Israel-US BIRD Foundation to invest $1.5 mil in homeland security tech projects

The mapping system and threat detection projects were selected by Israel's Ministry of Public Security and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation said Tuesday it has awarded funding to two homeland security projects between U.S. and Israeli companies.  

The projects to advance technologies for homeland security were approved by the foundation’s Board of Governors after they were selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Israel's Ministry of Public Security (MOPS), the foundation said.

According to the foundation, the two joint projects that were approved are:

•    Levitection (Haifa, Israel) and Liberty Defense Technologies (Peachtree Corners, Georgia) will develop a detection solution based on electromagnetic imaging and artificial intelligence to detect threats and concealed items in wide-open areas.

•    Ception Technologies (Jerusalem, Israel) and Hivemapper (Burlingame, California) will develop a Fused Air and Ground 3D Mapping System.

In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value for the projects to approximately $3 million. 

The foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects. 

"The 2020 selections reflect DHS S&T’s and MOPS’ important and broad homeland security interest areas," said Megan Mahle, DHS S&T Industry Partnership Director. "We’re looking forward to seeing the impact of these new strategic collaborations."

Dr. Gad Frishman, Chief Scientist, Israel Ministry of Public Security, said "BIRD HLS enables us to enhance public safety in Israel and in the United States by supporting the development of innovative technologies to support law enforcement, prevent crime and violence, and by developing new rescue tools and methods for fire and emergency cases, all for the benefit of both countries."

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said, "We are pleased to announce the newly selected BIRD Homeland Security projects that will fulfill critical homeland security needs in both countries. This is the fifth year of the program that was initiated to develop new technologies for first responders, and was expanded to respond to additional needs that will secure public safety. We look forward to continuing our work with the DHS and the Israel Ministry of Public Security."

Since 2016, DHS S&T and MOPS have partnered to fund technology collaborations between U.S. and Israeli partners that address homeland security needs of both countries and have significant commercial potential. This joint research effort currently supports the development of technologies in the following areas: cyber crime; critical infrastructure and public facilities; safe and secure cities; border protection; unmanned aerial systems; and advanced technologies for first responders, the foundation said.