Representatives from the Air Force Research Laboratory recently traveled to Israel to visit universities, researchers and technology entrepreneurs, sharing AFRL research goals and advancing current and future collaborative opportunities. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFRL matches tech to needs with international partners like Israel

The Air Force Research Laboratory is reaching out to technical innovators and entrepreneurs within Israel to tap into potential new partnership opportunities.

A group of AFRL scientists and engineers, hosted by Dr. Ehud Galun of the Israel Ministry of Defense, visited universities throughout Israel to learn about their technology focus areas and explore areas of common interest. The group included seven representatives from the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development, led by Col D. Brent Morris, Air Force Office of Scientific Research Director of International Offices.

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The contingent learned about the technical advancements taking place within Israel and shared AFRL research activities and goals with the objective of increasing collaborative opportunities and cooperative technology development with IMOD.

According to AFRL Senior Scientist Dr. Ruth Pachter, the visit was an opportunity for researchers from the Air Force materials and manufacturing community to meet with some of the country’s most technologically minded entrepreneurs. During the week-long trip, she and the team visited every major university in the country, meeting with leading researchers in the areas of optics, composites, metals, biotechnology, and other areas of interest to both the military and commercial sector.

“They are a small country that engages in three-legged collaborations among the military, academia, and industry,” said Pachter. “They have the highest number of per capita startups in the world, and they engage in very innovative work that couples research with application. It is a good incubator for technologies that can support our own efforts.”

Pachter said the participation of both AFRL materials experts and EOARD made the trip especially valuable, with the organizations bringing together a full range of interests and expertise, from basic research to technology applications, to transition. She added that the Israeli hosts were very receptive and eager to explore new partnerships and forge ahead with existing and future project agreements and basic research grants.

The team plans to follow up this outreach with a workshop, to be held in conjunction with the 2019 Fall Materials Research Society meeting in December. The goal for this gathering is to continue discussions and advance and finalize new project agreements with Israel-based researchers.

“Israel is moving fast in its technological base,” said Pachter. “It benefits us both to work together. We have expertise, know-how and the ability to transition technologies, and they have practical research and the ability to make it happen quickly.”

Pachter said these type of face-to-face interactions with global counterparts help make AFRL partnerships stronger.

“Working internationally opens your mind. Having a meeting like this and bringing together such a concentration of capabilities brings a value you cannot get any other way.”

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