BIRD Foundation and bilateral programs with US states).
According to the Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, Mr. Avi Hasson, the new agreement constitutes another opportunity to establish entrepreneurial, technological and R&D ties between Israel and the US: “In fact, this is the first agreement between Israel and the US on the federal level that focuses specifically on innovation," said Hasson. "Innovation ties between Israel and the US have existed for 40 years as a bilateral economic catalyst, but until today, there was no framework of cooperation on innovation amongst government programs. We see this agreement as a significant achievement that can help leverage aid and sustainability programs in the US and Israel and to promote cooperation between companies, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors beyond the extensive tools already in existence.”
Director General of the Israeli Finance Ministry Shai Babad said: “This year we mark the 31st session of the JEDG. Since its establishment we have seen great progress. We are looking forward to joint activity with our American colleagues while expanding Israel’s horizons in the field of green energy. Our accomplishments last year led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Israeli Health Ministry and its American counterpart regarding cooperation in the fields of health, medicine, science and others. In addition, during this conference, the US Department of Commerce and the Israel Innovation Authority signed a memorandum of understanding on innovation. We expect to continue our fruitful cooperation in the future.”
US Asst. Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin said: “Our dialogue shows that both countries are committed to facing global challenges together. Israel and the US share a deep commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, both essential tools in our bilateral cooperation and in the fight against climate change.”