Massachusetts Governor Kicks Off Trade Mission to Israel
Delegation comprised of business, government & academic leaders to begin discussions Dec. 16 in Israel
Gov. Deval Patrick met with delegation members of the Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel at a pre-trip reception on Nov. 27. The trade mission, whose participants will act as ambassadors of the state’s water technology industry, is a direct follow-on to the governor’s trip to Israel in 2011 and aims to foster business, academic, and government partnerships that lead to economic growth and innovation in Massachusetts.
Highlights of the Dec. 16 to 19 Mission to Israel for participants include private meetings with Israeli water industry entrepreneurs, major company executives, investors and government officials, plus site visits, “speed dating” for water research academics and a technology competition.
The trip is designed to foster partnerships between trip participants and their Israeli colleagues; provide opportunities to learn about the world-class success of Israel water innovation and lessons for the Massachusetts industry cluster; and to attract Israeli companies that are planning to expand into the U.S. market to consider Massachusetts as their home-away-from-home.
“The large size of this delegation, its range of expertise, and depth of experience is a testament to our commitment to grow a global water innovation cluster in Massachusetts,” said Ken Brown, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Development. “This mission further underscores and strengthens the unique and important partnership between Massachusetts and Israel in the global innovation economy, including the water technology industry.”
“Israel is the world’s number one home for water tech start-ups, in fields such as water reuse, wastewater treatment, desalination, energy efficiency, and drip irrigation. By working closely with the strengths in Massachusetts in research and academia, venture capital, engineering, and equipment, the two geographies together can develop the innovations necessary to satisfy global needs for clean and abundant water,” said Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England.
Jim Matheson, General Partner at Flagship Ventures, host of the pre-trip reception, and a co-chair of the Mission to Israel said, “Global water demand is rising, yet the available supply and the technology to tap it safely and affordably has been slow to evolve. We see exciting investment opportunities to increase efficient access to water for residential, industrial, and agricultural applications.”
Mission Co-Chair Peter Tunnicliffe, Senior VP of CDM Smith, explained, “CDM Smith has delivered projects in Israel for six decades, and we’re currently performing a $12 million co-generation design project for the Shafdan [Israel] treatment plant. We see tremendous potential in bringing successful Israeli water innovation to global markets—improving access to clean, abundant water through efficient, proven technology.”
In addition to Matheson and Tunnicliffe, other Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel co-chairs include Tom Burton, chair, Energy & Cleantech Practice at Mintz Levin; David Goodtree, co-organizer, Symposium on Water Innovation in Massachusetts; Earl Jones, partner, Liberation Capital; and Mitch Tyson, chair, New England Clean Energy Council.
The trade delegation is also hosting the W.E.T. Revolution Competition while in Israel, a business competition for Israeli water technology companies that plan to expand into the North American market. Twenty applications have already been received for this VIP networking event, which includes judges from the delegation and prizes from Massachusetts companies.