WASHINGTON, DC (June 14, 2022) – Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston were joined today by the Chief Scientist and President of the Israel Innovation Authority, Dr. Ami Appelbaum, and the Consul General of Israel in Southwest Livia Link- Raviv to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State of Arkansas and the Israel Innovation Authority. Under this agreement, Arkansas and Israel will promote and support cooperation in technological innovation, research, and development between businesses, corporations, research universities, and other entities within their borders.
“This is a mutually beneficial partnership between two leaders in innovation,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The agreement builds on the momentum we have created over the past eight years to develop a technology-driven workforce that can meet the needs of a 21St. century economy. Additionally, this agreement allows us to strengthen our relationship with a critical ally of the United States.”
“Israel is a country that has almost no water resources needed for agriculture and no traditional automotive industry, yet with an exceptionally successful technology innovation ecosystem, we have created booming smart mobility and agritech sectors that include hundreds of companies and startups that are among the leaders in their respective fields around the world,” said Dr. Appelbaum. “Collaboration between Israel and Arkansas in these sectors and many others where mutually beneficial synergy exists will help further develop these fields and help create solutions that are likely to make their mark around the world.”
Arkansas and Israel will share information on projects that will help develop economic and trade cooperation. By working together on the research and development of innovative products and processes, both Arkansas and Israel can better leverage resources to develop new technologies that can be commercialized in global markets.
Ms. Livia Link-Raviv, Israel’s Consul General to the Southwest, said: “This is an exciting day as we cement our path together in building innovation ecosystems that will benefit the future of both Israelis and Arkansas. . Last November I had the honor of accompanying Governor Hutchinson as well as Secretary Preston on a delegation to Israel where we met with Chairman Appelbaum and discussed the full potential between our two burgeoning high-tech and innovation sectors, and today’s signing of this The Memorandum of Understanding is only the most recent fruit of that productive journey”.
The agreement builds on an already positive relationship between Arkansas and Israel. For the past several years, Israel has been a strong trading partner for Arkansas. In 2021, trade between Israel and Arkansas was valued at nearly $104 million. Arkansas grant recipients from US-Israeli binational foundations include the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, the National Center for Poisons Research, and the University of Arkansas.
“Israel is one of the most business-friendly, forward-thinking and innovative places in the world, and the Natural State is also paving the way for the future of technological innovation,” Secretary Preston said. “Stimulating innovation and economic growth are in the mutual interest of both Arkansas and Israel, which makes this partnership a natural fit.”
The Israel National Technology Innovation Authority provides practical tools and funding to tackle local and international innovation, including early-stage entrepreneurs, mature companies developing new products or processes, academic groups, global corporations interested in collaborating with the Israeli technology and Israeli companies seeking global markets. To learn more about the Israel Innovation Authority, visit innovationisrael.org.il/en/.
The agreement is effective immediately.