Foundation / Corporation
Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD)
Grants to USA and Israel for-profit tech companies to collaborate on the research and development, manufacturing, and selling of innovative products with significant commercial potential. Applicants are required to contact the funding source prior to applying and submit a brief initial application in advance of the full proposal. Please note that these grants are subject to repayment upon product commercialization.
Any two companies, one registered in Israel and the other in the U.S., may jointly apply for BIRD support, as long as they have the combined capability and infrastructure to define, develop, manufacture, sell and support an innovative product or service, referred to as "the Product". The two partnering companies are collectively referred to as "the Proposer". One key criterion is that each company has the demonstrated ability to carry out its part of the Product's joint development program, referred to as "the Project", as well as its part in the commercialization. Another key criterion is that the nature of the business relationship between the two companies is that of sharing; both in the Product's development program and in the revenues derived from its commercialization.
BIRD cost-shares with the Proposer in the development, to the point of commercial readiness, of innovative (non-defense) technology-based products or processes which have reasonable potential for generating revenues and profits commensurate with the investment and the risks.
For many Israeli companies, finding a qualified U.S. corporate participant capable of assisting in product definition, gathering market intelligence, and taking responsibility for marketing, sales and service, is the key to maximizing the business benefit of their innovative ideas. The incentive for U.S. companies to collaborate with Israeli partners is to expand their product lines with cutting edge Israeli technology and leapfrog the competition.
BIRD participates in the Project's development cost, referred to as "the Budget", with the Proposer, by funding up to 50% of the Project's budget, and referred to as "the Conditional Grant". The two companies, separately and together, are obligated to repay BIRD the total Conditional Grant received, referred to as "the Repayment", but almost always only from the revenue generated by the Product's sales upon successful commercialization.
Companies should note that according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principals ("GAAP"), a company that receives a grant from BIRD can record it as a reduction of Research & Development expenses (in the Income Statement) and not as a liability (in the Balance Sheet). Since there is no assurance of a successful outcome for the project at the time the grant is received, the funding is considered a contingent liability that should be included in the notes to the financial statements. Should commercial revenues eventuate, BIRD receives repayments or royalties, depending on the form of commercialization, up to a maximum of 150% of its investment, in constant dollars. All payments to the Foundation are a pre-tax business expense.
The jointly developed product must have significant technological innovation. One or both companies should possess intellectual property rights to the technology being developed and to the finished product. The Product should target an attractive and growing market that is not necessarily geographic specific, but is familiar to and serviced by at least one of the two partnering companies.
BIRD will consider products employing any area of technology and targeted for any market segment or application, but encourages and preferentially supports projects employing breakthrough or state-of-the- art technologies which are receiving global attention and address market segments where Israel has a relative technology or business long-term advantage. The only exception to the above is BIRD's restriction to support products targeted for military applications.
The Project is defined as the scope and duration of the development program undertaken jointly by both companies, at the end of which the Product should be market-ready. All activities required for subsequent commercial manufacturing, specification, and market introduction, should be detailed in the Project, including beta-site testing, regulatory approvals, and test marketing.
Because of the wide range of projects and partnerships that may qualify for BIRD support, there are no hard and fast rules for the detailed nature of the cooperation between the partners. They must follow their own judgment as to the division of activities that will most cost-effectively accomplish the project's technical and commercial goals. For example, if the bulk of the R&D is to be performed by one partner, the contribution of the other partner may focus on marketing, along with detailed product specification, sales and service. Manufacturing may be conducted by either or both partners or by subcontractors. Institutions or non-manufacturing companies may act as subcontractors in the R&D or testing phases of the project.
A limitation of BIRD's funding agreement is that sponsored projects may not be conducted in geographic areas which came under the administration of the Government of Israel after June 5, 1967, and may not relate to subjects primarily pertinent to such areas.
Projects are BIRD's main business. As detailed below, there are two types: full-scale and mini-projects, depending on the total cost (budget) of the proposed project.
Research and development topics may include, but are not limited to:
Advanced Manufacturing, Agrotechnology, Cleantech and Environment, Communications, Construction Tech, Electronics, FinTech, Gas, Homeland Security and Cyber Security, LIfe Sciences, Software, etc.
GrantWatch ID#: 174416
A Full-Scale Project is defined as one in which the total development cost to the two companies (up to the point of commercial readiness) is at least $400,000. BIRD's cost-share is up to 50% of the total cost of such projects.
The maximum conditional grant per project is up to $1 million.
The budget of a BIRD mini-project is limited to $400,000. Grants are a maximum of $200,000, or 50% of actual project costs, whichever is less.
Project start date may be as early as the 1st day of the month in which the final Project proposal is submitted jointly by the companies, and Project duration may be as long as 3-4 years, if deemed necessary for reaching commercial readiness.
The U.S. company and the Israeli company are collectively referred to as the Proposer. Both companies should have the majority of the necessary R&D resources required for the Project in their respective countries. The two companies should have the combined, proven capability and infrastructure to define, develop, manufacture, sell and support the Product defined by the Project.
Typically (but not necessarily), the Project partners include one larger company and one smaller company. Both partners should contribute and share their technological expertise and intellectual property in execution of the joint development program, but their respective contributions do not necessarily have to be identical. However, the task assignments should be divided in such a way that neither partner's portion in the combined budget is less than 30%. Manufacturing responsibilities of the Product can be divided between the companies as they see fit, and can be performed by subcontractors in any geographical location. Marketing and sales support of the Product can be divided between the project partners. Preferably, at least one partner (usually the larger company) should have extensive market presence, as well as a proven track record in marketing and infrastructure, to successfully realize, upon product commercialization, the bulk of the sales projections indicated in the proposal.
A typical profile of the larger company is one that develops, manufactures, sells and supports technology- based products and is willing to enter into strategic partnerships with companies having complementary skills and resources.
Among younger companies, BIRD seeks medium-sized, small, or start-up companies with leading-edge technological capabilities, good management, and strategic direction combined with the willingness and flexibility to develop products for a potentially large market that match the business strategy of a large, established company.
BIRD will cost-share in the joint development by extending to the Proposer a conditional grant (G) totaling up to 50% of the Project Budget. Each partner directly receives the portion of the total grant that is relative to its share in the budget.
It is highly recommended not to upload documents to the system prior to a personal contact or meeting with BIRD staff in Israel or with BIRD colleagues in the U.S. Such contact will enable a preliminary discussion of the project, the proposed partnership and the various options available to prospective participants.
Once a U.S. company and an Israeli company select a project that meets the general criteria they may jointly submit an "Executive Summary of Project Proposal". Joint submission of this document is essential before submitting proposals for either full-scale or mini-projects. Following a review of the Executive Summary, typically within two weeks, BIRD staff will advise the companies as to the proposal preparation and subsequent steps, inviting them to submit a formal proposal in accordance with the guidelines.
The decision to approve Mini-Project proposals is made by BIRD's Executive Director, after review of the proposal. Proposals for mini-projects are accepted throughout the year, and a definitive response to such proposals is typically given within four to eight weeks.
The following are the deadlines for submission:
-Executive Summary – September 13, 2018 (Midnight PST)
-Final Proposal – October 16, 2018
Guidelines and Forms:
About the Upload System:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Submit applications online through the Upload System:
For further inquiries, please contact:
Ms. Chava Doukhan
In the US:
Ms. Andrea Yonah
Ms. Maya Vardi Shoshani
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