Indiana-Israel Collaboration Targets Innovation

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Indiana's Secretary of Commerce says the latest step in a collaborative effort between Indiana and Israel will have a mutually-beneficial effect. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. and the Israel Innovation Authority have issued a Request for Proposals inviting businesses in both areas to submit joint research projects focusing on the agbiosciences and cybersecurity sectors. The effort is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Governor Eric Holcomb and Israeli officials in May.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Jim Schellinger said businesses on both sides will be participating. 

"They're asking for these RFPs to come in and then they will weigh some and we will weigh some," said Schellinger. "The Israel Innovation (Authority) and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and others, we will invest jointly in these so that we develop these technologies simultaneously in both countries, and then we get to share both of those."

Schellinger says Israel has the second-highest level of entrepreneurial activity in the world, outside of Silicon Valley, and ranks third in the World Economic Forum's innovative ranking. He says the MOU signed last year is more than a typical agreement of its kind, which usually amounts to a "memorandum of friendship."

"These are memorandums of understanding for economic cooperation with a to-do list," said Schellinger. "We have working companies on both sides of the pond and we meet four times a year, then we work on things that are of mutual interest to us. Israel, with the Israeli Innovation (Authority), that's just one of six that we have under Governor Holcomb."

The IEDC says the RFPs can be submitted jointly between an Indiana and an Israeli business, or companies from each area can submit individual proposals. The goal is to identify projects that will "stimulate generation and development of new or significantly improved products or processes for commercialization in global markets."

Submissions will be accepted through January 31. Finalist companies will be matched and asked to submit full, bilateral proposals by May 7. Indiana companies must meet certain criteria to be eligible: 

  • Be an Indiana-based entity with annual revenue less than $100 million and a majority of its payroll dedicated to Hoosier employees;
  • Be an advanced-technology or knowledge-based business in agbiosciences or cybersecurity;
  • Have a protected intellectual property position, such as trade secrets, patents and/or trademarks, or a distinct competitive advantage making the product difficult to replicate;
  • Have a high-impact business model that demonstrates potential for the company to grow its operations in Indiana, creating high-wage jobs and revenues;
  • Have money invested by the principals and/or founders, and/or have raised initial capital from other sources;
  • Be able to collaborate with an unrelated Israeli company, meaning the Indiana and Israeli companies are separate legal entities and do not have a parent or controlled subsidiary relationship. The companies may have a prior working relationship, but may not apply for funding of a project initiated prior to this request for proposals. 

You can learn more about the effort by clicking here

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