Gov. Ritter Leads Economic Mission to Israel

Gov. Ritter Leads Economic Mission to Israel


Gov. Bill Ritter and a Colorado delegation returned from Israel today after a successful weeklong economic-development mission that focused on creating jobs, exchanging knowledge and building partnerships in innovative fields such as energy, clean-tech and water.

This trip was a success on all fronts – business, academic and research,” Gov. Ritter said. “We created a solid foundation for future economic activity, set the stage for immediate follow-up meetings in Colorado and laid the groundwork for long-term collaboration. I’m confident this mission will lead to increased jobs, investments and economic growth for Colorado.”

The mission was sponsored by the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado and supported by private contributions.

The mission was a great success for Colorado citizens,” said Doug Seserman, CEO of the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado. “We look forward to working with both Colorado and Israel in the months and years ahead to further the business relationships built on this trip.”

During the mission, Gov. Ritter met with several top Israeli officials, including: President Shimon Peres; Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benjamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer; Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau; and Deputy Foreign Minister and former Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon.

Gov. Ritter and Minister Ben-Eliezer signed a bilateral agreement between Colorado and Israel to advance research and collaboration between companies and institutions in both states.

Other mission achievements:

  • Colorado State University and Ben Gurion University’s Desert Research Center signed a collaborative agreement on water-conservation and related technologies.
  • The State of Colorado, through the Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture, entered an MOU with the Desert Agro Research Center focused on water and agriculture research and development in arid and semi-arid climates. “Water will be one of the most important economic drivers for Colorado as we continue to grow,” Gov. Ritter said. “Colorado and Israel can learn from each other on water technologies such as desalination, treatment and conservation.”
  • The Governor’s Energy Office entered an agreement with BrightSource Energy to examine whether cogeneration technologies involving large-scale concentrated solar and natural gas can be utilized on projects in Colorado. BrightSource officials will be in Colorado later this month to begin those discussions.
  • The Colorado delegation agreed to help establish workforce-development ties among Noble Energy, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) and the Colorado School of Mines. Last year, Noble Energy discovered a vast natural gas reserve off the coast of Israel, but the country lacks the workforce to develop the resource.
  • Gov. Ritter, Colorado Economic Development Director Don Marostica and Energy Director Tom Plant met with a number of Israeli clean-energy, water-technology, bioscience and venture-capital companies that may be interested in doing business in Colorado.
  • Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp also promoted Colorado beef exports to Israeli officials, some of whom will be in Colorado next month for livestock discussions.
  • Colorado Chief Operating Office Don Elliman met with Israeli officials regarding homeland security, including discussions about an upcoming homeland security expo taking place in Denver later this year.

Several of the MOU signings took place in Ramat Negev, the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado’s partnership region in Israel, where Gov. Ritter and the Colorado delegation was hosted by Mayor Shmulik Rifman.

Learn more about the Colorado economic-development mission to Israel:

Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon meets with Colo. Gov. Ritter (News Release, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (July 18)

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