Published Nov. 9, 2011
Twenty-six S.C. business, university and economic development leaders will visit Tel Aviv on Nov. 26 to begin a weeklong mission to pursue economic, trade and research opportunities with counterparts in Israel.
They aim to visit Israel’s major research universities, meet with key government officials, attend economic and political briefings, make presentations on “Why South Carolina?” and discuss pursuing opportunities with Israeli companies.
Jonathan Zucker, president of The InterTech Group and chairman of the S.C.-Israel Collaboration's steering committee, organized the trip to Israel. (Photo/file)
The delegation expects to have more than 100 meetings throughout Israel.
Organized by the Southeast region of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, the mission is one of the key elements of the program of work for the South Carolina-Israel Collaboration, which was launched statewide in late July.
The trip is built around six clusters in South Carolina and Israel that have strong potential: biomedical, advanced materials, sustainable systems, transportation, defense and security, and insurance and health IT.
Leading the delegation is Jonathan Zucker, president of Charleston-based The InterTech Group and chairman of the collaboration’s steering committee, whose company provided American-Israel Chamber of Commerce with a grant to organize the collaboration.
“This mission is our opportunity to put South Carolina on the Israel ‘map’ and build relationships and credibility for the state with our country’s most important ally in the Middle East and its only true democracy,” Zucker said. “At the same time, through our collaboration, we hope to bring home the benefits of the incredible innovation occurring in Israel.”
According to a news release about the trip, Israel invests more per capita on research and development, has more companies traded on the Nasdaq other than the United States and has the highest per capita percentage of scientists and engineers. The country has had free trade with the United States since 1985.
Many leading multinational corporations, including Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM, Proctor & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Co. have research and development operations in Israel. South Carolina is home to the U.S. or regional operations of five Israeli companies, and research collaborations exist between Israeli universities and South Carolina’s three major research universities.