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CT-Israel Innovations showcase highlights foreign direct investment in state


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Marcia and Ben Adler of Wellstone Insurance in West Hartford, a Showcase sponsor, examine hydroponically grown lettuce from H20 Farm’s Guilford farm at the 2016 Connecticut-Israel Innovations Showcase.

HARTFORD – Nearly 200 business leaders and members of the Jewish community attended the 2016 Connecticut-Israel Innovations Showcase on May 11 to learn about Israeli entrepreneurs who have recently located their U.S. operations in Connecticut. An increasing number of Israeli businesses are opening international offices in the state. The Showcase featured remarks by Israeli business leaders as well as local academic, medical and economic development leaders who are partnering with Israeli organizations. Presenters included:

Ofer Sadka, Chief Executive Officer of SolView, a Hartford-based company that uses patent-pending image analysis and computer vision technology to help solar companies target and engage customers, increase conversion rates and reduce marketing costs;

Lior Hessel, Chief Executive Officer of Growponics – a partner in H2O Farm, a Guilford-based lettuce farm that uses hydroponic technology to save up to 80 percent of the water used through recirculation and eliminate groundwater contamination;

Isaac L. Moss, MD, MASc, FRCSC, assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute at UConn Health, who is using the Israeli Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System to assist in spinal surgeries at UConn John Dempsey Hospital; and

Daniel Weiner, PhD, vice president for Global Affairs at the University of Connecticut, who discussed the university’s many academic and research partnerships with Israeli institutions.

Commissioner Catherine Smith of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and Jason Giulietti, vice president of business recruitment at the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC), provided an overview of the state’s economic development efforts with Israel.

Israeli businesses’ desire for collaboration and demand for construction, legal and other services have already had a positive economic impact on Connecticut businesses, noted Oz Griebel, MetroHartford Alliance president and CEO. “Technological collaboration and foreign direct investment through global partnerships are critical in ensuring a bright future for the Hartford Region and the entire State,” said Griebel. “The Alliance is committed to strengthening international business relationships, and our investors are already reaping benefits from their connections to Israeli innovators.”

The program was a joint presentation of the MetroHartford Alliance, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and CERC — a partnership that began in 2011. Past collaborations include three Technology Summits that attracted hundreds of regional businesses to meet Israeli startups and a 2013 business mission to Israel led by Smith. Last year’s Showcase drew healthcare industry leaders from across the state to meet with Israeli medical and health information technology entrepreneurs.

Sponsors of the 2016 Showcase included DECD, Universal Enterprise LLC, UConn Global, UConn Health, Wellstone Insurance, Cantor Colburn LLP and Wiggin and Dana as well as Pullman & Comley LLC.

CAP: At the 2016 Connecticut-Israel Innovations Showcase: (l to r) Oz Griebel, president/CEO, MetroHartford Alliance; Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin; CT Dept. of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith; Howard Sovronsky, president/CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford; and Robert Santy, president/CEO, CT Economic Resource Center, Inc.

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