U.S. Chamber Leads Life Sciences Business Mission to Israel, Including Meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu

Mar 28, 2012

The U.S. Chamber and business leaders meet with Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The United States and Israel enjoy a growing commercial relationship grounded in drawing upon the innovative expertise of each of our countries. Israel’s growing life sciences industry offers an exciting new vista for deepening this relationship. When the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel announced the creation of a new program for foreign multinational life science companies to encourage and support research and development activities in Israel, we knew that we could assemble a strong contingent of American companies looking for opportunities to enhance the bilateral commercial relationship.

Last week, the Chamber’s Myron Brilliant led a group of top executives from Boston Scientific, General Electric, MedImmune, Merck, Oracle, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals - to explore potential collaboration and partnerships in Israel. 

Delegates met with key government ministries, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on key policy and programmatic areas relating to the sector.  Additionally, the group is touring medical, biotech, and pharmaceutical facilities across the country and leading roundtable discussions on innovation policy and programmatic issues with Israeli stakeholders.

In the past year, the Chamber’s U.S.-Israel Business Initiative held meetings with a number of Israel’s top government officials, including Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and leading economic advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Head of Israel’s National Economic Council Dr. Eugene Kandel. As a result of those meetings, the Chamber and the Israeli government determined that there was significant opportunity to expand U.S. private sector investment in Israel’s research and development sector, specifically in the area of life sciences.

Myron Brilliant characterized the life sciences sector as “One of the most promising areas of growth in our bilateral commercial alliance.”  He noted that the delegation, which includes American technology giants – like Intel, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and others, would “lay the framework for new avenues for partnership between our two countries.”

Just six years ago, Israel had only two publicly-listed life sciences companies. Today, there’s an entire index devoted to this category of stocks. Indeed, of the currently 702 companies in the life sciences arena in Israel, 56% were founded during the last decade, according to the Israeli Life Sciences Industry Association (ILSI).

This week, the Chamber continues to facilitate an important conversation between American companies and the government of Israel around this new program, which seeks to spur investment in the life sciences sector. We continue to build on the unique partnership that our nations share to the mutual benefit of both of our countries in our ongoing effort to create new jobs in both the United States and Israel.

To learn more about the U.S.-Israel Business Initiative, please visit our website.

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