MIDC Takes Trade Mission to
Israel for Maryland Lt. Governor
Boyd Rutherford

By Barry Bogage, Executive Director
Maryland/Israel Development Center

To expand bilateral trade and economic development between Maryland and Israel, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) organized a trade mission to Israel for Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford this winter.

It was the Lt. Governor’s first visit to Israel and provided an opportunity for the Lt. Governor and Maryland companies to develop new relationships to increase trade, investment and R&D collaboration.

While in Israel, the Lt. Governor spoke at the Israel Cybertech Conference on “Maryland’s Cybersecurity Ecosystem: Leveraging Business, Government and Academic Resources.” With 15,000 participants, the Cybertech Conference is Israel’s premier event for Israeli and international cybersecurity companies – both developers and users of cybersecurity technology — featuring firms such as Maryland-headquartered Lockheed Martin, Check Point, Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee, Mastercard, Citi, and many others.

Lt. Governor Rutherford also met with Israeli company executives and government leaders including Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis, an biotechnology that recently signed an agreement with Johns Hopkins University to collaboration on a cell therapy manufacturing facility; Erez Taoz, Chief Operating Officer, and Ayal Vogel, Vice President, of Verint Systems, regarding their 70 employee facility in Columbia.; Dov Sella, CEO, and Avi Israeli, CFO, of RADA Electronic Industries, about their recently opened manufacturing facility in Germantown which will create 80 new jobs in the state; and Esti Peshin, Vice President and General Manager of the Cyber Division of Israel Aerospace Industries and Elta Systems about their facility in Annapolis Junction.

Known as “The StartUp Nation,” Israel is recognized as a global technological powerhouse. Maryland and Israel share similar strengths in cybersecurity, life sciences, information technology, defense and other advanced industries.

“Being part of the Lt Governor’s trade mission to Israel provided us with tremendous access to Israeli technology and the contacts to bring that technology to Maryland. We are a high tech company with many years of experience in bringing new technology to market. The cyber technology we were briefed on is truly world class and we are grateful to the MIDC and Lt. Governor Rutherford for the opportunity to participate,” said Bruce Spector, Chairman, Baltimore Cyber Range.

They also toured LifeBridge Health/Sinai Hospital’s Israeli call center in Jerusalem, an amazing facility that employs advanced telecommunications technology and Israeli professionals to provide “tele-healthcare” services to LifeBridge patients in Baltimore.

In addition, it’s always a thrill to take first-timers to Israel. We took Lt. Governor Rutherford to the Old City of Jerusalem and showed him the Western Wall, Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, and Church of the Holy Sepulcher. And we paid a visit to Yad V’Shem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum and memorial called and inscribed a statement in their book of remembrance; and toured the Shrine of the Book exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum.

A delegation of Maryland cybersecurity, academic and Jewish community leaders accompanied the Lt. Governor including Lew Berman, Vice President, ICF International, and MIDC board member; Yehuda Neuberger, Chairman, Baltimore Jewish Council, and MIDC board member; Matt Pugh, Partner, Pugh & Tiller PR; Philip Rous, Ph.D., Provost, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Bruce Spector, Chairman, Baltimore Cyber Range; Jay Steinmetz, CEO, Barcoding Inc.; and Dr. David Wilson, President, Morgan State University.

The MIDC is a joint program of The Associated, the Maryland Department of Commerce and Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Trade, started after Governor William Donald Schaefer signed the original Maryland/Israel Declaration of Cooperation to promote bi-lateral trade and economic development.

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