BIRD to invest $1m in Motorola, Cima NanoTech joint RFID component project

The BIRD Foundation has decided to place a special emphasis on nanotechnology.

Motorola and Israeli start-up Cima NanoTech will collaborate in an innovative project supported by the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD). The companies will co-develop next generation radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions for technologies that use radio waves for identification and tracking.

Cima NanoTech is an advanced provider of nano materials. The start-up is located in St. Paul with branches in Israel, Japan and Korea. The company is a leader in development of next generation nano materials based on solutions in the field of electronic industry.

The project will provide an easier and much more cost effective approach for manufacturing electronic components that enable identification of mass market products and perishable equipment used for reception, tracking and identification in different areas of life.

The BIRD Foundation will invest $1million in the joint project, which is valued at $2.4 million.

Cima NanoTech CEO Jon Brodd said, "Motorola's expertise in electronic components and end solutions, combined with our nanotechnology capabilities, will result in development of advanced RFID solutions."

Cima NanoTech VP R&D Dr. Fernando de la Vega said, "BIRD's support in this project is an additional step towards positioning Israeli at the forefront of the global nanotechnology field."

The investment was approved at BIRD's board of directors meeting in June, during which investments totaling $15 million were approved in 16 advanced projects, with a combined budget of nearly $43 million.

BIRD Foundation executive director Dov Hershberg noted that in the last investment round, BIRD succeeded in recruiting nine U.S. industry giants like Motorola to participate in BIRD projects, in collaboration with Israeli companies. US companies that participated in this round were Texas Instruments, Johnson & Johnson, Nortel, Gore, Delta Pine, Ciba, Molex, and Spansion.

BIRD promotes strategic partnerships between Israeli and American companies in various technological fields. Over the course of 27 years of activities, BIRD has invested in nearly 700 projects, which have resulted in direct and indirect sales of over $8 billion.

BIRD funds projects without taking any equity. Funds are repaid only as royalties on actual sales. The Foundation provides funding of up to 50% of project expenses, from R&D to the initial stages of sales and marketing. In projects that do not reach actual sales, BIRD participates in the risk without demanding repayment of its investment.

BIRD works in full cooperation with the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade and the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on Tuesday, July 12, 2005

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