The Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) was proud to host the Israeli Defense Technology Trade Mission to Maryland from March 10-13th, in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Defense’s SIBAT International Cooperation Directorate. SIBAT, which helps Israeli defense companies export their products and technologies, recruited the delegation of eight companies (see below).
While in Maryland, the delegation participated in over 115 one-on-one meetings with Maryland companies to discuss collaboration. They also attended workshops on doing business in the U.S. defense and homeland security industries, including a session with Maryland’s foremost homeland security leaders including Gen. Linda Singh, Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard and Cal Bowman, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.
The timing was perfect for the delegation visit because of the new requirements for U.S. military aid to Israel which requires that all of the U.S. funding, totaling $3.8 billion per year for 10 years, now needs to be spent in the United States, whereas previously 24% of the funds could be spent in Israel. The Israeli companies that benefit from the funding now need to do that work in the U.S. either through subcontracting to American companies or opening their own facilities. The MIDC’s goal is to attract those opportunities to Maryland.
Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schultz kicked off the conference at the opening dinner by delivering Gov. Hogan’s message that “Maryland is Open for Business,” especially for defense companies given that Maryland is home to the headquarters of the National Security Agency, the U.S. Cyber Command, Lockheed Martin and many other defense companies.
MIDC Chairman Alvin Katz, remarked on Maryland’s long economic development partnership with Israel stemming back to the Declaration of Cooperation signed by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Moshe Arad in 1988.
The opening session was sponsored by bwtech@UMBC, the research and development park at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a welcome by Barry Bogage, Executive Director of the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) and Todd Dolbin, Business Development Manager of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. Rod Rodriguez, Vice President of Elta North America, delivered the opening keynote on “Lessons from Elta’s U.S. Market Entry.”
The “State and Local Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Technology Trends, Strategies and Needs,” panel was moderated by Howard Feldman, Partner, Whiteford Taylor & Preston and MIDC Board member. Panelists included:
- Cal Bowman, Deputy Director of Governor’s Office of Homeland Security
- General Linda Singh, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard
- Lieutenant Colonel Fred Damron, Deputy Chief of Police, Maryland Transit Police
- Major Corey McKenzie, Special Operations Division, Maryland Transportation Authority Police
- Scott Canter, Commander, Homeland Security and Criminal Intelligence, Baltimore County Police Department
- David Engel, Director, Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, Maryland State Police
Lynn Stein Benzion, Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, kicked off the second day of the delegation visit at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville.
The “Foreign Military Funding Opportunities and Teaming with Prime Contractors” panel was moderated by MIDC member Sam Feigin, Partner, Crowell Moring. Panelists were:
- Adelicia Cliffe, Partner, Crowell Moring,
- Chaim Kagedan, Deputy General Counsel, Israel Ministry of Defense Mission to the U.S.
- Steve Keefe, CEO, Patriot Technology
The afternoon session “Capturing Government Business: Strategies for the Success,” was moderated by Amanda Bresler, President, PW Communications. Panelists included:
- BAE Systems
- Senior Vice President, Business Development, Leonardo DRS, and President, DRS International
- Senior Vice President, ECR Division Business Development, ICF International
The Embassy of Israel hosted a welcome reception for the visiting delegation featuring remarks on the Maryland/Israel partnership from Walter “Pete” Landon, Homeland Security Director and Deputy Chief of Staff, to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Benjamin Krasna, Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of Israel, and General David Bassett of the U.S. Army.
Capitol Hill was the scene of the final day of the delegation visit featuring Maryland’s Congressional representatives including Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and Anthony Brown.
MIDC board member Lew Berman, Vice President of ICF International, moderated a panel focused on “Doing Business with DOD, DHS and the Alphabet Soup of Government Agencies,” featuring:
- Jeffrey Grover, Senior Procurement Analyst, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment
- Carla Thomas, Communications and Industry Liaison, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Steve Mensh, Executive Vice President, Textron Systems
- Rick Dunn, Founder, Strategic Institute for Innovations in Government Contracting
- Eyal Banai, CEO, Mistral Group
To read about the Israeli defense, homeland and cybersecurity companies, click here >>>.