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US, Israel announce new cybersecurity collaboration

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

First Call for Proposals seeks collaborative projects that will develop advanced cybersecurity applications for mission-critical needs

Photo: BIGSTOCK/Copyright: vchal
Photo: BIGSTOCK/Copyright: vchal

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), has initiated the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Cyber program, a new joint initiative managed by the BIRD Foundation, to enhance the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure in both countries.

BIRD Cyber will promote the collaborative development of technologies of mutual benefit for both countries and will build on the success of the BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program established in 2016 with the Israel Ministry of Public Security, says the official announcement.

The program’s first Call for Proposals seeks collaborative projects between US and Israeli entities to develop advanced cybersecurity applications for mission-critical cybersecurity needs. BIRD Cyber will provide grants of $1.5 million per project and, thereby, fund up to 50 percent of research and development budgets.

“Our department is committed to direct operational collaboration with our international partners and the private sector to address the most pressing cybersecurity challenges,” said DHS Undersecretary for Policy, Robert Silvers. “Through the BIRD Cyber program, DHS and INCD will harness the innovation and ingenuity of the Israeli and American technology sectors to drive security and resilience.”

“We look forward to continuing to build the relationship between DHS and INCD to implement this new US-Israel cybersecurity initiative that addresses security needs shared by both nations,” said INCD Director-General, Gaby Portnoy.

“The joint investment in public-private partnerships should advance innovative and jointly developed technologies to bring the next generation solutions for national level cybersecurity.”

The BIRD Cyber Call for Proposals seeks cooperative projects between two companies, or between a company and a university or research institution—one from the U.S. and one from Israel—leading to demonstrations and pilot implementation of innovative technologies in one of the following areas:

*Secured architecture for protecting core operational processes *Real-time risk assessment solutions for small-to-medium sized airports or seaports *Resilience center pilots for small and medium sized businesses and enterprises *Advanced data fusion and analytics

The deadline for submitting executive summaries to this new Call for Proposals is November 15, 2022, and projects will be selected for the award in March 2023.

“BIRD Cyber provides an additional capability for DHS and INCD to expand cooperative research and development, and support high-impact cybersecurity solutions for resilient critical infrastructure,” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation.

“We are eager to expand upon the success of BIRD HLS with a new cyber-focused program to foster strategic partnerships in the areas of cybersecurity and emerging technologies.”

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