Chamber Announces New Innovation Working Group at Luncheon with Israeli Finance Minister

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz

At a luncheon last week featuring Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative announced the establishment of a new Innovation Working Group to showcase the best practices and policies that have propelled Israel into one of the world’s leading generators of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Luncheon Photo Gallery

Israel is a fast growing U.S. partner and generates transformative innovation for American companies.  This allows for the creation of high-skilled, good-paying jobs here at home.  As we re-boot our economy here in the States and as we look towards our entrepreneurs to ensure America’s innovative edge, there are lessons we can learn from our Israeli partners.

The Innovation Working Group will:

  • Convene leading companies and individuals to promote high-growth entrepreneurship in the U.S. based on shared experiences of U.S.-Israeli bilateral relationship.
  • Help develop U.S. and international innovation policy based on lessons learned in Israel as it became an incubator of innovation in areas such as investment in research and development, education, integration from the military to the business world, immigration policy, tax and regulation, and government programs that spur investment and innovation.
  • Educate and raise awareness among Members of Congress and administration officials of the impact of U.S.-Israel commercial relations on innovation and growth.  We will host events, create forums, and provide opportunities for companies to showcase technologies and success stories with U.S. government officials and the broader business community.
  • Partner with other entities such as President Obama’s Start-up America initiative, foundations, and think tanks in order to showcase how the U.S.-Israel relationship is an accelerator of high-growth entrepreneurship around the country.

To learn more about the Chamber’s Middle East and North Africa Affairs department, please visit: http://www.uschamber.com/international/mideast.

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15th Sep, 2011

R&D Mission to Israel

Join USIBI on its High-Level R&D Mission to Israel

From March 25-26, the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative will lead a small, high-level mission to Israel for senior R&D executives to see first-hand this innovation hub and learn more about opportunities for partnership and collaboration.  Organized with the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel and Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor, this group will explore innovation shaping the future across a range of sectors.

Highlights include:

  • Meetings with Israel’s top political leadership.
  • Roundtable discussions with CEOs, venture capitalists, and academics.
  • Site visits to leading R&D facilities in Israel, start-up incubators/accelerators, and academic technology transfer units.
  • Customized sector-specific meetings with entrepreneurs, technologists, and government officials based on corporate interests.
  • Visit and tour Israel’s cultural, religious, and historic sites.

For more information or to register, please contact Josh Kram at (202) 463-5823 or jkram@uschamber.com.

For more information about the mission, click here.

U.S.-Israel Business Initiative Hosts Forum with Israel’s Chief Scientist, Bio-technology and Pharmaceutical Companies

Representatives from Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Genzyme sit on a panel at the U.S.-Israel Bio-Tech Forum.

Representatives from Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Genzyme sit on a panel at the U.S.-Israel Bio-Tech Forum.

In conjunction with the BIO International Convention – the largest global biotechnology gathering – the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative hosted a delegation of bio-technology and pharmaceutical companies from Israel, led by Avi Hasson, Israel’s Chief Scientist from Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor.  Seventeen of the participating companies won a national competition organized by MATIMOP, the executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and national agency for industrial R&D cooperation, and the Israel Life Sciences Industry.  This half-day event included high-level discussions with American and Israeli business leaders and government officials on Israel’s biotech sector and specific areas for U.S.-Israeli collaboration.  In addition to Israel’s Chief Scientist, Avi Hasson, speakers included Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s President of Worldwide Research & Development,  Aaron Schacht, Executive Director for External Research & Development at Eli Lilly, Ze’ev Zelig, Vice President of Genzyme Corporation, and Dr. Robin Robinson, Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

U.S. Chamber SVP Addresses AIPAC Conference

Myron Brilliant, SVP, International Affairs speaks with Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren (center right) and his wife, Sally

Myron Brilliant, SVP, International Affairs speaks with Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren (center right) and his wife, Sally

At the annual conference for the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Myron Brilliant, the Chamber’s SVP for International Affairs, along with Senior Advisor Josh Kram, addressed hundreds of attendees about trends and opportunities in U.S.-Israel business. Brilliant outlined the ways in which the relationship is expanding in sectors including bio-technology, energy, ICT, and how this bilateral alliance is impacting world markets. In a video also featuring Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and legendary investor Warren Buffet that opened a plenary session, Brilliant said “You see products that are being developed in Israel. Products that Israel can sell and market to the rest of the world but they need America’s manufacturing and management capabilities. We’re tapping into solutions that are going to change the lives of people forever,” he continued. “There’s a natural synergy between our two markets that we want to support, develop and nurture.” The video, which further underscores the innovative and economic potential in the U.S.-Israel commercial relationship, can be viewed here.

Netanyahu’s Top Economic Advisor Meets with U.S.-Israel Business Initiative

Dr. Eugene Kandel (left) with Lionel Johnson, Vice President, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Eugene Kandel (left) with Lionel Johnson, Vice President, Middle East Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S-Israel Business Initiative hosted a luncheon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top economic advisor and Head of Israel’s National Economic Council, Dr. Eugene Kandel, during the premiere’s recent trip to the United States. In his presentation, Dr. Kandel described the factors that have allowed Israel’s economy to prosper despite the global recession, focusing on the country’s longstanding commitment to research and development. In the second part of his presentation, Dr. Kandel highlighted Israel’s plans for a new oil independence initiative, an aggressive project designed to eliminate Israeli dependence on foreign oil within the next ten years. To do this, Israel has committed billions of dollars to research projects designed to develop new, alternative energies, and is actively seeking U.S. and other foreign partners to join this new effort.

Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson are announced as Honorary Chairs of the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative

Honorary Chairs of the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative Sheldon Adelson (left), and Dr. Miriam Adelson (center) speaking with Chemi Peres, Outgoing Chairman of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce

The U.S Chamber of Commerce welcomed Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson as honorary chairs of the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative in May. In a recent meeting with the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative, Mr. Adelson illustrated the importance of bolstering the U.S.-Israel commercial alliance, emphasizing that U.S.-Israel business cooperation benefits the global economy and drives technological advancements. He encouraged everyone to be proactive in supporting the U.S. Israel Business Initiative. The Adelsons are leading philanthropists and champions of efforts to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations and support pro-Israel endeavors.

Honorary Chairs of the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative Sheldon Adelson (left), and Dr. Miriam Adelson (center) speaking with Chemi Peres, Outgoing Chairman of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. and Israel Continue Plan to Update U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement

U.S.-Israel business leaders meet with Deputy USTR Dan Mullaney to discuss modernizing the FTA

U.S.-Israel business leaders meet with Deputy USTR Dan Mullaney to discuss modernizing the FTA

Dan Mullaney, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative for the Middle East and Europe, recently spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed 26 years ago.  Mullaney said that the U.S.-Israel FTA, the United States’ first, has served as a model for economic and political advancements with other countries and regions of the world.  Bilateral trade has expanded with U.S. exports to Israel increasing by 18% last year and a total of 414% since the agreement’s inception; we have also increased the amount of goods we import from Israel by almost 12% last year to $21 billion, an increase of more than 1,000% since we signed the FTA.  Yet Mullaney continued, “25 years is old for an FTA, particularly given the extraordinary advances in technology since 1985, such as e-commerce, the “cloud,” and the importance of the services sector to each of our economies, none of which is reflected very well in the current agreement.”  Last fall, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Israeli Government began developing a work plan to develop ways in which both sides can more fully realize the potential gains to both countries under the FTA.  USTR has asked the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative and the American business community to provide input into this process to share suggestions and perspective on ways to increase trade and investment.

U.S.-Israel Business Initiative Hosts First

U.S.-Israel Business Leaders Forum

Deputy Undersecretary Robert Hormats, right, leads a panel on U.S.-Israel business in a transtioning Middle East

Deputy Undersecretary Robert Hormats, right, leads a panel on U.S.-Israel business in a transtioning Middle East

Last month, the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative hosted an event with top leadership representatives from local and state U.S.-Israel Chambers of Commerce and other organizations that work to cultivate U.S.-Israel business initiatives. Dozens of professionals and lay leaders from bilateral chambers came to Washington, D.C. from Maryland, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts for a day-long forum that provided participants opportunities to network, build partnerships and discuss current issues in U.S.-Israel commercial affairs.

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