By Ashley Boncimino
Published Oct. 16, 2013
South Carolina and Israel signed an agreement today to facilitate cooperation for joint industrial research and development projects. South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and Consul General of Israel to the Southeast United States Opher Aviran signed the agreement in Columbia Tuesday.
The partnership was initially announced in May during the two-day U.S.-Israel Neurotechnology Business Exchange in Charleston by Hitt and Israel’s economic minister to North America Nili Shalev.
The agreement creates a funding mechanism for joint collaborations between South Carolina and Israeli companies and universities and will be carried out by SCRA and its counterpart MATIMOP, the Israeli Industry Center for R&D.
SCRA and MATIMOP will match companies and universities on the basis of mutually developed sets of merit criteria, and projects will focus on technology sectors with the most overlap capabilities and mutual interest, such as biomedical and life sciences; advanced materials; sustainable energy, water and agriculture systems; transportation; defense and homeland security; and insurance and health information technology.
“This collaboration will help further South Carolina’s ‘knowledge economy,’ and SCRA is delighted to help lead this charge,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “We look forward to many fruitful partnerships in the months to come.”
SCRA has contributed $65 million in funding and infrastructure to support more than 271 high-tech, early-stage enterprises, and economic impact studies have shown SCRA’s cumulative output on South Carolina totals more than $15.3 billion, according to a press release. MATIMOP is the executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy of Israel and is the official national agency for industrial research and development cooperation in Israel, according to its website.
“South Carolina is the first state in the Southeast region to forge this kind of partnership with Israel,” said Secretary Hitt in a press release. “As our state continues to foster innovation, collaborative relationships such as this one will keep us on the cutting edge.”