Governor Patrick Kicks Off Water Industry’s Trade Mission to Israel

Governor Patrick Kicks Off Water Industry’s Trade Mission to Israel

November 28, 2012

Delegation Comprised of Business, Government and Academic Leaders

Working to Build the Massachusetts Water Industry Cluster

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., November 28, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick last night met with delegation members of the Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel at a pre-trip reception here. The trade mission, whose participants will act as ambassadors of the state’s water technology industry, is a direct follow-on to the Governor’s trip to Israel in 2011 and aims to foster business, academic, and government partnerships that lead to economic growth and innovation in Massachusetts.

Highlights of the December 16-19 Mission to Israel for participants include private meetings with Israeli water industry entrepreneurs, major company executives, investors, and government officials, plus site visits, “speed dating” for water research academics, and a technology competition.  The trip is designed to foster partnerships between trip participants and their Israeli colleagues; provide opportunities to learn about the world-class success of Israel water innovation and lessons for the Massachusetts industry cluster; and to attract Israeli companies which are planning to expand into the U.S. market to consider Massachusetts as their home-away-from-home.

The water innovation industry in the Commonwealth includes multiple billion-dollar companies, dozens of start-ups, robust research and graduate degree programs, and an active investor community.  In Israel, water innovation has resulted in a variety of important achievements, including 86% water recycling (making Israel the number one water recycler in the world); the largest desalination plant in the world at the lowest-cost operating expense; the highest efficiency of crop-yield to water-use; and the founding of three of the world’s four largest drip irrigation companies, among others.  

Massachusetts is home to more than 100 Israeli-founded businesses that enjoy the talented workforce, culture of innovation, access to venture capital, academic and research strength, and great airport connectivity that the state offers,” said Amir Eldad, Chairman of the New England-Israel Business Council (NEIBC). “For Israeli water innovators, Massachusetts is a natural partner because of the strong water industry cluster located here as well as high awareness of the smart energy/water nexus.

The large size of this delegation, its range of expertise, and depth of experience is a testament to our commitment to grow a global water innovation cluster in Massachusetts,” said Ken Brown, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Development.  “This mission further underscores and strengthens the unique and important partnership between Massachusetts and Israel in the global innovation economy, including the water technology industry.”

“Israel is the world’s number one home for water tech start-ups, in fields such as water reuse, wastewater treatment, desalination, energy efficiency, and drip irrigation.  By working closely with the strengths in Massachusetts in research and academia, venture capital, engineering, and equipment, the two geographies together can develop the innovations necessary to satisfy global needs for clean and abundant water,” said Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England.

Jim Matheson, General Partner at Flagship Ventures, host of the pre-trip reception, and a co-chair of the Mission to Israel said, “Global water demand is rising, yet the available supply and the technology to tap it safely and affordably has been slow to evolve.  We see exciting investment opportunities to increase efficient access to water for residential, industrial, and agricultural applications.  Flagship has significant interest in breakthrough water technologies such as Oasys Water, a Boston-based company founded on research by an Israeli-educated professor that is delivering an important new technology into the decades-old industry of desalination, and where Flagship Ventures is the lead investor.”

Mission Co-Chair Peter Tunnicliffe, Senior VP of CDM Smith, a $1.2 billion firm headquartered in Massachusetts that serves the global water industry, explained, “CDM Smith has delivered projects in Israel for six decades, and we’re currently performing a $12 million co-generation design project for the Shafdan [Israel] treatment plant.  We see tremendous potential in bringing successful Israeli water innovation to global markets – improving access to clean, abundant water through efficient, proven technology.”

In addition to Matheson and Tunnicliffe, other Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel co-chairs include Tom Burton, Chair, Energy & Cleantech Practice at  Mintz Levin; David Goodtree, Co-organizer, Symposium on Water Innovation in Massachusetts; Earl Jones, Partner, Liberation Capital; and Mitch Tyson, Chair, New England Clean Energy Council.


The trade delegation is also hosting the W.E.T. Revolution Competition while in Israel, a business competition for Israeli water technology companies that plan to expand into the North American market.  Twenty applications have already been received for this VIP networking event, which includes judges from the delegation and prizes from Massachusetts companies. 


Companies and organizations represented in the Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel include Boston University, CDM Smith, Cleantech Open Northeast*, Combined Jewish Philanthropies*, Diversey, Energy Points, Environmental Protection Agency, FloDesign Sonics, Foley Hoag LLP, Goodwin Procter LLP*, Liberation Capital*, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environment,  Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment*, Massachusetts State House, Massachusetts State Senate, MassChallenge*, Mintz Levin*, MISTI MIT Israel*, MIT Energy Initiative, Nano Terra,  New England Clean Energy Council, New England-Israel Business Council*, North Bridge Venture Partners, Northeastern University, Oasys Water, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Rainier Communications*, Resolute Marine Energy, Sixpoint Partners, Tufts University, UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Xylem.  (* denotes lead sponsors and partners.)

For a two-page overview of the Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel, see

For more information on the Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel, contact the New England-Israel Business Council, a co-organizer of the trip, and its Executive Director, Adi Golani, ( or 617-633-2342).

About the Massachusetts Water Industry

The Massachusetts water industry encompasses the entire value chain of the $522B global industry, including companies and organizations involved with drinking water, wastewater, storm water, industrial and produced water, agricultural water, and coastal water applications.  In Massachusetts, some of the key entities in these sectors are research institutions, graduate degree programs, engineering firms, start-ups, goods and services companies, investors, and professional services firms that support them.

The industry convenes online at LinkedIn (MA Water Industry) and at MeetUp (MA Water Industry).

For a poster-sized representation of the Massachusetts water industry, see

For a TEDxBoston video about the Massachusetts water industry, see


The New England-Israel Business Council (NEIBC) is a nonprofit, member-based organization dedicated to increasing economic development opportunities in Israel and New England by connecting people and businesses, supporting investment opportunities and promoting a vibrant collaborative business community which will produce long term sustainable growth. NEIBC provides a diverse program of activities and events and offers advice on doing business in these two regions.  See for more information.

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