Space Florida, Israel Innovation Authority Announce Fifth Round Winners of Innovation Partner Funding

EXPLORATION PARK, FL and AIRPORT CITY, ISRAEL — June 21, 2018 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the aerospace and spaceport development authority for the State of Florida, and the Israel Innovation Authority, created to maintain Israel’s position at the forefront of global innovation, are pleased to announce the fifth-round winners of industrial research and development funding tied to the Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program.

In October 2013, Florida and Israel created a $2 million recurring joint fund to support research, development and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida. For this Call for Projects, in total, 14 joint proposals were submitted by teams of for-profit companies in Florida and Israel, and four teams have been selected for the fifth round awards.

The winners are as follows:

G a N Corporation (Orlando, FL) & Astronautica (Israel): In this project, Geeks and Nerds (GaN), an employee-owned, for-profit company with an office in Orlando, will develop a FlightShield product integrated into the Electronic Flight Bag for the aerospace and aviation industry. FlightShield will be integrated into the electronic flight bag aboard air and spacecraft to prevent cyber-attacks while also providing on-board anomaly detection. With a team of experienced cybersecurity, IT, and software development professionals, GaN planned the FlightShield-enabled Electronic Flight Bag to prevent potentially life-threatening conditions. Astronautics, the Israeli partner, currently has a commercial aviation foothold, with an annual revenue of $17.5 million. The award amount to G a N is $288,579.02.

Pheronym (Gainesville, FL) & Bio-Bee (Israel): Both these partners propose to develop and commercialize safe and eco-friendly agricultural insect pest control for farmers here on Earth, as well as future astronauts to the Moon and Mars. Microscopic nematodes have been used by NASA to assess the effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity and radiation exposure in space. ‘Bad’ nematodes parasitize our plants, as well as stunt both garden and farmers’ crops. ‘Beneficial’ nematodes and pheromones, to be developed in this program, will be employed as biocontrol agents to control insects and may be used as we develop a healthy soil ecosystem on Mars. Pheronym, based in Alachua, and the Israeli partner BioBee, will also conduct field tests in both countries while using a variety of fruits and vegetables. The award amount is $300,000.

Made In Space (Jacksonville, FL) & Nano Dimension (Israel): This research proposed by Made In Space, based in Jacksonville FL and California, and Nano Dimension Israel, proposes to advance the science already undertaken when Made In Space became the first company in the world to 3D manufacture components for use on board the International Space Station (ISS). Now advancing their revolutionary 3D manufacturing capabilities, Made in Space propose to commercialize and develop real-time, automated electronics manufacturing for satellite servicing missions, repair and upgrades on board the ISS. Nano Dimension Israel leads a world-class team in additive manufacturing of electronic components and inks. The award amount is $250,000.

Semplastics, Inc. (Oveido, FL) & Polymertal (Israel): Semplastics, a Florida materials company focused on polymer-derived ceramics, and Polymertal, with its metal plating expertise, have partnered for aerospace-related applications in structural material and electronic assembly. Both companies intend to merge their technologies and create unique, hybrid components with superior strength and high-temperature operating capabilities simultaneously reducing weight by 70 percent. This research will produce a new class of material with high commercial value. The award amount is $240,000.

Each company will receive their respective funding awards from Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Through the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership, we have worked together to support businesses that are helping strengthen Florida and Israel as global leaders for innovation. I’d like to congratulate today’s recipients and I look forward to seeing the innovation that is produced thanks to this partnership. We will continue to work with our partners in Israel to support projects that create new opportunities for our families.”

“Florida’s innovation partnership with Israel continues to flourish, supporting research, development and commercialization of aerospace and aviation technology,” said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. “Space Florida congratulates the Florida and Israeli companies chosen as awardees in this latest call for projects. I look forward to seeing the successes of each winning team.”

The next joint call for applications is expected to be released in August 2018. Florida-based companies interested in more information can visit www.spaceflorida.gov while Israel-based companies can visit www.innovationisrael.org.il.

More information can be found on our Call for Projects Page.

About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov

About Israel Innovation Authority: The Israel Innovation Authority is Israel’s central agency to manage the country’s governmental support of the resource of innovation. As the governments’ operational arm in the arena of technological innovation and R&D, the goal of the Authority is to provide professional support and infrastructure to government efforts to encourage innovation in all industry sectors, complementing the major role that Israel already plays in the global high-tech sector.

The Israel Innovation Authority has three main roles: creating infrastructure to support diverse industries, developing tools and programs that suit the needs of the industry, and budgeting and financing high-risk projects and products. In addition to these roles, the Authority serves as a central hub for knowledge and consists of six customer-oriented “Innovation Divisions,” each providing a variety of tools for each market segment and stage in the life cycle of a product: Technological Infrastructure, Advanced Manufacturing, International Collaborations, Societal Challenges, Growth and Early Stage.

  • Michael Halpern

    Electronics are something that we’ve been putting beyond addative manufacturing (outside of double sided circuit boards) so if they can get a good product that’s exciting