U.S., Israel commit $12M to develop next-gen tech for first responders

There has been a slew of advances in first responder tools lately, including everything from the development of an abdominal injury foam to an FDA clearance for a syringelike device filled with tiny sponges. Both of these are novel approaches to stanching blood flow temporarily until surgery can be performed. Now the U.S. and Israel have inked a collaborative agreement to develop even more.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) will work together to advance technologies for first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services. The deal was made through the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and will be funded with $12 million over three years with half of that amount coming from each country and includes additional access to private sector funding.

Each project will get up to 50% of its combined budget with a cap of $1 million; the financing will be repaid only if a project achieves revenue. A call for proposals was recently issued, including a list of the highest priority areas for research and development. Project proposals are due by March 9.

The capability gaps enumerated by the two agencies total 21 and include first responder real-time location, the ability to remotely scan a scene to detect signs of life and protective clothing as well as technology and devices tailored to urban area emergencies.

"We are proud to have been selected by DHS and MOPS to lead and manage this joint U.S.-Israel NextGen First Responder Technologies initiative. This new program presents an excellent opportunity for U.S. and Israeli companies, as well as research institutions, to collaborate on innovative technologies, engage in new business opportunities, and contribute to technology advancements that will benefit First Responders," said BIRD Executive Director Dr. Eitan Yudilevich in a statement.

The BIRD Foundation has funded projects that have gone on to generate $10 billion in direct and indirect sales; it's green-lighted over 900 technology projects between Israeli and U.S. companies. The new program builds upon an earlier 2008 agreement between the two countries.

- here is the announcement