The Collaboration is being built around six identified clusters of strength in South Carolina, the Palmetto State, and Israel, the Start Up Nation, where the strong potential of synergy and relevance: Biomedical, Advanced Materials, Sustainable Systems, Transportation, Defense / Security, and Insurance / Health IT. A program of work has been developed to showcase the companies and institutions on both sides and encourage introductions that will lead to meaningful interaction among them.
As a baseline, the Collaboration researched existing SC-Israel business and research relationships, showing operations by Israeli companies in the state, investments of South Carolina companies in Israel, joint research among South Carolina and Israeli universities, import / export activity, and joint ventures. In 2011, exports from South Carolina to Israel totaled over $69 million, and imports from Israel were at $44 million, not insignificant figures. But with a proactive program, the raising of awareness on both sides, and expert nurturing, the collaboration partners believe these figures will grow exponentially in the coming years. If we can drive Israeli companies to investors, partners, and customers in the state and offer other support incentives, more of them will establish US operations in South Carolina. Likewise, Israel offers incentives to South Carolina companies to establish operations in the country that can also serve as a bridge to the European market. And our two countries offer grant support to encourage joint venture R&D and pure research through BIRD, BARD, and BSF.
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