Governor Patrick and Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson
Announce First Round of Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership
Grants at Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Convention

         (Boston, MA)  June 19, 2012. Governor Deval Patrick today joined Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson and MATIMOP, the Israeli implementation agency on behalf of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), to announce the first round of grants awarded under the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP). MIIP is a formal collaboration between the State of Israel and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship between Massachusetts' and Israel's life sciences, clean energy and technology sectors. A total of at least $1.3 million is being awarded to four research & development (R&D) collaborations between Massachusetts and Israeli companies that have been jointly approved by the funding agencies on both sides. The total budget of the awarded projects is estimated at approximately $3 million. The Massachusetts awardees are located in Natick, Needham, North Billerica and Wilbraham.

"This partnership represents a significant commitment to ensure the long-term success of our economy in Massachusetts by exploring growth opportunities and common interests within the Commonwealth's and Israel's innovation-based sectors, including life sciences, clean energy and technology," said Governor Patrick. "We are proud to support these four R&D collaborations, and we look forward to seeing the new jobs and new technologies that will come as a result."

"The success of MIIP is a testament to the great contribution of the bilateral R&D program acting as an international bridge between nations and economies and as an accelerator for innovation and growth," said Chief Scientist Hasson, Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor. "This positive and reassuring outcome reflects the close relations between the Commonwealth's and Israel's innovative industries and provides an important platform for strengthening these ties. We are committed to strengthening this cooperation scheme that benefits both of our economies."

SBH Sciences won the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Project. SBH Sciences (Natick) and Improdia (Israel) (www.improdia.co.il) will work together toward the development and manufacture of a Chronic Inflammation-dependent immunosuppression prognostic kit. SBH will receive $184,000 from the Center and Improdia will receive $202,000 from Israel's OCS. SBH Sciences is an innovative discovery and preclinical based CRO with strong expertise in production and analysis of cytokines and biomarkers. Improdia is a start-up in the life sciences field focused on the implementation of novel biomarkers for the benefit of improving treatment with immune system modulating therapies by means of a simple blood test for patients with chronic disease.

The MIIP program was first announced in June 2011 at the BIO International Convention in Washington, D.C. and the first joint solicitation for proposals was launched in September 2011 by MATIMOP on the Israeli side and by the three participating Massachusetts agencies: the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). Massachusetts and Israeli companies that are engaged in cooperative industrial research and development projects, and that were selected for funding within the MIIP framework, have been awarded R&D grants respectively by the OCS in Israel and the three Massachusetts agencies participating in the program. Massachusetts is the first U.S. state to establish a significant industrial R&D program with the State of Israel.

The partnership came as a direct result of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission, a ten-day trade mission in March 2011 that included travel to Israel, where a coalition of the state's leading business executives and senior government officials explored growth opportunities of common interest for Massachusetts' and Israel's innovation industries. During that mission Governor Patrick and Shalom Simhon, Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, signing on behalf of their respective states, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Jerusalem. MIIP was established to implement the MOU's framework.

The New England-Israel Business Council, the US-Israel Science and Technology Foundation, the Government of Israel Economic Mission to North America, the Consulate General of Israel to New England and MOITI have all played an important role in promoting the program.

Today there are nearly 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies in Massachusetts. In 2009, these companies employed nearly 6,000 people and generated $2.4 billion in direct revenue for the state. Local firms exported over $180 million worth of goods to Israel in 2009. Home to 377 hospitals and 37,000 practicing physicians, Israel is an important market for health-related technologies.

Click here to see the video and read the text of the speech given by Raphael Nir, President of SBH Sciences, during the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP) event.

About SBH Sciences

Founded in 1997, SBH Sciences is an innovative preclinical contract research organization (CRO) focused on anti-cancer and anti-inflammation drug development. In its 15 years of working with over 100 biotechnology and diagnostic companies, SBH Sciences has earned a reputation for product quality, excellent service, and on-time delivery. They also partner with early-stage biotechnology companies to provide incubator-model support, as well as cell-based discovery, cytokine and enzyme production, and immunological and analytical services. Notably, their collection of 280+ cytokine bioassays is the most comprehensive in the US. SBH Sciences is also very active in cytotoxicity testing, biomarker measurement, and functional activity testing. For more information, visit www.sbhsciences.com


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