Florida commits $1.1 million in recurring funds to the economic partnership with Israel
May 20, 2013 - Today, the annual budget legislation of the State of Florida was signed by the Governor into law. This year's budget includes authorization for Space Florida to enter into a Florida-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Agreement with the State of Israel to support collaborative industrial research, development and commercialization of projects related to aerospace and other technology and life sciences. The budget will provide $1 million of recurring funds, which will be matched by Israel, to support innovative technologies for the economic benefit of both sides. Both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate included funding for this agreement in their budgets and Governor Rick Scott approved the funding for the MOU Agreement this past weekend.
The Government of the State of Israel will now finalize details for the MOU Agreement with the State of Florida, and the operating modalities with Space Florida and Israel's Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) on behalf of the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Economy. It is expected that the first "Request for Proposals" will be issued in a matter of months, and will focus on the realm of small satellite development as well as other areas of mutual interest. Israeli and Floridian companies will be asked to present cooperative proposals, which will then be vetted jointly for feasibility, and research funding will be awarded to the most promising partnerships. Commercialization of the project will then provide for the repayment of the research award to the government funding bodies.
In addition to the MOU and complementing it, the budget also allocated $100,000 dollars annually to the establishment of an Enterprise Florida office in Tel Aviv, that will provide Florida companies interested in Israel with a vehicle to introduce contacts, coordinate delegations, and facilitate trade between both states. Israeli companies interested in doing business in Florida will also be assisted by this Tel Aviv office.