Israeli business investment in Virginia grow

by | Aug 14, 2016 | Other News

Tel Aviv, Israel—Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and his senior team were in israel for only 46 hours last month, but significant results took place.

A recent Virginia Israel Briefing from the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board notes that a highlight of the trade mission was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Virginia Tech and the Strauss Group. Ralph Robbins, executive director of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, says “this MOU is consistent with our goals of transforming Southwest Virginia’s economic infrastructure from basic agriculture to industries based on agro-technology.”

Other achievements of the visit included more than 20 highlevel meetings by the Governor’s senior staff, understandings by five companies that they will expand or initiate activities in Virginia in the coming 12 months, four announcements including a $10 million investment in ImmunArray, a Virginia-Israel life science company, and a potential multi-million fund for additional Israeli life science companies’ expansion into the U.S. from Virginia.

According to Robbins, this activity could lead to the creation of more than 500 jobs in Virginia over the next 12–36 months.

The MOU with Petah Tikva based Strauss Group creates an innovative platform to collaborate on food technologies research between the Virginia Polytechnic institute and State University and the Israeli food and beverage company. Popularly known as Virginia Tech, the school, with its main campus in Blacksburg, is the Commonwealth’s third-largest university and its leading research institution.

At the MOU signing ceremony, Robbins said, “Collaboration around agriculture, food research and development is another important phase in the relationship between israel and the United States.”

The Sabra Dipping Company, which is jointly owned by Strauss and PepsiCo, operates the world’s largest hummus production facility in Richmond, as well as a cutting-edge food research operation.