Cyber warfare
Cyber warfare iStock

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), has initiated the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Cyber program, a new joint initiative managed by the BIRD Foundation, to enhance the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure in the United States and Israel. BIRD Cyber will promote the collaborative development of technologies of mutual benefit for both countries and will build on the success of the BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program established in 2016 with the Israel Ministry of Public Security.

BIRD Cyber will provide grants of $1.5 million per project and thereby fund up to 50 percent of research and development budgets for collaborative projects between American and Israeli entities to develop advanced cybersecurity applications for mission-critical cybersecurity needs.

“Our department is committed to direct operational collaboration with our international partners and the private sector to address the most pressing cybersecurity challenges,” said DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “Through the BIRD Cyber program, DHS and INCD will harness the innovation and ingenuity of the Israeli and American technology sectors to drive security and resilience.”

“We look forward to continuing to build the relationship between DHS and INCD to implement this new U.S.-Israel cybersecurity initiative that addresses security needs shared by both nations,” said INCD Director General Gaby Portnoy. “The joint investment in public-private partnerships should advance innovative and jointly developed technologies to bring the next generation solutions for national level cybersecurity.”

“The new BIRD program advances the U.S.-Israeli partnership through cyber innovation and collaboration to build more secure and resilient infrastructure,” said DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology Kathryn Coulter Mitchell. “We welcome the opportunity to cooperate with INCD and build on our work with the BIRD Foundation to develop innovative technologies that reduce risk to our cyber and physical infrastructure and that lead to enhanced safety for both our nations.”

The BIRD Cyber Call for Proposals seeks cooperative projects between two companies, or between a company and a university or research institution—one from the U.S. and one from Israel—leading to demonstrations and pilot implementation of innovative technologies in one of the following areas:

  • Secured architecture for protecting core operational processes
  • Real-time risk assessment solutions for small-to-medium sized airports or seaports
  • Resilience center pilots for small and medium sized businesses and enterprises
  • Advanced data fusion and analytics

The deadline for submitting executive summaries to this new Call for Proposals is November 15, 2022, and projects will be selected for award in March 2023. A full description of submission requirements can be found on the BIRD Foundation website.