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CIIRDF Welcomes Dr. Ami Appelbaum, New Chair of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, to Board of Directors

13 December 2017

Another High-Profile Israeli Appointment Brings More Than 35 Years of Industrial Technology Experience to CIIRDF

OTTAWA, Ontario and TEL AVIV, Israel; December 13, 2017 – The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) today announced the appointment of Dr. Ami Appelbaum as a Director of the CIIRDF Board. Dr. Appelbaum is the new Chair of the Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Within these new leadership roles, and responsible for a budget of NIS $1.6 billion ($452 million), Dr. Appelbaum brings more than three decades of technology and business leadership to bear on programs, policies and incentives established by the Government of Israel to promote industry-led innovation and increase the global competitiveness of the start-up nation.

Prior to his recent appointment with the Israel Innovation Authority, Dr. Appelbaum served as the President of KLA-Tencor Israel, the Israeli subsidiary of a Silicon Valley-headquartered firm that develops semiconductor process control and yield management solutions, for more than seven years. During this time, he led the expansion of the KLA-Tencor sales in Israel from $30 million to $500 million.

Before his role as President, Dr. Appelbaum served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of KLA-Tencor’s Corporate Platform Group and Vice President of Operations of Patterning and Reticle Inspection in Israel, and as the Acting General Manager of the Optical Metrology Division of KLA-Tencor in Silicon Valley, California. He holds a Doctorate and Master’s Degree in Materials Science from the world renowned Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Appelbaum to our binational CIIRDF Board of Directors,” said Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF. “Earlier this year, we welcomed Mr. Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Innovation Authority, as our new Board Chair. The appointment of these two high-profile CIIRDF Board Members by the Government of Israel reinforces the priority and importance of industry-led R&D cooperation with Canada, and the valuable role of CIIRDF in delivering on our shared bilateral objectives. Building on the results achieved by CIIRDF to date, we will facilitate Canada-Israel technology partnerships that deliver even greater economic and social impact in both countries in the days ahead.”

“I have great respect for CIIRDF’s 23-year legacy, and cannot imagine a more exciting time to be joining its Board of Directors,” said Dr. Ami Appelbaum. “Trade between Canada and Israel has more than tripled since the signing of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). And without a doubt, innovation has played a significant role in developing strong and successful economic and political ties between our two countries. I look forward to working with my colleagues to further advance our goals and strengthen our overall position as a leading instrument for Canadian-Israeli collaborative R&D.”

About the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF)

The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) promotes, stimulates and invests in collaborative research and development between companies in Canada and Israel, with a focus on the commercialization of new technologies. Established in 1994 under a formal treaty between the Governments of Canada and Israel, CIIRDF is connected institutionally with the Israel Innovation Authority (the former Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel’s Ministry of the Economy). CIIRDF has financed more than 120 collaborative R&D projects that have contributed to the joint development and sale of more than 60 new global products. This has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic value for Canadian and Israeli companies over the past decade. For additional information, please visit:

About the Israel Innovation Authority

The Israel Innovation Authority, formerly known as the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy (& MATIMOP), is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole. Its role is to nurture and develop Israeli innovation resources, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support the entire knowledge industry. For additional information, please visit:

Media inquiries:
Sonya Shorey
Communications Strategist, CIIRDF
Cell: 613.851.9416

Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF, Addresses Canada’s Standing Committee on Finance

27 September 2017

On September 27, 2017, Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF, gave a presentation as an invited witness before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.  He delivered an address that focused on how Canada could learn from Israel’s success in cultivating one of the world’s most robust economies founded on innovation and concluded with a recommendation that Innovation Canada enter into a strategic partnership with the Israel Innovation Authority.

Dr. Rothschild shared key insight, lessons learned and recommendations that speak to Israel’s unique approach to innovation. His perspective builds on more than two decades of Canada-Israel R&D collaboration facilitated by CIIRDF, one of the most effective bilateral partnership models of its kind in the world.

For additional information, download Dr. Rothschild’s speech; view his presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance; or contact Sonya Shorey, Communications Strategist, at

CIIRDF Launches New Call for Canada-Israel R&D Projects

1 September 2017

OTTAWA, Canada and TEL AVIV, Israel; The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) today announced the launch of a new Call for Proposals (CFP) for bilateral R&D projects.  Leveraging support from the Governments of Canada and Israel, this CFP aims to stimulate R&D collaboration between firms in Canada and Israel with a focus on the commercialization of new technologies.

Eligibility: This Call invites private sector companies from Canada and Israel to propose joint research, R&D and technology development projects for the creation of innovative products or processes with a non-defence application. The maximum duration of a CIIRDF project is 36 months.

  • Canadian firms can leverage academic expertise on their R&D project and engage students jointly with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
  • Public sector organizations, such as universities and research institutions, are eligible to participate in R&D projects as project subcontractors or consultants (not applicants)

Funding: Following a rigorous evaluation process, CIIRDF selects and awards Canada-Israel R&D teams with financial contributions up to 50 percent of the eligible project costs to a maximum of CDN$ 800,000 per project,

Areas of Special Consideration: Special consideration will be given to projects in the following areas:

  • Information and Communication Technologies (including cyber, fintech)
  • Life Sciences
  • Aerospace
  • Clean tech and sustainable tech (including water, renewables), plus limited energy (oil and gas)
  • Agriculture and agrifood (including agri-tech)

Summary Proposal Submission Deadline: October 6, 2017
Full Proposal Submission Deadline: October 31, 2017
Notification of Approved Projects: January 2018

Seeking an R&D partner?  CIIRDF offers a matchmaking service for companies in both countries.

Apply Now:  Visit for application guidelines, templates and proposal evaluation details

For additional information, please contact:

CIIRDF Appoints Israeli High-Tech Industry Veteran as New Chair of the Board

12 June 2017

OTTAWA, Ontario and TEL AVIV, Israel; Dr. Henri Rothschild, CEO of the Canada Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF), is pleased to announce that CIIRDF’s binational Board of Directors appointed Mr. Aharon Aharon, CEO of the new Israel Innovation Authority, as the new Chair of the CIIRDF Board of Directors.  He replaces Mr. Avi Hasson, Israel’s former Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Economy who has served in this capacity for more than six years. Mr. Aharon becomes the sixth Israeli leader to undertake this critical role with CIIRDF within the foundation’s 22-year history.

Mr. Aharon brings more than 25 years of top level expertise and high-tech industry experience to CIIRDF and the bilateral community it supports.  This includes extensive international collaboration through his management roles with well-established multinational companies, and a host of innovative start-ups. Most recently, he served as CEO of Apple’s Israeli operations, helping its launch in November 2011, and then growing the company to over 900 employees. Prior to Apple, he held executive roles with technology companies including Camero, Discretix Technologies, Seabridge and IBM’s Haifa Research Labs.  His illustrious career began following his completion of two degrees from the Technion, Israel’s renowned Institute of Technology, and after having served in the Israeli Defense Forces’ Elite Intelligence Unit 8200.

Mr. Aharon undertakes the role of CIIRDF Chair following his appointment as the first CEO of the newly created Israel Innovation Authority. With responsibility for Israel’s innovation policies and programs, the Israel Innovation Authority, an independent agency, replaces the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) which had been part of Israel’s Ministry of Economy. Consistent with the mandate of the former OCS, the Authority will continue to serve as the epicentre of planning for strategic positioning of Israel’s technological ecosystem, including promoting global partnerships with key economies, including Canada.

“I am very happy to follow in the footsteps of previous Israeli Chief Scientists in assuming responsibilities of chairman of the bi-national CIIRDF Board of Directors. We are delighted with the CIIRDF record to date but will make every attempt to achieve even greater results in the years ahead. To that end, I will work with our Canadian government partners to strengthen and renew the current board as well as the CIIRDF resources,“ said Mr. Aharon.

“We are thrilled to welcome a leader with Mr. Aharon’s skills and experience as the new Chair of the CIIRDF Board of Directors,” said Dr. Henri Rothschild, CEO of CIIRDF.  “Much like the Israeli Chief Scientists who preceded him in this important role, Mr. Aharon’s background is ideally suited to the role and responsibilities of CIIRDF.  He brings in-depth technological expertise, proven performance and leadership, as well as a thorough understanding of technology-based economic growth from both an Israeli and global perspective.  He will bring these capabilities to bear as CIIRDF positions itself to deliver ever increasing economic results for both Canada and Israel.

“Israel is truly proud of its scientific and technological achievements,” said H.E. Nimrod Barkan, Ambassador of Israel to Canada.  “The strategic appointment of the CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority as Chair of the Board of Directors underscores the importance of CIIRDF to the State of Israel as a trusted, flagship instrument of bilateral S&T collaborations, and economic relations more broadly.  We look forward to having CIIRDF continue to play an instrumental role in building Canada-Israel technological and business partnerships in priority areas such as energy, cyber security, biomedical and environmental technologies.”

Download the complete CIIRDF Press Release.

CIIRDF Announces New Bilateral Technology Projects Valued at More Than $5 Million

8 June 2017

The Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF) today announced four new bilateral R&D projects valued at more than $5 million that will help Canadian and Israeli firms access global markets.

Leveraging more than $2.2 million from CIIRDF, the projects bring together 11 Canadian and Israeli technology companies and research partners to create and commercialize new technologies with application in life sciences, public safety, and communications technologies.

Downstream, the emerging products and services are projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues for collaborating companies, helping to stimulate the creation of new jobs and other economic benefits in Canada and Israel.

To learn more, download the complete CIIRDF Press Release and Backgrounder

For additional information, please contact:

Sonya Shorey
Communication Strategist
Cell: 613.851.9416

CIIRDF and CIJA Explore Canada-Israel Innovation with Minister Bains

10 March 2017

Last week, the Canada-Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation (CIIRDF) and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) met with the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, to discuss the strategic partnership on innovation between the two countries through CIIRDF’s unique binational structure and mandate. A key objective of the meeting was to seek Minister Bains’ “co-stewardship” of CIIRDF alongside the Minister of International Trade.

CIJA also presented its submission to Canada’s Innovation Agenda, which emphasizes Israel’s inclusive innovation model and efforts to ensure all Israelis benefit from the country’s booming tech sector and cutting-edge research.

Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF, issued the following statement:

“We are thrilled by the Minister’s positive response and, indeed, his clear endorsement of the continuing work of CIIRDF. We especially appreciated Minister Bains’ detailed knowledge of CIIRDF’s contribution to the economic performance of both Canada and Israel. Given the central role he plays in the delivery of Canada’s Innovation Agenda, it is encouraging to hear that the partnership with Israel, through the jointly-supported CIIRDF efforts, will continue to play an important role. “

CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel added:

“There are tremendous mutual benefits in bringing together Canadian and Israeli innovators, who are at the forefront of tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We applaud Minister Bains’ significant interest in Israel as the ‘Start Up Nation’. We look forward to continuing this exciting conversation with him, and working together to further expand Canada-Israel science and technology ties.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada.

For more information, please contact:

Sonya Shorey
Communications Strategist

Steve McDonald
Deputy Director, Communications and Public Affairs
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)