Many BIRD projects have had long-term impact on companies and society. Here is a summary of some of these projects:
Advanced Barcoding Solution for Underground Asset Lifecycle Tracking
Nortec teamed up with Gas Technology Institute to develop an innovative method to capture tracking and traceability data for underground natural gas plastic pipe installations. The developed technology supported by the BIRD Foundation automates the process of capturing fusion and joint information which is increasingly important for risk management and regulatory compliance. This successful project has spanned-off two new companies, NortecView and LocusView, new jobs and a solution required by utilities.
New Treatment Approved by the FDA to Treat Essential Tremor
InSightec Ltd. and the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation partnered to develop a device for non-invasive brain surgery for people with movement disorders. The final product“ ExAblate” funded by the BIRD Foundation, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat essential tremor in patients who have not responded to medication and significantly improves tremors and quality of life in patients with essential tremor which is the most common movement disorder.
Reinventing the Wheel for Wheelchairs
Softwheel and Crawford composites collaborated on the design, manufacturing and distribution of a Carbon Fiber Wheel for Wheelchairs. With a grant from the BIRD Foundation, the companies developed Acrobat C – a carbon fiber wheel with an innovative suspension system that absorbs shocks and vibrations while making the ride much smoother, more comfortable and even more energy efficient.
Reducing HVAC Energy Consumption
EnVerid Systems collaborated with Johnson Controls to develop a novel air handling technology for reducing energy consumption of HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning). The project which was supported by the BIRD Foundation developed intelligent indoor air scrubbers that remove CO2, and other gas contaminants from indoor air as a substitute for outside air ventilation. This unique and innovative approach has been demonstrated to reduce the energy consumption in HVAC systems in commercial and public buildings by up to 50% at peak loads.
Helping Paraplegics to Walk
With support from the BIRD Foundation, ReWalk Robotics Ltd., formerly Argo Medical Technologies and Allied Orthotics & Prosthetics developed the ReWalk device that allows a paralyzed patient to “walk” again. The ReWalk acts like a pair of robotic trousers that uses sensors and motors to allow paralyzed patients to stand, walk and even climb stairs. ReWalk Robotics Ltd. went public (NASDAQ: RWLK) in September, 2014, following a June 2014 Food and Drug Administration approval for a motorized device that will aid movement for some people with lower body paralysis.
New Medical Teaching Simulator
With support from the BIRD Foundation, Simbionix Ltd. and USF Health, developed a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy simulation module. Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the U.S. making it the second most frequently performed major surgical procedure. The Laparoscopic Hysterectomy procedure requires advanced surgical skills, and, as such, necessitates performing approximately 15 procedures before surgeons become proficient. The new module utilizes medical simulation to provide the necessary complex skills acquisition and training for surgeons. 3D Systems acquired Simbionix in July, 2014. Simbionix is now integrating its medical simulation training technology with 3D Systems 3D modeling service to improve surgical outcomes for patients.
Treatment of Alpha1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
This project extracts the Alpha-1 Anti-Trypsin (AAT) Protein needed for patients whose liver is unable to naturally synthesize it, and administer it to patients by infusion. The joint project between Kamada and the American Red Cross and funded by the BIRD Foundation, to develop Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor from Human source for Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency patients was completed with the preparation of clinical grade of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and IND submission to the FDA. This submission led to successful clinical trials completed with FDA approval in July 2010. Kamada has reached a major licensing agreement with Baxter International to distribute intravenous Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Product for the treatment of hereditary Alpha-1 antitrypsin Deficiency which is distributed under the trade name “Glassia™”.
Aircraft Enhanced Vision System (EVS)
The combined project between Kollsman and Opgal and funded by the BIRD Foundation produced the EVS camera which is designed to provide day/night improved orientation during taxiing or flying. It allows visual landing in reduced visibility conditions, such as fog, haze, dust, smog, etc. The system is now deployed in over 1400 airplanes around the world and is also used by the Federal Express fleet on various aircraft models. Day or night, EVS significantly improves flight safety and situational awareness, both in the air and on active taxiways and runways.
Brain Training Tool for Hockey Players
ACE and USA Hockey have teamed up to develop the first hockey-sense training program for ice hockey players. The Hockey IntelliGym™ is a software-based program that allows players to develop perception, short-term memory focus and decision-making skills, and enables coaches to fine-tune programs and follow up on each player’s progress. The beta results with the National Team Development Program had coaches cheering: In January 2009, the U17 team won the World U17 Hockey Challenge. That same year the U18 team increased their win ratio from 29% to 70% after going through the program. In 2010, IntelliGym™ won the Sharp Brains Innovation Award.
An Advanced Learning System
McGraw-Hill Education acquired Tegrity while collaborating on an advanced learning system with the support of the BIRD Foundation. The companies received a BIRD grant for the development of LOTUS – a next generation integrated student learning system that provides students with efficient access to and navigation between multiple sources of learning content. The product which is “like a searchable DVR for your college courses” was sold to hundreds of colleges and universities. Following the acquisition of Tegrity, McGraw-Hill opened an innovation center in Israel.
Next Generation Disaster Recovery
EMC and Axxana teamed up to develop an Advanced Disaster Recovery System. The AxxBox Solution sets a new standard for data protection. The system, funded by the BIRD Foundation, provides a synchronous replication solution that utilizes existing asynchronous infrastructure, and enables replication of more data without the need to increase communication link bandwidth. This sturdy and robust disaster-proof storage protection system is capable of withstanding extreme conditions and surviving any type of disaster without losing data. The system received Storage Magazine-SearchStorage.com’s “Product of the Year” Silver Award.
New Drug for Gout
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved KRYSTEXXA(TM) (pegloticase), a PEGylated uric acid specific enzyme indicated for the treatment of chronic gout in adult patients that are refractory to conventional therapy. The drug was developed by Mountain View Pharmaceuticals, and Bio-technology General (acquired by Ferring Pharmaceuticals in 2005) with a grant from the BIRD Foundation.
Reducing & Preventing Urinary Incontinence
With the support of the BIRD Foundation, a United States-based corporation teamed with ConTIPI Ltd., who developed a vaginal device for the management of urinary incontinence in women. Following conclusion of development and approval of the device for over the counter sales by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all rights to the device were purchased by another United States–based multinational company.
Light Source for Planar Light Fixtures
Oree Inc. and Intematix Corp. developed a planar illumination LED module supported by the BIRD Foundation. The Oree LightCell™ Plus is an ultra-thin planar LED device providing a ready to use light source for planar light fixtures. Fixture manufacturers using planar lighting benefit from needing less material to build fixtures, resulting in lower costs and environmental benefits.
3D Imaging for Orthodontics
This technology allows orthodontists to optimize the location of brackets by using digital models of the teeth, eliminating the need for plaster model storage and retrieving. The system reduces the treatment time and number of visits required. The technology was developed by Cadent, which originally collaborated with 3M, and the companies received a grant from the BIRD Foundation. Cadent has since been acquired by Align Technologies, Inc.
Ciba Specialty Chemicals and FreshPoint have developed the OnVu™, a novel time-temperature indicator (TTI). The most common cause of spoilage of chilled food and beverages is the temperature being too high during storage and transport. This new TTI device, supported by the BIRD Foundation, shows at a glance, the freshness of perishable goods. It allows producers, retailers and consumers to check whether perishable products have been correctly stored and supplied, thus helping to enhance consumer convenience and confidence.
Automatic Color Control for Digital Printing
Presstek and VCortex Ltd. have teamed up to develop the Presstek Virtuoso, an innovative inline color management and sheet inspection system for the Presstek 75DI. In an environment where automation and elimination of error is critical to business success, Virtuoso saves time and money and delivers a more stable print run by performing a complete inspection of each sheet at full press speed. The development of Virtuoso was supported by the BIRD Foundation.
Pluggable Fiber Optic Transceiver for High Speed Communication
This hi-tech, new generation transceiver, which was developed by a partnership between ColorChip and Molex under a BIRD Foundation program, allows designing systems with higher port density and lower power consumption, simplifying installation and maintenance processes while maintaining the high-speed, small-form factor product that present systems demand.
Health Information Business Intelligence Platform
Through a joint project funded by the BIRD Foundation, Treato (First Life Research Ltd.) collaborated with Healthline to deliver its drug decision support tools to patients through Healthline’s online drug information center. This health information platform aggregates patient experiences from the Internet and organizes them into usable insights for patients, healthcare professionals, pharma companies, and other healthcare organizations. The Treato platform collects data from healthcare social media sites and aggregates them into a single, clear and highly accessible knowledge base.
Reducing Tooling Cost
At the urging of General Motors Corp. and with funding from the BIRD Foundation, Tesco joined forces with CogniTens Inc. to develop a measurement system specifically tuned to the needs of automotive BIW assemblies. The result is the I3 Measurement Cell, which reduces auto makers’ costs for developing, testing and monitoring expensive product-specific tooling. GM uses the I3 approach extensively to evaluate, fit and finish the interior and exterior of the Pontiac Solstice roadster and the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.
All Digital Endoscope
ACMI Corp. and CByond developed the All-Digital Endoscope. This compact endoscope with an integral miniature camera and internal LED illumination was the first in the market. It offers 7x better resolution versus a traditional fiber optic endoscope and was developed with a grant from the BIRD Foundation. CByond was later acquired by ACMI.
Semiconductor Process Equipment
The BIRD project between Applied Materials and OrAmir led to the development of laser cleaning systems capable of effectively removing defects from the most demanding applications in the semiconductor area. Following the successful completion of the project, Applied Materials acquired OrAmir.
Seasonal Allergy Treatment
The joint development of ‘loteprednol etabonate’ (LE) by Pharmos and Bausch & Lomb, funded by the BIRD Foundation, resulted in the fundamental formulation for the development of Lotemax, the No. 1 dispensed ophthalmic steroid brand in America, and Alrex, the treatment of choice among many eye-care professionals in the United States for severe seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
Digital Servo System
The BIRD project between Kollmorgen and Servotonix led to the development of a low cost, high performance digital servo motor drive serving a wider range of power requirements. Following the project, Kollmorgen acquired Servotronix. Today, Kollmorgen-Servotronix, located in Israel, is a center of excellence, responsible for the development of custom servo and motion control systems for large OEMs.
Mobile Travel Tool
WorldMate (formerly MobiMate), a provider of mobile travel services, partnered with Conducive Technology, to develop its newest mobile travel tool, WorldMate Live. With funding from the BIRD Foundation, the companies developed a mobile travel application that proactively aggregates and monitors all details from a user’s travel bookings and Outlook meetings into a detailed itinerary, then pushes pertinent information to the user in real time. As a result, WorldMate Live accurately predicts travel conflicts for road warriors and automatically provides solutions, often before a traveler even knows there is a potential problem.
Mobile Internet via Satellite
RaySat and iDirect Technologies collaborated to launch a mobile satellite communication platform that supports live TV reception and 2-way broadband data connectivity in automobiles, recreation vehicles, trains, buses and public service vehicles, while in motion. This successful project, funded by the BIRD Foundation, provides a tested solution for customers on the move.
Video Ad Targeting Platform
U.S. Company, SET Media (previously named Affine Systems), partnered with the Israeli company, Ron Soferman, in 2011 to develop an online video ad targeting application using computer vision technology. The technology simplifies the digital video ad industry by delivering precisely targeted ads over high-quality content, with full transparency and leverages cutting-edge techniques to expertly connect an advertizing campaign to an available inventory of videos. SET Media was acquired by Conversant (NASDAQ: CNVR) on February 6, 2014.
Pancreatic Cancer novel treatment
BioCancell teamed with Virginia Bioscience Commercialization Center (VBCC) to conduct Phase I & II clinical trials of its lead drug-candidate, BC-819 as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. Eventually the trial took place at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, and Hadassah, Sheba, Hillel Yafeh and Meir Medical Centers in Israel. The outcome of this project received FDA approval after the completion of the clinical trials.
Self-Powered, Wireless Current Sensors
Israeli company, Panoramic Power and Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch (MNLB) of San Francisco, CA received BIRD Energy funding in 2011 to develop and test a low-cost, nonintrusive, real-time energy monitoring platform designed to help businesses save money, reduce energy use, manage sustainability initiatives and improve building operations. The product is currently being sold to a growing number of customers such as hospitals, retail and banks. Recently, the Israeli company established a branch in NY.
LIDAR-based System for Wind Farms
Collaboration between Pentalum Technologies of Israel, and 3 Tier of Seattle, Washington, resulted in a LIDAR-based system which gathers data using lasers to facilitate wind speed and power output forecasting in wind farms. BIRD Energy funding in 2011 supported Pentalum’s SpiDAR LiDAR Wind Light Detection and Ranging System which achieves a longer range and has improved functionalities. Pentalum has started to sell their SpiDAR LiDAR System around the world. In July of 2013, Pentalum received a strategic investment from GE Venture and Is installing their system on GE ‘s wind turbines.
Through-Wall Location and Sensing System
General Dynamics (GDATP) and Camero developed a portable solution for through-wall location and sensing with the support of the BIRD Foundation. The Xaver™ 400 system detects whether people are present behind walls, how many individuals are present, and where they are situated. The system, simple to operate, is a dependable tool used to increase situation awareness and to support effective decision making.
Cutting-Edge HR System
The Shanghai Municipal Labor and Social Security Bureau is using web-based screening and assessment tools to support entrepreneurs. This innovative system was developed by CareerHarmony and Manpower with a grant from the BIRD Foundation. Following the project, Manpower Inc., the $11 billion staffing and HR organization, became the majority shareholder, a major client and powerful strategic partner of CareerHarmony.
Sperm Quality Analyzer
The Optibreed Sperm Quality Analyzer was designed and developed by Progeny Systems and MES (Medical Electronic Systems Ltd.), as a unique portable unit that combines optical detection with an internal computer to provide a rapid sperm analysis – both for the human fertility market as well as the veterinary market. The Analyzer, funded by the BIRD Foundation, provides quantitative evaluation of the semen quality of cattle.