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Rhode Island Department of Health and RIEDC Announce Healthcare and Life Science Trade Mission to Israel

July 16, 2013 (Providence, R.I.) —The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) announced today that Dr. Michael Fine, Director of HEALTH, will lead an official Rhode Island Healthcare and Life Science Trade Mission to Israel on November 8-16, 2013. Dr. Fine has asked the RIEDC, in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Administration, Nevel International LLC, the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University, the Consulate General of Israel to New England, Government of Israel Economic Mission to North America, and the U.S. Commercial Service, to develop and coordinate the trade mission. The RIEDC led a trade mission to Israel in 2011 which has generated more than $5 million in export sales, academic partnerships, and research agreements for Rhode Island businesses and institutions. "With this trip we look beyond our borders to identify opportunities for Rhode Island businesses to expand and increase employment. The high-growth, job-generating medical, research, and educational fields – the 'meds and eds' – are among the most important industries in our state. Establishing stronger ties between Rhode Island and Israel will provide new growth and joint research opportunities for Rhode Island companies," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "The Department of Health, RIEDC, Department of Administration, Bryant University, the Israeli government, and other partners have formed an important collaboration with the common goal of strengthening Rhode Island businesses and institutions, and increasing economic activity."

"Israeli healthcare and life science industries present a vast potential market to increase Rhode Island healthcare and life science-related business exports and develop R&D collaboration in these rapidly evolving sectors of our economy," said Marcel A. Valois, executive director of the RIEDC. "This trade mission presents a unique opportunity to explore new international partnerships and meet with government decision-makers and business partners to discuss shared economic and healthcare interests."

"This is a great opportunity for Rhode Island and Israeli healthcare providers and healthcare-related businesses to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and develop joint ventures. We are all focused on improved public health outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and improving the healthcare experience for patients. Programs such as this generate important collaborations that have a lasting impact on our healthcare system," said Dr. Fine. The objective of the mission is to increase Rhode Island healthcare and life science related business exports to Israel, and develop R&D collaboration in the field of healthcare and life science. Participants in the mission will also learn about the Israeli universal healthcare system and explore Israel's broad use of IT in medical applications. "I would like to congratulate the State of Rhode Island on the upcoming Healthcare Life Sciences delegation to Israel. Israel is home to about 1,000 innovative life science companies, among them 60 percent are medical device companies, 17 percent are in pharmaceutical companies, 10 percent are in the health IT sector. Israel produced the highest number of medical device patents per capita in the world and is a hub for numerous groundbreaking innovations in the field," said Nili Shalev, Israeli Economic Minister to North America. "We are looking forward to working with RIEDC and the RI Department of Health to make sure that this delegation will be a success for the benefit of both states." "Over the past 10 years, Israel has become a major center of innovative research and cutting-edge technology. With major advancements in medical device technology and implementation of IT healthcare projects, this small country has emerged as a key entrepreneurial outpost on the Mediterranean, sharing its technology and success with other nations around the world. This delegation, comprised of key leaders in the fields of healthcare and life sciences will continue to strengthen ties within this vital sector between Rhode Island and the State of Israel," said Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England. "This mission will present an unparalleled opportunity for Rhode Island business people and professionals in the health care field to establish business opportunities, develop research collaboration and learn about the delivery of health care in Israel and have exposure to the highest level experts in the field with physical visits to the facilities and institutions which will greatly enhance the success of the visit," said Avi Nevel, CEO Nevel International, LLC. The agenda for the mission will include meetings with key contacts in Israel's healthcare and life science industry, including key government officials from the Ministry of Health, Industry and Trade Labor, and Office of the Chief Scientist. The trip will also include visits to medical, biomedical and pharmaceutical facilities, medical schools, life science incubators, and emergency management system facilities. Over the last decade, Israel has introduced a wealth of groundbreaking and valuable innovations in healthcare and life sciences. These Israeli initiatives are supported by the government and a strong foundation of academic excellence, including some of the world's leading research institutes, renowned R&D facilities and cutting-edge medical centers. Israeli companies, research institutions, and academic centers are eager to establish collaboration with U.S. companies. Israel is home to about 1,000 life science companies and more than 400 medical device companies, with 80 new companies being formed each year. This presents a huge potential market for Rhode Island companies, academic institutions, and hospitals for joint research and business development opportunities. Israeli company researchers are constantly looking to partner with U.S. companies, academic institutions, and hospitals to jointly develop products and establish a beachhead to the U.S. market.

Rhode Island businesses interested in participating in the Healthcare and Life Science Trade Mission should contact Kathy Therieau, Director of International Trade Programs, at ktherieau@riedc.com or (401) 278-9139.

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