On June 24, Cuomo was a guest on The Roundtable with Alan Chartock on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, where he gave a preview of his trip to Israel and again condemned the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents in New York.
Governor Cuomo explained to Alan Chartock that, “We have important state business. I’ve gone to Israel a number of times. Israel is a very important trade partner for us. We’re going to go to Israel and do a trade mission basically, talking to businesses that are there, specifically on our economic development agenda.
“Drone technology, which we are investing in very heavily especially in Central New York. We are also going to talk to some software companies in Israel, because they have some of the leading tech companies on the globe, to see if they would be interested in helping the MTA developing a software product for the navigation system in the trains.”
The Governor stated,“ The Jewish community is a central part of the State of New York. There has been a rash of anti-Semitism all across this country... We’ve had it in this state, all across this state, and it’s repugnant to what New Yorkers believe and feel. I hope there is a message of solidarity and partnership in my trip to Israel and I hope the Jewish community here is confident in this state’s position vis-a-vis Israel.”
Upon landing in Israel, Governor Andrew Cuomo met with President Reuven Rivlin while on the solidarity and economic development trip.
Governor Andrew Cuomo offered his condolences to President Rivlin on the death of his wife, Nechama, said, “Mr. President, when we first met in 2014 we talked about anti-Semitism as a concept. The difference in just five years is frightening. Now there is world-wide anger and intolerance, where any difference is demonized. The NYPD has reported an 83% rise in anti-Semitism over the last year. Our Jewish community is an intrinsic part of New York State and we are doing everything we can to fight back.”
The governor also noted that he was accompanied on his visit by his three daughters as a personal statement of the importance he and his family attach to Israel. “We are family,” he told the president.
The president thanked the governor for his constant and vocal friendship and support for Israel over many years. “You are a true friend,” the president said. “Welcome back to Israel and to Jerusalem, our capital! It is good to see you, as always,” noting that the two share the same views on the US-Israel relationship and the vital importance of preserving bi-partisan support.
Speaking about anti-Semitism, the president said, “Like you, I am concerned about rising anti-Semitism and appreciate everything you are doing to combat it. We must show absolute opposition to racism and discrimination of any kind.”
The president also spoke about the strong ties between Israel and New York: “Every time you come, there are even more areas of cooperation between Israel and New York. We work closely together on technology, cyber, digital health, law enforcement and academia. We also both have densely populated areas that are targets for terrorism, and can learn much from each other about this.”
This is the third time Governor Cuomo has visited Israel in his current role, following visits during Operation Defensive Shield in 2014 and following a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in New York in 2017.
During the Solidarity and Trade Mission, the Governor and the Israel Innovation Authority announced a $2 million partnership agreement to foster new economic development opportunities between New York and Israel.
On July 1, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a wide ranging series of economic development partnerships between New York State and Israel that are the result of the Governor’s recent trip to Israel. The administration and several major New York health care institutions have signed a series of agreements with Israeli entities in the UAV/drones, transportation, energy, cybersecurity, financial technology and health care industries.
“Our economy is stronger than it’s ever been and our message during this trip was simple: New York is open for business,” Governor Cuomo said. “On our solidarity trip, we focused on key areas that present real opportunities for collaboration with Israeli companies because when Israeli startups choose New York, there is tremendous potential for growth for both economies. I am confident the initiatives announced today will build on the current partnerships that exist between businesses in New York and Israel, and bring our people even closer together.”
These announcements build on the agreement signed in late June between Empire State Development and the Israel Innovation Authority for a $2 million partnership that will further strengthen economic development ties between New York and Israel. The agreement includes cooperation on the co-development and commercialization of innovative solutions in the fields of cybersecurity, supply chain, smart cities, energy, unmanned aerial vehicles, life sciences and other areas. As part of the agreement, New York and Israel will establish a Smart Cities Innovation Partnership, a new initiative that will share innovative technologies, research, talent and business resources between cities in New York and Israel. The Governor also announced that New York’s Hot Spot and Incubator programs will now implement a new focus on Israeli companies who want to invest in the Empire State.
Among the many strides and agreements made during this trip, the Governor is announcing several collaborations for economic development in the following sectors:
New York-Israel Partnership to create UAS Center of Excellence: Empire State Development will provide a $250,000 planning grant to establish a new Unmanned Aerial Systems Research and Testing Center of Excellence in New York State. It will be led by the NUAIR Alliance, an organizational partner of CenterState CEO. The organizations are strategically aligned in their efforts to build public and private partnerships to advance leading edge UAS and UAS traffic management technologies, and create a hub for the industry that will attract investments and business development. New York and Israeli companies will use the new Center of Excellence to focus on advancing technologies, which will bring Israeli technology and R&D to the New York drone market and open Israeli’s markets to New York State UAS companies. Three Israeli tenant companies - Vorpal, Flytrex and CivDrone - have already committed to working with NUAIR and utilizing this new Center of Excellence. In July, the parachute system equipped on Flytrex’s package delivery drones was validated as compliant with industry standards for parachutes, after testing completed by NUAIR at the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York.
UAS Company Civdrone to Host Demonstration Day as Part of Further New York State Expansion: Civdrone’s success in the GENIUS NY program has stimulated investment interest that will allow the company to expand even further in New York State than previously planned. Civdrone CEO Tom Yeshurun will tour the state to select an appropriate construction site to stage a demonstration day for contractors and civil engineering firms, as one of the most important applications envisioned for the Civdrone UAS product is to assist in coordinating physical construction with its blueprint design. The Demonstration Day will take place in mid-August. Civdrone develops fast, reliable and autonomous marking solutions on enterprise drones for the construction industry. Digitalizing and automating land surveying services increases productivity and shortens construction time while lowering costs.
Future of Mobility Conference with Cornell Tech and the MTA: Cornell Tech, a joint academic venture between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and the MTA will bring national and international thought leaders from academia, business, government and technology to explore solutions to the most vexing challenges facing transportation in New York City. By advancing the spirit of collegiality and cooperation generated over just a few hours in Israel to two full days of discussion about new technologies and methods for modernizing the MTA’s century-old infrastructure, the conference will move the transit innovation discussion to the next level. Globalizing the conversation on topics both cutting edge and conventional will allow the MTA to expand its network of partnerships and deliver a better service to New Yorkers.
The new relationships outlined below support New York’s state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the most aggressive climate program in the nation, which is driving the state to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
New York-Israel $2.5 Million Energy Innovation Challenge: The New York Power Authority is partnering with the Israel Smart Energy Association to launch a $2.5 million competition among innovative Israeli firms with expertise in energy efficiency and clean energy generation to support next-generation electric vehicle technologies, electric grid reliability, energy storage and demand flexibility technologies. The challenge will allow NYPA and ISEA to identify several innovative companies and give winners the opportunity to work with large utilities to help create significant advances in grid reliability, storage, sustainability and affordability, all of which benefit ratepayers, utilities and the environment.
Israel-Based Zero Energy Solutions, a Clean Energy Company, will open an office in New York State: Israeli clean energy company Zero Energy Solutions will open an office in New York State with the support of a $400,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Last year, NYSERDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Israel Innovation Authority to help identify Israeli energy companies that could help New York meet its energy and climate goals. Zero Energy Solutions creates automation technologies that enable commercial buildings to reduce energy use by an estimated minimum of 25 percent, thereby reducing energy costs.
NYPA Partners with Israeli Cyber Security and Grid Management Companies to Test and Demonstrate their Innovative Solutions in New York: NYPA will partner with Israeli firms CY-OT and SIGASEC Ltd as cybersecurity is a major issue for utilities throughout the world. Agreements in this area help position New York as a leader in this critical area. NYPA also will partner with Israeli grid sensor firms EGM and Vocal Zoom. Grid sensors systems enable utilities such as NYPA to take full advantage of emerging digital technologies.
NYPA Partners with the Israeli Electric Corporation: Mostly state owned, and the largest supplier of electricity in Israel, the Israel Electric Corporation will partner with NYPA, the largest state-owned public utility in the U.S., to conduct joint research in the areas of physical and cyber security, as well as in other areas of common interest, such as grid modernization, energy storage and electric vehicles. This joint research effort positions New York State as a leader in the essential areas cutting-edge energy innovation and cybersecurity.
New York Genome Center Partnership with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to fight ALS: The New York Genome Center and Technion will collaborate to complete the genetic mapping of all 600 ALS patients in Israel, including both Arabs and Jews, the first time such multi-ethnic mapping of Israeli ALS patients will occur. The resulting data will be compared to over 3,000 ALS genome sequences in the NYGC’s global ALS Consortium. Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie and Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Laureate 2004, advisors to the Israel ALS Association, have worked with Dr. Hemali Phatnani, Director of the NYGC Center for Genomics of Neurodegenerative Disease and Dr. Tom Maniatis, NYGC’s Scientific Director and CEO, to establish this new research collaboration. This collaboration joins an Israel-wide program of IsrALS aimed at enrolling all of Israel’s ALS patients in the NYGC’s ALS Consortium.
Roswell Park Partnership with Maccabi Healthcare and the University of Haifa: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center will be entering into two MOUs: one partnering with Maccabi Healthcare Services and the other with University of Haifa. Both MOUs will center around developing new approaches to better treat, detect and prevent cancer.
SUNY Expands New York-Israeli Homeland Security and Cybersecurity Partnership: The of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at SUNY Albany is the first standalone college dedicated to the topics of emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity. The college will be partnering with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel to promote international dialogue and growth in cyber security research, education and industry. The institutions will join together for a two-week exchange summit on cyber security, research and industry, as well as explore a dual degree program.
Agreement between New York and Israeli on Financial Technology (FinTech) Cooperation: The New York State Department of Financial Services and Israel’s financial regulators, the Capital Markets Insurance and Savings Authority, the Israel Securities Authority, and the Bank of Israel, have signed an MOU to make it easier for FinTech innovators from each market to enter the other, promoting New York and Israel as innovation hubs for financial services technology. Israel has over 750 FinTech companies fueled in part by a deep talent pool of cyber experts produced through military training.
Robert P. Griffin, Founding Dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at UAlbany, said, “The Governor’s vision of a SUNY college dedicated to training those who will keep our families and communities safe knows no boundaries. The opportunity to share, work and learn with our friends and colleagues in Israel and at Ben Gurion University reflects UAlbany’s values and strategic mission in New York and around the world. I remain honored to be part of this vision, mission, and partnership.”