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Breakthrough Dividend: Preface

The United States and Israel have a long history of cooperative activities. Unfortunately, many of these are viewed as one-sided, with America using its resources to help Israel. Increasingly, however, the United States has recognized that Israel has a great deal to offer Americans in a variety of areas, particularly those related to high-technology. One untapped area where Israel potentially has a great deal to offer is biotechnology.

Already, some of Israel's innovations in this area are being used to produce more disease-resistant and higher-yielding plants and animals. To know how Israel can help us, however, we need to have an idea of what work Israelis are doing in this field and how it differs from that being done in America.

The following study offers a broad overview of biotechnology in Israel and the United States and specifically examines innovations developed by researchers in Israeli academic institutions and biotech companies in human diagnostics; pharmaceuticals and vaccines; hormones and enzymes; immunoactive agents and immunotherapy and agriculture (including plants and animals).

The study looks at the work of specific Israeli companies and the potential for cooperation with U.S. firms, particularly those in North Carolina's Research Triangle. Dr. Asher also candidly reports on some of the problems that exist in Israel's industry and impediments to greater collaboration. He concludes with a set of recommendations for improving the quality of Israeli biotechnology and enhancing U.S.-Israel cooperation.

We are grateful to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center for providing a grant that made this research possible. Our hope is that it will educate American policymakers, biotechnologists, investors and others interested in the field and stimulate new joint ventures between them and their Israeli counterparts. Additional information is available either directly from the sources listed in the report or from AICE.

Mitchell G. Bard, Ph.D.
Executive Director
January 1995