SCRA, Israel looking for companies for joint R&D projects

Staff Report
Published Nov. 20, 2013

Economic leaders from South Carolina and Israel announced a partnership in Charleston earlier this year that they said would lead to collaboration on research and development projects across the world.

This week the two partners, SCRA and the Israeli Industry Center for R&D, issued a request for proposals to look for companies to join the program.

A collaborative agreement was signed last month by S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and Opher Aviran, consul general of Israel to the Southeast U.S., to kick off the program that began during the U.S.-Israel Neurotechnology Business Exchange in May.

The program is designed to promote research and development between businesses from South Carolina and Israel by offering matching funds for approved projects. The request for proposal requires projects to involve at least one South Carolina-based company and one Israeli research and development company, but the businesses cannot be owned by the same parent company or be a subsidiary.

The request for proposal, which can be found online (.pdf), is looking for new products or processes or improvements to existing products or processes that can be commercialized globally, SCRA said.

SCRA said the partnership will look for sectors that overlap S.C. and Israeli interests. These could include biomedical and life sciences; advanced materials; sustainable energy, water and agriculture systems; transportation; defense and security; and insurance and health information technology.

SCRA said it would offer funding of between $125,000 and $500,000 for the duration of an approved project, but under a cost-sharing provision, participating S.C. companies are expected to put up at least as much funding as they receive. Projects can’t last more than two years.

The Israeli counterpart of SCRA will provide funding for at least 50% of an approved project, subject to local laws and funding regulations, the request said.

The deadline to submit the first application is March 10, and companies approved under the request for proposal are to be notified by July 16. SCRA said there could be one award, multiple awards or none, depending on the applications.

“This collaboration will further innovative research and collaboration and will ultimately advance South Carolina’s knowledge economy,” SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney said in a news release.

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