Haifa and Dayton area to partner on tech development
Signed, sealed, delivered
|Shmuel Gants, director-general of Haifa, (L) during a dinner at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 8 as part of the Dayton Region Israel Aerospace Mission. Also on the dais are (L to R) Dayton Development Coalition Pres. and CEO Jim Leftwich, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin, Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley, and U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Exec. Dir. Joe Sciabica.
By Marshall Weiss, The Dayton Jewish Observer
The Dayton region’s courtship of Israeli technology companies entered the engagement stage Sept. 7-10, when business leaders from Haifa met one-on-one with their counterparts here in the Miami Valley as part of the Dayton Region Aerospace Mission.
Three announcements — including one from Ohio’s governor — gave participants on both sides more reasons to celebrate the shiddach (match).
On Sept. 8, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced that Dayton will serve as the first Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity.
|Haifa Director-General Shmuel Gants signs a memo of understanding with (L to R) Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley, Dayton Development Coalition President & CEO Jim Leftwich, and Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin Sept. 9
The following day, at the Engineers Club, 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 a Dayton region trade office in Haifa.
During the ceremony, Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley announced the city and county had reached the fund-raising goal of $350,000 from local private donors to fully fund the trade office for three years.
“We went to Israel and now Israel is coming to us,” Foley said. “We get tremendously excited when we marry and connect the best of our companies in Dayton around aerospace sensors and composites with the best of Israel.”
Foley was among the 23 government and business leaders from the Dayton region to participate on a trade mission to Israel in September 2008.
“Another strategy that we believe is important is to have somebody on the ground in Israel who’s able to look to Haifa specifically to be able to say, ‘These companies in Haifa match up very well with companies in Dayton, and these companies in Dayton match up very well with companies in Haifa.’”
Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin also took part on last year’s mission to Israel.
“We are honored by Haifa’s decision to move forward with the development of a mutually beneficial relationship,” she said during the signing. “And we believe they have chosen the right American city for partnership.”
The first direct result of last year’s mission was the announcement in March of the formation of a new company in Dayton, i23D, a joint venture of Tel Aviv’s Tidex Systems, the University of Dayton’s Institute for the Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensor Technology (IDCAST), and Woolpert. This project will develop applications for 3D technology that Tidex creates.
In August, Dayton-based STAN Solutions, in partnership with IDCAST, entered an agreement with Adaptive Imaging Technologies of Haifa to acquire the North American distribution rights for a high-resolution, panoramic camera produced by Adaptive.
Gants, director-general of Haifa, said the memo of understanding marked the first time an Israeli city has signed an agreement with “another part of the world, in such important work, in such an important place, where we found technology and industry here very attractive for the business community in Israel and especially in Haifa.”
Among the 11 Israeli tech companies on the trade mission to Dayton were Controp Precision Technologies, Mobideo Aerospace, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and Tefen Metal Casting.
At a dinner for the mission held on Sept. 8 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Strickland said his administration will launch its business hub strategy in Dayton because the region is home to more than 400 aerospace companies.
“This region brings unparalleled physical and intellectual assets as well as a talented workforce which is second to none,” he said.
Though he didn’t comment on dollars attached to the new hub program, he said it is aimed at attracting clusters of connected businesses and new investments to Ohio’s regions, and nurturing ongoing breakthrough research.