February 28, 2006

Case administrators help to build economic ties between Israel and Northeast Ohio

Two top Case administrators were among a high-powered delegation of Cleveland-area technology, community and business leaders who recently visited Israel to strengthen the growing ties between that nation and Greater Cleveland.

Mark Coticchia, vice president for research and technology management; and Lev Gonick, vice president for information technology services and chief information officer, took part in the week-long trip. Some of the others in the delegation included former Cleveland mayor Jane Campbell; Ted Theofrastous, managing director and fund counselor for Panzica Investments; Tom Sudow, executive director of the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce; Michael Goldberg, managing director of the Bridge Investment Fund; and Scot Rourke, president of OneCleveland.

"Our goal was to glean insights on the Israeli technology miracle and consummate a number of specific deals involving leading Israeli technologists and even joint investments on Cleveland technology initiatives," Coticchia explained. "The ultimate objective is to cultivate win-win partnership opportunities to help secure Cleveland's role as the US gateway to Israeli technology innovations and to create pathways to leverage Cleveland's intellectual expertise in Israel." The Cleveland delegation explored multiple areas for collaboration with the Israelis such as medical research, connectivity solutions, customer service models, and technology transfer best practices.

"Meeting with Jerusalem Venture Partners, Jerusalem Capital, IsraelSeed, Pitango Venture Capital, Star Ventures, and others, gave us terrific exposure to the Israeli venture market," said Theofrastous. "We explored specific opportunities and expressed interest in companies evaluating a presence in the U.S. via Greater Cleveland as well as opportunities for leveraging intellectual property and capital both in Israel and Cleveland."

The Cleveland delegates arrived at a number of agreements with their Israeli counterparts. Those involving Case include:

  • Development of prospective collaboration on adult stem cell research with Hadassah University Hospitals. Case and University Hospitals faculty and administrators will present at an event in Israel on May 29—30, 2006, sponsored by Hadasit, the Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah University Hospitals.
  • Collaboration on best practices in technology transfer between Case and Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A follow-up meeting will be held at the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) annual meeting in March, 2006.
  • New company pre-seed joint investment between Case, Panzica Investments, and Jonathan Medved of the Jerusalem-based Sweat Equity partners on a Case technology initiative in the visual learning environment.

"Case's proactive efforts to strengthen its ties to leading Israeli institutions such as Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University will play an important role in helping promote co-location opportunities in Cleveland to Israeli companies emerging from these institutions," said Goldberg. "Northeast Ohio is becoming a leading location for innovative Israeli information technology and medical device companies to establish their US base of operations. The development of personal relationships between Case's administrators and faculty and their counterparts in Israel is helping to drive this process."

Medved of Jerusalem-based Sweat Equity Partners said, "The Cleveland mission to Israel generated real business and significant follow-up, which is a testament to the mutual desire between our two communities to build a strong and lasting business relationship. We hope this was just the first mission of its kind and are looking forward to welcoming future groups of Cleveland business leaders to Israel."

Posted by: Heidi Cool, February 28, 2006 05:26 PM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Research

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