New Jersey and Israel sign cooperation agreement

State of New Jersey and Israel Innovation Authority sign agreement aimed at strengthening economic ties.

Elad Benari ,

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

The state of New Jersey and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) have inked an agreement aimed at strengthening economic ties between the “innovators” and tech industries of Israel and New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy’s office announced, according to NJBIZ.

Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, signed a formal memorandum of understanding with IIA, an arm of the Israeli government aimed at boosting industrial research and development and the innovation economy within the country.

The agreement was announced on Sunday, according to the NJBIZ report.

Sullivan, who took the helm of the EDA in February, joined Gov. Murphy and senior administration officials on a nine-day trip across Germany and Israel, aimed at boosting economic ties between New Jersey and the two nations and attracting businesses and investment from those countries into New Jersey.

Murphy said that New Jersey’s existing relationship with Israel already amounts to $1 billion annually in “shared economic activity,” which could increase under the agreement.

“The Garden State and Israel both have economies deeply rooted in innovation as well as brilliant scientists, researchers, and academic minds doing ground-breaking work across a broad spectrum of high-growth sectors,” Murphy said in a statement.

Under the MOU, Israel and New Jersey will collaborate on key areas of promising economic growth, including cybersecurity, life sciences and innovation overall. The agreement could also result in greater collaboration between start-up companies in both Israel and New Jersey.

That same day, Murphy signed a similar MOU with Hacker U, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity consulting firm considering a footprint in New Jersey.

Hacker U would work with Choose New Jersey, the state’s private non-profit international and interstate marketing arm, to look at how a move into the state would be possible.

New Jersey has in the past been supportive of Israel. Under the previous governor, Chris Christie, the state became one of several US states to approve anti-BDS legislation.

Last year, Christie announced that New Jersey had divested all of its investments from the Danish bank Danske Bank due to its boycott of Israeli companies.