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$1M funding for homeland security tech, biometrics for US, Israel firms via BIRD Foundation

$1M funding for homeland security tech, biometrics for US, Israel firms via BIRD Foundation

U.S. and Israeli firms pitching innovative solutions for homeland security (HLS), including biometrics, could receive funding of up to US$1 million via the countries’ Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

The BIRD HLS Program call for proposals (website not secure) lists requirements such as collaboration between firms and research institutes in each country and areas of innovation including biometrics for border protections, “Safe and Secure Cities” and technologies to secure critical infrastructure.

Projects should lead to commercialization and the maximum $1 million grant should be no more than 50 percent of the project’s overall R&D budget. Initial submissions are due by 24 April, final proposals by 27 June with decisions expected in September 2023.

The HLS program has been running almost a decade states The Jerusalem Post, funding projects to the tune of $24.5 million in the first seven years. The overall BIRD Foundation has been in place for 45 years and given over $370 million to more than 1,000 projects which have helped generate sales of more than $10 billion.

“We are pleased with the bilateral US and Israel support of technologically innovative projects that are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges including climate-tech, agritech, and health services,” comments Dr. Amiram Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority and co-chair of BIRD’s board of governors, as quoted by The Jerusalem Post.

As an area to explore perhaps, Israel’s state comptroller claimed in December that the country’s defense forces are vulnerable to identity theft targeting biometric information. The official also identified gaps in security for infrastructure such as water and transport.

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