The first round of grants awarded under the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership, MIIP, were announced Tuesday at the BIO International Convention at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
MIIP is a formal collaboration between Israel and Massachusetts to encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship between Massachusetts’ and Israel’s life sciences, clean energy and technology sectors. Governor Deval Patrick and Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson jointly named the grant recipients.
The program was unveiled in June 2011 at the BIO International Convention in Washington, D.C. and the first joint solicitation for proposals was launched in September 2011 by Israel and the three participating Massachusetts agencies: the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
A total of at least $1.3 million is being awarded to four research and development collaborations between Massachusetts and Israeli companies that have been jointly approved by the funding agencies on both sides. The total budget of the awarded projects is estimated at approximately $3 million. The Massachusetts winners are located in Natick, Needham, North Billerica and Wilbraham.
The four winning projects are:
*SBH Sciences (Natick) and Improdia (Israel) will work together toward the development and manufacture of a chronic inflammation-dependent immunosuppression prognostic kit. SBH will receive $184,000 from the Center and Improdia will receive $202,000 from Israel’s Office of Chief Scientist.
*Automated Medical Instruments (Needham) will work with STI Lasers (Israel). They will develop new technology involving radio frequency energy to perform circumferential ablation of the pulmonary veins. Automated Medical Instruments will receive $116,000 from the Center and STI Lasers will receive $110,000 from Israel’s Office of Chief Scientist.
*Lantheus (North Billerica) and Check-Cap (Israel) will work on a novel 3-D imaging capsule that can be used to screen for polyps and lesions associated with colorectal cancer. Lantheus will receive $300,000 from MTC and Check-Cap will receive at least an equal amount from Israel’s Office of Chief Scientist.
FloDesign Sonics (Wilbraham) and Transbiodiesel (Israel) have been selected as the clean energy award winners. Their joint project will use FloDesign’s acoustic molecule separation technology to separate oil that can be used to create fuel from Transbiodiesel’s oil-generating algae. FloDesign Sonics will receive $55,000 from MassCEC and Transbiodiesel will receive $20,958 from Israel’s Office of Chief Scientist.
Massachusetts is the first US state to establish a significant industrial R&D program with the State of Israel.