News & Events

DECD, Israel Tech Transfer Organization Sign Memorandum of Understanding

17 December 2013

State Strengthens Economic, Research Ties with Israel

DECD, Israel Tech Transfer Organization Sign Memorandum of Understanding

The state is laying the foundations for better and more productive economic and research collaborations between Connecticut and Israeli businesses, research institutions and universities.

Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Israel Tech Transfer Organization (ITTN) today announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the first step in developing relationships that will increase the commercial and scientific ties between Connecticut and Israel.

“As a strategic partner, Israel is filled with innovation, entrepreneurship, talent and pioneering technologies. This MoU establishes the basis for a long-term relationship that will increase collaboration and investments in key areas such as research and development, science and manufacturing,” said Catherine Smith, commissioner of DECD.  “Creating opportunities for Connecticut businesses is exactly why we undertake business development missions to countries like Israel.”

The MoU was signed last week as Smith led a group of Connecticut businesses and area economic development officials in Israel to promote the state and strengthen Connecticut-Israeli business relationships.  The five-day trip was organized by DECD in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, MetroHartford Alliance, and in collaboration with the Israel Economic Mission to North America.

Specifically, the MoU allows for assistance in finding prospective partners and for cooperation in R&D, science, clinical research, manufacturing, as well as the execution of collaborative research, pre-clinical and clinical studies.

ITTN is proud of the collaborative agreement that is being executed today with the state of Connecticut,” said Amir Naiberg, Co-Chairman of ITTN.  “We hope that universities spinout companies looking for a soft landing in the United States, while connecting to potential partners, investors and customers, will benefit from this collaboration.”

ITTN serves as the umbrella organization for Israel’s tech transfer companies, and its purpose is to advance collaborative efforts between the Israeli tech transfer community and its counterparts around the world.  ITTN’s 15 partner organizations are affiliated with the world’s leading research, hospitals and educational institutions, such as the Weizmann Institute of Science, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, The Technion and Tel Aviv University.

These institutions are responsible for a large portion of the scientific and technological innovation stemming out of Israel (the “Start-Up Nation”) and the companies based on these innovative products are selling world-wide.

For example, the Weizmann Institute, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research institutions with five different faculties and 17 different scientific departments,  has created some 50 other multidisciplinary research institutes and centers to encourage further collaborations in other fields of study.  The products developed by the Weizmann researchers alone (including Copaxone, a blockbuster MS drug sold by Teva) are selling for more than $18 billion per year.  Some of the other drugs developed in Israel are Exelon and Doxil, both developed by researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

As the Intellectual Property (IP) developed by researchers with these leading academic institutions is transferred to industry, more companies are established as a result and these commercial ventures are eager to partner with global players. The MoU signed today puts in place a wide network of potential networks for the entities on both sides of the ocean.