MWTC hosts a round table meeting for Montana businesses with Dr. Andy David.

MWTC hosts a round table meeting for Montana businesses with Dr. Andy David.

by Missy Lacock

The Montana World Trade Center at the University of Montana created a business-centric agenda for visiting Israeli officials Jan. 20-22.

The officials were Andy David, Israeli consul general to the Pacific Northwest, and his consul for economic affairs, Gili Ovadia. They were accompanied by Maya Vardi Shoshani, the west coast representative for the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

The MWTC guests learned about opportunities for research and development collaboration with Montana firms and investigated enhanced opportunities for trade between Montana and Israel.

Their agenda included exploring primary industries suitable for potential collaboration, supply chains and foreign direct investment opportunities. MWTC officials also evaluated the potential for future outbound and inbound trade missions. The visit highlighted Missoula and Bozeman, two areas of western Montana with a high concentration of businesses with high potential for collaboration in research and development.

“Our goal is to help Montana businesses understand the opportunity that exists within the Israeli market,” MWTC Executive Director Brigitta Miranda-Freer said. “We strive to connect Montana businesses operating — or trying to operate — internationally with funding that may assist them. With the Israeli group, we created an agenda that offers a comprehensive representation of what Montana has to offer.”

She said officials met with a diverse group of companies, such as Rocky Mountain Biologicals and LMG Security in Missoula and Resonon and KC Harvey Environmental in Bozeman. The visit also included several group discussions, including a photonics industry overview hosted by the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance and a bioscience industry reception hosted by the Montana BioScience Alliance.

“We hope to strengthen our economic ties,” David said. “Every time I come to Montana, I meet people, and sometimes the best return on your investment comes from the unexpected. A lot of Israeli companies and companies in Montana don’t know much about each other. My role is to represent the government in strengthening those relationships and expand to new areas and explore new territories.”

Co-established by the U.S. and Israeli governments, the BIRD Foundation promotes and facilitates collaboration between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors. For more information visit

Published January 22, 2016