Two homeland security ventures get backing from Israel-US BIRD fund

Two joint Israeli-US homeland security research and development projects will get $1.5 million in funding from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

The selected projects address different needs in the areas of public security and safety, BIRD said on Tuesday. The funding is part of the BIRD HLS program, which aims to develop joint advanced homeland security technologies.

Haifa, Israel-based Levitection and Georgia, USA-based Liberty Defense technologies are developing an electromagnetic imaging and artificial intelligence-based solution to detect threats and hidden items in wide-open areas.

Jerusalem-based Ception Technologies and Hivemapper, from California, are developing a 3D fused mapping system for both air and ground.

The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between US and Israeli companies in various technological fields for joint product development. In addition to providing grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the foundation also works with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

HLS projects submitted for consideration are reviewed by representatives of the US Department of Homeland Security, the Israel Innovation Authority and experts from the Israeli Ministry of Public Security, the statement said.

“BIRD HLS enables us to enhance public safety in Israel and in the US by supporting the development of innovative technologies to support law enforcement, prevent crime and violence, and by developing new rescue tools and methods for fire and emergency cases, all for the benefit of both countries,” said Gad Frishman, chief scientist, Israel Ministry of Public Security, in the statement.

This is the fifth year of the program that was initiated to develop new technologies for first responders, and was expanded to respond to additional needs that will secure public safety, said Eitan Yudilevich, executive director of the BIRD Foundation. The selected projects “will fulfill critical homeland security needs in both countries.”

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