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Grants awarded in Israel-Mass. pact

The first round of grants, totaling at least $1.3 million, under the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership was awarded Tuesday at the BIO International Convention in Boston.

MIIP is a collaboration between Israel and Massachusetts to encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship in life sciences, clean energy, and technology. Governor Deval Patrick and Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson jointly named the grant recipients.

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The program was unveiled at last year’s Biotechnology Industry Organization convention in Washington, D.C., and the first joint solicitation for proposals was launched in September by Israel, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

The funding agencies approved four research and development collaborations. 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 four winning projects are:

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 SBH Sciences of Natick and Improdia of Israel. They will work together to develop and manufacture a medical prognostic kit.

 Automated Medical Instruments of Needham and STI Lasers of Israel. They will develop radio-frequency technology to treat heart arryhtmia.

 Lantheus of North Billerica and Check-Cap of Israel. They will develop a novel 3-D imaging capsule that can be used to screen for polyps and lesions associated with colorectal cancer.

 FloDesign Sonics of Wilbraham and Transbiodiesel of Israel, the clean energy award winners. Their joint project will use FloDesign’s technology to separate oil that can be used to create fuel from Transbiodiesel’s oil-generating algae.

Massachusetts is the first US state to establish a significant industrial R&D program with the State of Israel.

Boosting the state’s international partnerships, Massachusetts officials also unveiled a multinational research study on throat cancer and a joint US-EU connected health conference set for Boston in October.

State Senate president Therese Murray, a Democrat from Plymouth, made the announcement.

The collaboration, which will be led by Dr. Ramon Franco of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, will include doctors and scientists from Finland, Northern Ireland, and Spain.

Robert Weisman of the Globe staff contributed to this report. D.C. Denison can be reached at denison@globe.com.
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