Jerusalem, Israel - Sept. 11, 2017 - The Iowa Economic Development Authority mission, led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, met with representatives of Jerusalem's bio-medical and technology community at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel, on Sunday evening. The Iowa delegation, numbering over twenty-six members, is in Israel for a week to learn about investment and collaboration in technology and business. JLMBioCity, a cooperative platform organized to accelerate Jerusalem's bio community, organized the meeting.

In her remarks to the group, Governor Reynolds spoke of her desire for greater economic collaboration with Israeli businesses. According to Reynolds, Iowa's greatest asset are its people, who are, according to the local slogan, “Iowa Nice."

Debi Durham of the Iowa Economic Development Authority wants Israelis to take advantage of Iowa’s economic development with its bio and chemical businesses, and see it is a "nurturing place with its startup ecosystem."

The mission heard from five Jerusalem-based companies.  Dr. Yaron Suissa, CEO of JLMBioCity, discussed the growth of JLMBioCity from 2 to 20 sponsors and 400 to 1100 members in the past year, and then called on the presenters.

Amit Michaeli, of Pepticom, has produced a platform of AI (Articifial Intelligence) software which  efficiently develops peptides for optimal drug therapies, minimizing side effects while enhancing their therapeutic impact.

Valera Heath VP for research and development Noam Shahaf explained, how by using their app, one care manager can successfully manage hundreds of patients, using mobile devices.  

Tom Koevary, a chemical engineer who made aliyah from Manhattan, represented Aeon.  In his presentation he stated that the liver can only handle one alcoholic drink an hour. More than that can result in acute severe alcohol intoxication, since it is more alcohol than the liver can process.  Alcohol poisoning requires emergency room admission. However, hospitals can only monitor the patients, not cure them. Koevary told of Aeon’s. new drug removes most of the excess alcohol from the blood in between half an hour to an hour, bringing the patient to safety and sobriety.  

NIMD, says Anan Copty, founder and CEO, has a low-power microwave radiation treatment which can treat early stage breast cancer without surgery, out-patient, in the doctor's office. 

The final presenter, Merrill Weber, President of Votis, speaking for himself and his wife Dr. Rivka Uchitelle Weber, Chief Medical Officer, discussed their breakthrough device.  A common concern for diabetic patients is leg amputations. Using infra-red light, with their device doctors can reduce the number of amputations resulting from foot ulcers and save lives. The statistics on the number of Iowans affected each year caught the delegation's attention. As diabetics increase in number each year, the disease will be more costly to health care systems.  

Among the delegates were Mayor Sara Kuovski of Pleasant Hill,  Sarah Nusser of Iowa State University, Tom McGovern from America-Israel Economic Forum, and Peggy Kerr, Marketing Manager of Iowa Economic Development Authority. 

Clyde Evans, Director of Community and Economic Development in West Des Moines, who was on his first trip to Israel, not only took in the regular itinerary, but visited the Mateh Asher Region, which runs along the Lebanese border.  These 32 kibbutzim and communities of Mateh Asher are a "sister city" of West Des Moines and share businesses, mainly in the field of medical instruments.

Also on his first visit to Israel is Dan Culhane, CEO of Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development. "Incredibly beautiful" was Culhane's response when asked for his impressions. The main focus of his trip, though, is his connection with Iowa State University research grants and collaborations with Israeli startups.

Joe Van Zwaren, President of JLMBioCity, stressed how important it is to "fertilize small clusters" and facilitate meetings such as these with international delegations to bring the large and small together. 

One repeat visitor to Israel said that this time, as opposed to a few years ago, you can "feel it in the air, the vibrancy, hope and future. It is contagious."

Dr. Vitali Shilo, VP of Outreach for JLMBioCity, and Prof Deborah Shalev, Head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering at Azrieli College, expressed the hope that this Iowa mission and similar international missions will see, appreciate and collaborate, not just for the benefit of Israel and Iowa, but for the future of humanity.