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Choose NJ Strengthens the NJ-Israel Connection

The delegation participated in roundtable discussions and delivered partnerships that help advance business, cultural and academic opportunities

Choose New Jersey concluded a fourth successful economic mission trip to Israel last week, further strengthening the longstanding relationship between New Jersey and Israel. During the trip, the New Jersey delegation participated in Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Letter of Intent (LOI) signings that will help bolster economic ties, cultivate further investment opportunities, and deepen cultural connections between New Jersey and Israel.

“New Jersey and Israel have a truly special relationship, and Choose New Jersey was proud to lead another delegation to Israel to further strengthen ties and forge new partnerships,” said Jose Lozano, President & CEO, Choose New Jersey. “Our fourth consecutive trip to Israel was extremely successful, helping increase collaboration and advance research and innovation. New Jersey’s innovation economy is strong, and we look forward to building upon the progress that was made during this visit.”

New Jersey is the first state to bring a delegation to Israel since the COVID-19 pandemic. The trip, which took place from November 15 to 17, included visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The New Jersey business delegation included 17 members from organizations such as Choose New Jersey, New Jersey City University (NJCU), New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), New Jersey-Israel Commission and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The delegation held meetings with industry leaders and entrepreneurs – including representatives of logistics, life sciences, technology, financial services industries, among others – who are seeking growth opportunities in New Jersey.

“Israel takes pride in seeing local leaders not only visit our country, but to push for meaningful collaborations that will help the people of New Jersey and Israel,” said Ambassador Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York. “I hope the outcome of this trip by Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway and others will expand on our great relationship, which has seen many successful innovations over the years.”

Key moments of the mission trip include:

  • Rutgers University (RU) and Tel Aviv University (TAU) Sign MoU to form the Collaborative Research Grant program: Rutgers University (RU) and Tel Aviv University (TAU) signed a MoU that will increase collaboration between the two research universities. TAU will also establish a presence at The Hub, a center of innovation, research, and medical education in New Brunswick, NJ. The MoU was signed in Tel Aviv, Israel by Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and Tel Aviv University President Ariel Porat. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy joined the ceremony virtually.
  • New Jersey City University (NJCU) and the Port of Ashdod, Israel Sign LOI: NJCU and the Port of Ashdod signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) that will advance innovation, economic development and international education between the two organizations. As the largest port in Israel, Ashdod Port has a program for maritime startup companies. The LOI signing will help bring these startup companies to NJCU for potential pilot programs and other opportunities at ports in New Jersey. The LOI was signed at the Port of Ashdod in Israel on Monday, November 15 by the following: Orna Hozman-Bechor, Ashdod Port Chairwoman; Shiko Zana, CEO of Ashdod Port; and Dr. Sue Henderson, President, NJCU.
  • SOSA Meeting with Clalit Innovation & Startup Presentation: Choose New Jersey met with SOSA member companies, and participated in a discussion with Clalit Innovation and university partners to discuss innovation in New Jersey. SOSA is the leading global innovation platform connecting corporations, governments and cities to innovative technologies and ecosystems in the areas of cybersecurity, fintech, digital health and more. Clalit Innovation is the largest healthcare organization in Israel, and a global leader in implementing innovative strategies to tackle chronic illness.
  • Israel Export Institute Food Tech Roundtable: Choose New Jersey and Rutgers University’s Office for Research met with Israeli food and food tech companies to discuss New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem and investment opportunities. The event was hosted by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, the premier gateway for doing business with Israeli companies.
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals Forum: Choose New Jersey met with Teva Pharmaceuticals to discuss New Jersey and the opportunities it offers international companies expanding to the United States. Teva Pharmaceuticals, a leading global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Israel, has a global product portfolio of more than 1,800 molecules and a direct presence in 60 countries. In 2018, Governor Murphy announced that Choose New Jersey board member Teva Pharmaceuticals USA chose Parsippany-Troy Hills to locate its headquarters, supporting more than 1,000 jobs including the transfer and creation of more than 800 positions.
  • Cross River Bank Roundtable: Choose New Jersey board member Cross River hosted a roundtable and networking reception to further strengthen their long-standing partnership with the State of New Jersey and discuss opportunities for Israeli companies looking to expand in the U.S. Cross River, a fast-growing financial services leader, announced the grand opening of its Fort Lee headquarters in April 2021. Since its founding in New Jersey in 2008, the company has grown to over 520 team members and plans to hire 100 more by the end of 2021.
  • Ben-Gurion University (BGU) Meeting and Tour: The Choose New Jersey delegation received a tour of Advanced Technology Park and discussed partnership opportunities with BGU. In March, BGU and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) announced a partnership that will create a world-class Institute for Future Technologies in New Jersey, offering dual degrees and new research opportunities.
  • EY Business Roundtable: Choose New Jersey participated in a roundtable with Choose New Jersey board member EY and Rutgers University President Dr. Jonathan Holloway to discuss New Jersey’s life sciences and technology sectors. New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem is home to a high density of early-stage and established life sciences and technology companies and has attracted Israeli companies looking to be part of a thriving business community.

Nicknamed the “State of Innovation” and the “Startup Nation,” New Jersey and Israel both share a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. Home to the fourth largest Israel-born population and the fourth largest population of Israeli ancestry in the United States, New Jersey has longstanding ties to Israel. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the level of trade with Israel rose to a record level from 2019 to 2020, reaching the $1.33 billion mark.

This trip builds upon the foundation that was started during Governor Murphy’s first trip to Israel in 2018 with the New Jersey delegation. Over the past four years, Choose New Jersey has seen an increased interest in business attraction from Israel. Choose New Jersey has played an integral role in attracting Israeli companies to New Jersey including HackerU and Kafrit Industries, among others.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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