Dayton-Israel initiative opens Haifa office, announces third local business investment

Haifa office opens

By Marshall Weiss, The Dayton Jewish Observer

May 2010

On April 16, the city of Dayton announced that Rafael Advance Defense Systems of Haifa, Israel will license the manufacture of its boron carbide ballistic body armor plates to B4C, a Dayton-based developer and maker of composite materials.

This is the third Dayton-area tech firm to partner with a counterpart firm in Israel since the Dayton region began seeking tech business partnerships with Israel in the fall of 2008.

B4C, which grew out of Liteflex, LLC, a local composite manufacturer, will invest $1.7 million in a new production line and add 16 jobs at its McCall Street location over the next two years. The Dayton City Commission approved a $75,000 development grant for B4C at the commission’s March 31 meeting.

The official announcement of B4C’s new project came just two weeks after the opening of the Dayton Region-Israel Trade Alliance Office in Haifa, with Uri Atir as its full-time director.

“He’s there to assist business persons in the Dayton area who have business interests or are interested in trying to develop business interests,” Assistant Montgomery County Administrator Joe Tuss said of Atir.

Atir’s one-year contract is with the non-profit Montgomery County Improvement Corporation, comprising a representative each from the county, city of Dayton, and the Dayton Development Coalition.

In September, representatives of the Dayton region and Shmuel Gants, director-general of the municipality of Haifa, signed a memo of understanding to expand economic, business and research collaboration, including the opening of the Dayton region trade office in Haifa.

Tuss said the Improvement Corporation is close to its goal of raising $350,000 in pledges to fund the Haifa office and director’s position for three years.

“The funding all has been raised by the private sector and foundation donations,” Tuss said. He added that contributors include the Dayton Development Coalition, DP&L, Lion Apparel, The Mathile Foundation, the University of Dayton Research Institute, Wright State University, and a number of individuals in the Dayton Jewish community.

Atir will visit the Dayton region May 9-19.

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