Virginia-Israel Opportunity Brief
Virginia-Israel Advisory Board
August 9, 2016, Vol 1- Issue 37
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Invites Israeli Businesses to Succeed and Grow in Virginia During July 2016 Israel Visit
"I am excited to say that our trade mission to Israel was very successful."
Governor Terry McAuliffe
Economic Development Mission Successful produces results
July 2016 - Tel Aviv, Israel-- While Governor McAuliffe and his senior team were on the ground in Israel for only 46 hours, there were significant results. 

Highlighting the trip was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Virginia Tech and the Strauss Group.  According to Ralph Robbins, the Executive Director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, "this MOU is consistent with our goals of transforming Southwest Virginia's economic infrastructure from basic agriculture to industries based on agro-technology."

Other achievements of the visit included over 20 high-level meetings by the Governor's senior staff, understandings by five companies that they will expand or initiate activities in Virginia in the coming twelve months, four announcements including a $10 million investment in ImmunArray, a Virginia-Israel life science company, and a potential multi-million fund for additional Israeli life science companies' expansion into the US from Virginia.  According to Mr. Robbins, this activity could lead to the creation of over 500 jobs in Virginia over the next 12 - 36 months.
Strauss and Virginia Tech Sign Collaboration Agreement
Standing from Right: Ralph Robbins, Eecutive Director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board; Ofra Strauss, Strauss Group Chair; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; Gadi Lesin, President and CEO, Strauss Group; Giora Bar Dea, Deputy CEO of Strauss Group. Signatories from right: Prof. Eyal Shimoni, CTO, VP Technology, Strauss Group, and Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. 
Photo courtesy of Strauss Group

Agreement creates innovative 
platform for Israeli & Virginia companies to collaborate on advancing food technologies
July 2016-Tel Aviv Israel -- V irginia  Governor Terry McAuliffe and a delegation of business leaders from the Commonwealth capped their recent trade mission to Israel by signing an MOU with Petah Tikva-based Strauss Group to collaborate on food technologies research between the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the Israeli food and beverage company. Popularly known as Virginia Tech, the school, with its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, is the Commonwealth's third-largest university and its leading research institution.

Ralph Robbins, Executive Director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB), said at the ceremony, "Collaboration around agriculture, food research and development is another important phase in the relationship between Israel and the United States."  
The Sabra Dipping Company, which is jointly owned by Strauss and PepsiCo, operates the world's largest hummus production facility in Richmond, Virginia as well as a cutting-edge food research operation.
Israeli Company EPC Wins Tazewell, Virginia Contract 
EPC Governor Ralph
Governor Terry McAuliffe with EPC Chief Jeremy Weissman & VIAB's Ralph Robbins
VIAB-initiated partnership between Tazewell, Virginia and Israeli Company EPC makes deal possible
July 2016 - Tazewell, VA--- In Tel Aviv, Israel, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the opening of a new onsite cleantech waste-water treatment plant at Cavitt's Creek Park in Tazewell, Virginia. The project was built as a coordinated effort between Tazewell and the American subsidiary of Israeli company EPC and is the first step for the park to be awarded Virginia State Park status, leading to economic and job growth in the area. EPC America also committed to creating a manufacturing and distribution center for water treatment, wastewater treatment and other innovative products in Tazewell County. The company was introduced to Tazewell by the Governor's Virginia Israeli Advisory Board (VIAB).
Virginia Leads Nation with Multi-Spectral Sensing Drones for Mine Reclamation with Israeli Company Sensilize
Governor Terry McAuliffe with Robi Stark of Sensilize
Sensilize Sensors Rapidly Assess Status of Spent Coalfields
July 2016 - Tel Aviv, Israel--Virginia is the home  of a new pilot project using an Israeli-made miniaturized remote sensing sensor mounted on an Unmanned Aerial System (drone) which has the potential to revolutionize coal mine reclamation
efforts on mined lands throughout the Appalachian Mountains, and wherever coal is extracted from the earth's surface. The project was spearheaded by the efforts of the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (VIAB).

During a trade and marketing mission to Israel, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe congratulated Dr. Robi Stark CEO of Sensilize, the Israeli company whose remote sensing technologies are integral to the pilot project that marks the potential beginning of a more economical way to reclaim mine land for higher uses and expanding the community tax-base and jobs.
TESSA Industries Donates Multi-Purpose Mini-Dairy to be Installed at Virginia Tech
Isak Niesenblat, CEO of Tessa with Governor McAuliffe
Boosting Virginia's Boutique Dairy Fermentation Industry with Israeli Innovation
July 2016 - Tel Aviv, Israel-- Virginia Tech and TESSA Dairy Machinery have entered into an agreement bringing the Israel-based company's mini-dairy to Virginia Tech. 

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the agreement between Virginia Tech and TESSA on a trade and marketing mission to Israel to promote the state's many assets and resources. "This is another example of public-private partnerships that pay dividends for Virginia and grow the New Virginia Economy in innovative ways,"said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "Virginia's dairy industry, which generates almost half a billion dollars in farm sales alone in Virginia, has a long and distinguished reputation for excellence and quality. The mini-Dairy collaboration between Virginia Tech and TESSA represents a tremendous avenue for the industry's future." 
Exigent Leads $10 Million B Funding Round In Israel-Virginia Company ImmunArray
Left to Right: Saul Singer, Author of Start Up Nation, Simm Mann and Eliezer Brender, Chief Investment Officer.
ImmunArray Continues Strong Growth in Virginia
July 2016-Richmond VA--"This significant milestone for ImmunArray and Exigent is testament to the strength of the economic relationship between Virginia and Israel, as well as the innovation and energy that define our efforts to build a New Virginia Economy," said Governor Terry McAuliffe. "Our unique office (VIAB) related to economic development in Israel has helped us enhance our ties and create new growth and opportunities for the families we serve in Virginia."

The Governor has been an avid supporter of the biotech industry during his administration and was recognized by BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) as the 2016 Governor of the Year for his support in making Virginia a biotech hub.  
Virginia & U.S. Legislation enhance R&D Tax Credit for Innovative Companies
Virginia Companies Offered Valuable Incentives
February 2016-Richmond VA-- Virginia's 2016 General Assembly session passed legislation that together with expansions of the federal credit provided by the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015) in late 2015 give Virginia taxpayers extra incentive to pursue Research and Development Tax Credits. These credits are available for companies  that are inventing products that are either lighter, faster and less expensive or more durable, reliable, or precise than what currently exists.

Many companies are unaware that their day-to-day operations could qualify them for both a federal and state tax credit. R&D tax credit eligibility is also much broader than many companies realize, applying to not only the development of products, but also activities and operations such as new manufacturing processes, software development and quality enhancements.  Let VIAB connect your Israeli company with a Virginia company that qualifies for these tax credits by contacting  Ralph Robbins.
BIRD Call for Proposals-Up to $1 Million Available for Eligible U.S.-Israel Joint Development Projects
BIRD Grants $7.5 Million in June 2016 - Looks for Next Transformational U.S.-Israel Partnerships
July 2016-Tel Aviv Israel--The BIRD Foundation announces its next round of funding for research and development projects between Israeli and U.S. Companies. BIRD funds up to 50% of the R&D costs associated with the joint project with the maximum conditional grant per project of $1 million.

Timetable and deadlines:
Executive Summaries (using BIRD's template) - September 12, 2016 
Full Proposals (following BIRD's detailed instructions) - October 13, 2016
Decisions - December 13, 2016

For assistance connecting with Israeli or Virginia companies and information about the BIRD funding process contact VIAB Executive Director, Ralph Robbins.
Minds in Motion Wraps up Seventh Successful Year in Israel
Richmond Ballet's Residency Changes Israeli-Arab and Jewish-Arab Lives and Minds Through Dance
June 2016-Beit Yitzhak/Qulansawa, Israel-- The Virginia-Israel Minds in Motion Program has now completed its seventh year. Three years ago the program expanded to include a joint program between the Jewish-Israeli school of Beit Yitzhak and the Arab-Israeli school of Qalansawa. 

The program in Israel is the only international outreach of the Richmond Ballet's Minds in Motion project.  Building on this success, The Richmond Ballet and VIAB are pleased to announce that with the generous support of Annie Sandler from Virginia Beach, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute will conduct   research which is expected to show the program's efficacy and its long-term effects on society. 

The Richmond Ballet is seeking contributions for the continuation and expansion of this innovative and successful program. For more information about the program and how to make a donation, please contact  Lindsay Robinson of the Richmond Ballet. 
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