Unique opportunity for collaboration on substantive challenges confronting California and Israel.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today opened the inaugural session of the Los Angeles-Eilat Innovation and Cooperation Task Force to facilitate the exchange of ideas and innovation between Israeli companies, education communities and non-profits and their counterparts in the City of Los Angeles.
|Members of the Los Angeles - Eilat Cooperation and Innovation Task Force listen to a presentation by Professor Eilon Adar, one of the world's foremost hydrologists, one how Israel has confronted water scarcity and how California can learn from its example, on October 20, 2014.|
The task force builds on the 55 year-old Sister City relationship with Eilat and is designed to promote collaboration and advancement in technology investment, business development and research opportunities in clean technology, water resources, solar energy and environmental technologies throughout Los Angeles and the State of Israel.
“Israel and Los Angeles share much,” said Blumenfield, who chairs the Council’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee and will, along with Israeli Consul General David Siegel, serve as Governing co-Chair of the task force. “We are two innovation centers, two promised lands. By establishing this task force, we are ensuring that we share more than just climate and culture, but reputations as two of the most important centers for innovation and technology in the world.”
Earlier this year, Councilmember Blumenfield joined Governor Jerry Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU), based on AB 1032, legislation Blumenfield offered as an Assemblymember. That MOU works to strengthen trade, research and economic development ties between California and the State of Israel, with an emphasis on water conservation, alternative energy, cybersecurity, health and biotechnology, education and agriculture technology. The establishment of this task force is an outgrowth of that work.
As set forth in the motion, the initial task force is comprised of Blumenfield, the Consul General of the State of Israel, David Siegel, along with representatives from the following: the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, Chairs the Los Angeles City Council Committees on Public Works and Gang Reduction (Buscaino) and Energy and Environment (Fuentes), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the Department of Public Works, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.
The first order of business considered today was the appointment of additional members and the selection of a Chair. A list of task force members selected today can be found below. The task force selected as its chair Glenn Yago, senior fellow and founder of the Milken Institute's Financial Innovation Lab, a leading authority on financial innovations, capital markets, emerging markets and environmental finance.
As a demonstration of the task force’s potential to benefit both Israel and California, the members heard a presentation by Professor Eilon Adar, one of the world’s foremost hydrologists and Head of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, entitled “Water Wisdom: Perspectives on Cooperation and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East & How Israel Can Help California.”
“As two of the most vibrant centers for technology we must seize opportunities to create force multipliers as we work to confront shared challenges—especially, but definitely not limited to, water scarcity and energy consumption,” concluded Blumenfield.
TASK FORCE MEMBERS
- Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Chair of the Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee
- David Siegel, Consul General of the State of Israel in Los Angeles
Ex Officio Representatives:
- Mayor Eric Garcetti
- Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee
- Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Chair of the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
- Department of Public Works
- Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Chairman: Glenn Yago, Milken Institute
- Jacob Lipa
- David Nahai
- Jacob Segal
- Lee Wallach