Funding Innovation Between U.S. and Israel


There has been a long history of partnership and support between Israel and the US on many fronts, both military and civilian, and cooperation between the two countries is fostered through a variety of different programs. One such organization is the BIRD Foundation, which acts as an introduction facilitator between Israeli and US companies.

The BIRD Foundation was established in 1977 by the U.S. and Israeli governments to develop and fund industrial research & development partnerships between companies from both countries on a project-specific basis.

Come hear from Maya Vardi Shoshani (BIRD), Elhay Farkash (Lightapp) and Gal Moyal (Free Hot Water) tell us about the partnerships formed.


Ms. Maya Vardi Shoshani, BIRD Foundation Director, West Coast operations

Located in the Silicon Valley, Ms. Vardi Shoshani is responsible for initiating business matchmaking activities between Israeli and American companies on behalf of the BIRD Foundation. The BIRD Foundation supports selected collaborations and provides them with non-dilutive funding of up to 50% of their combined R&D budget associated with the joint project (up to $1M per project), without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. Ms. Vardi also heads up business development and relationship management with West Coast high-tech companies, as well as strategic growth initiatives. Before joining the BIRD Foundation, Ms. Vardi Shoshani worked as an attorney focusing on litigation, negotiations, commercial and constitutional law. Ms. Vardi Shoshani was an interviewer in the Israeli Defense Force and holds an LLB degree from Tel-Aviv University.

Elhay Farkash, CEO, Lightapp

Lightapp is an intelligent resource management solution for industrial manufacturing companies that helps reduce resource costs by 5%-27%. They are revolutionizing the way industrial customers consume resources by exposing and enabling appropriate and timely responses based upon key performance indicators that were previously considered unattainable. Over 150 factories in Israel use the company’s sensor-based monitoring software to precisely measure, and better control, the amount of resources that go into each item they produce.

The founders of Lightapp, Elhay Farkash and Guy Peer, saw huge potential in the market when they realized that few manufacturers are managing their energy waste. The two supply chain management experts, who previously worked at Oracle, decided to use their experience to understand energy management, giving birth to Lightapp in 2009.

Gal Moyal, CEO, Free Hot Water 

Free Hot Water companies’ goal is to design and build renewable energy solutions that can successfully compete economically with traditional fossil fuel technology without compromising on performance. In 2013 Free Hot Water met that goal and got the recognition from the Intersolar organization in the form of a prestigious industry award.

Over the past 7 years Gal has been deeply involved in all aspects of the commercial renewable energy arena via Free Hot Water. He is passionate about renewable energy and takes special interest in simple “off grid solutions” that help remote communities in need improve their living standards using renewable energy where there is no power grid to support them. Gal absolutely believes that Green Energy can and should compete economically with existing fossil fuel alternatives without compromising performance.



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Event Details

Wednesday, Sep 6th, 2017
6:30 – 9:00pm


1800 Embarcadero Road

Palo Alto, Ca


$10 in advance
$20 at the door

Student/Senior discounts available
Members always free

Food & Beverages Provided