Governor Ron DeSantis today highlighted his business development mission to Israel, which took place from May 25-31. During the mission, organized in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, Inc., more than 20 strategic partnerships and Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) were established, a historic number. MOUs included agreements between leading universities in Florida and Israel, as well as an extension of the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership and a new MOU between Space Florida and the Israel Space Agency. The Governor also met with many leading Israeli companies, visited cultural sites throughout the nation of Israel, led a ceremonial meeting with members of the Florida Cabinet and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“This historic mission has been the prelude to future prosperity and partnership between Florida and Israel,” said Governor DeSantis. “This week, we established an unprecedented number of alliances in science, business and academia. We affirmed our solidarity with Israelis and resolved to give no quarter to anti-Semitism. Returning to Florida, we bring with us prospects for investment, high-wage jobs, water conservation and innovative ideas to keep our schools and communities safe. We also carry home a renewed belief that peace, freedom and democracy are essential to our quality of life and are to be championed, cherished and never taken for granted.”
Governor-led missions are part of a global trade development and business recruitment strategy that involves leaders from business, government and economic development organizations throughout Florida. The missions provide a unique opportunity to promote Florida’s business advantages, assist exporters in meeting clients, and identify and attract foreign direct investment. Governor-led missions target markets where a significant opportunity exists to expand Florida’s economy. Agreements made will benefit Florida students, businesses and residents from securing high-wage jobs, to the development of environmental technology to research and academic opportunities.
Governor DeSantis’ mission included many historic firsts and important business, cultural and academic meetings and partnerships that will benefit Floridians and Israelis for generations to come.
The mission included the following:
A Bipartisan Delegation of more than 100 Floridians
- The bipartisan delegation included more than 100 delegates from Florida, representing every corner of the state.
- Along with the delegation, the trip was attended by 10 members of the Florida press.
More than 10 Media Availabilities with Florida and Israeli Press
- Videos of the availabilities, along with other events of the trip, can be found on The Florida Channel’s website HERE.
Participation of more than 10 Florida Institutions of Higher Education
- Florida A&M University
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- Florida Institute of Technology
- Florida International University
- Florida State University
- Full Sail University
- Miami Dade College
- Saint Leo University
- University of Central Florida
- University of Miami
- University of North Florida
- University of South Florida
Meetings with Government Officials to Strengthen the Ties and Synergy Between Florida and Israel
- Governor DeSantis met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to celebrate and strengthen the bi-lateral relationship and strong bond between Florida and Israel
- Governor DeSantis held a joint press conference with Gilad Erdan, Israel Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information
- Governor DeSantis and members of the Florida Cabinet met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and attended a reception at his home with the Florida Delegation
- Governor DeSantis received a briefing from Yuval Rotem, Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
More than 10 Meetings and Events with Israeli Companies and Business Leaders to Recruit New Investments and Bring High-Wage Jobs to Florida
- Rafael, a military and defense technologies development firm
- Cellebrite, a digital intelligence platform developer
- Israel Discount Bank, a financial services firm with commercial services as well as private domestic and international banking
- Nobactra, an agricultural research firm specializing in plant disease solutions, including citrus greening
- Stemrad, which specializes in protective equipment for radiation
- SpacePharma, a leading Israeli satellite agency
- Nano Dimension, a revolutionary electronic manufacturing company
- INSIGHTEC, a leading technological medical device company
- Attenti, which provides innovative solutions for law enforcement and corrections agencies
- B.G. Tech, a service and maintenance company for micro-electronics
- Gonen Usishkin, CEO of El Al Airlines
- Governor DeSantis delivered the keynote address at the 2019 Israel-America Business Summit
Two Policy-Driven Roundtables to Improve Florida’s Environment and Public Safety
- Governor DeSantis and DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein led a roundtable discussion on water challenges facing Florida and Israel technologies
- Governor DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion on school safety and security with Florida and Israeli officials
Five Business and Economic Networking Events
- Networking reception hosted by VISIT FLORIDA with Israel Minister of Tourism Yariv Gideon Levin
- Networking business lunch with Israeli business leaders hosted by Greenberg Traurig
- Networking reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman
- 2019 Israel-America Business Summit hosted by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
- Networking dinner with Israeli business leaders hosted by Israel Bonds
Important Ceremonial Meetings of the Florida Delegation to Affirm Florida’s Friendship with Israel
- Governor DeSantis led a historic ceremonial meeting with Florida Cabinet members at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
- Governor DeSantis held a ceremonial bill signing for CS/CS/HB 741: Anti-Semitism
Cultural Visits to Strengthen the Ties Between Florida and Israeli Residents
- Governor DeSantis visited Hub Etzion Industrial Park within the Gush Etzion region of Israel for a roundtable discussion with Israeli officials on the BDS movement
- Governor DeSantis planted a tree in the John F. Kennedy Peace Forest as a symbol of the strong friendship between Florida, the United States and the nation of Israel
- Governor DeSantis participated in a wreath laying ceremony at Yad Vashem honoring the memory of Jews who perished in the Holocaust
- Governor DeSantis visited the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem
More than 20 Strategic Partnerships and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between Florida Atlantic University and Ariel University
- The two universities will develop exchange opportunities for scholars and students alike, and explore co-operative research opportunities.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between Space Florida and the Israel Space Agency
- The two agencies will work together to support mutual goals related to space exploration and commercialization, scientific research and innovation, and STEM-related objectives.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between Florida Atlantic University and Haifa University
- The two universities will collaborate on research focusing on the fields of marine science and engineering, invasive species and harmful blooms and other opportunities.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between the University of North Florida and Haifa University
- This will be an academic collaboration including cooperation in education and research, exchange of scholars, and seeking opportunities for joint research projects.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between Florida A&M University and Haifa University
- This agreement will formalize and expand academic cooperation between the universities and provide additional learning opportunities abroad for FAMU students.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between Miami Dade College and Haifa University
- The two institutions will seek ways to engage in exchange of scholars, joint research projects, joint teaching and/or supervision of students, as well as study abroad programs, student mobility and prospective exchange of students.
- Governor DeSantis and Israel Minister of Tourism Yariv Gideon Levin signed an MOU to support the research, development and implementation of projects to increase bilateral tourism between Florida and Israel
- The MOU was signed during a reception in Tel Aviv with VISIT FLORIDA and Disney, and attended by the delegation from Florida and more than 100 travel and trade professionals based in Israel. The MOU is aimed at bringing more visitors from Israel to Florida.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing between Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority as well as a ceremony announcing the winners of the 6th Call for Project of the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership
- In 2013, Florida and Israel established a $2 million recurring joint fund to support research, development, and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida.
- Governor DeSantis participated in a historic eight MOU signings between Tel Aviv University and Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Florida Institute of Technology, Florida International University, Miami Dade College, St. Leo University and the University of Central Florida
- The MOUs initiate opportunities and research collaborations ranging from emergency management and neuroscience to cultural and student exchanges.
- Governor DeSantis Announced a new research collaboration between Florida International University and Tel Aviv University to test child anxiety disorders
- The National Institute of Mental Health awarded FIU a $5.2 million research grant to provide a new, effective treatment for Child Social Anxiety Disorder.
- Governor DeSantis participated in the ceremonial signings of two MOUs to establish innovative and collaborative approaches to agricultural research and emergency management, harnessing the expertise and technologies of leading Israeli and Floridian stakeholders
- The first MOU, between Florida Atlantic University and the Agricultural Research Organization – Volcani Center, outlines a shared goal of the two institutions to develop advanced technologies to improve monitoring, communications, data analytics and machine learning in the agricultural industry.
- The second MOU, between the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Israeli National Emergency Management Authority, outlines a cooperative and systematic exchange of knowledge, personnel and information regarding best emergency management practices in order to bolster the emergency management capabilities of both Israel and Florida.
- Governor DeSantis joined an MOU signing ceremony between the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Israel-America Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
- The MOU recognizes the strong interest these organizations have in developing a closer working relationship and joining efforts to achieve common goals with a view to growing the business and investment relationship between Israel and Florida.
- Governor DeSantis participated in an MOU signing formalizing a trauma medicine education and training partnership between the University of Miami (UM), Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Shaare Zedek Medical Center
- The University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital are world leaders in the field, and have previously worked with Israeli doctors and Israeli hospitals to provide post-doctoral training in trauma medicine. The signing formalized the affiliation between the universities and their sister teaching hospitals, further building on Florida and Israel’s collaboration in medical education and research.