Top government, business and university leaders from the Rochester Region joined Greater Rochester Enterprise, an economic development organization dedicated to job creation in the area, in a weeklong mission trip to Israel, Nov. 6-13.
Sixteen leaders, including Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and New York State Senator Joseph Robach, participated in the mission trip, which included meetings with more than 80 Israeli companies; biotechnology and telecommunications conferences; and visits to the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Modi'in and Rehovot, Rochester's Sister City.
Other participants in the mission trip included Gary Aron, Senior Vice President at Bausch & Lomb; Kevin Hobert, Vice President, Health Imaging Group at Eastman Kodak Co.; and Peter Robinson, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
During the mission trip, County Executive Maggie Brooks and New York State Senator Joseph Robach announced that e-Dent, a web-enabled dentistry network based in Israel, will locate its U.S. headquarters in Rochester. e-Dent expects to invest up to $500,000 in the Rochester Region in 2005.
"This business outreach visit was a success in many ways. e-Dent's recently announced investment in Monroe County is just one example of that," said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. "This visit underscores the vital importance of a collaborative approach in seeking new business investments and creating new job opportunities for residents. We were able to foster new partnerships with Israeli companies and universities – partnerships that will ultimately strengthen our economy. I again thank Greater Rochester Enterprise for their hard work in organizing the trip."
"I was honored to participate in such an important and productive mission trip to grow business in the Rochester Region and throughout New York State," said State Senator Joseph Robach, who secured $100,000 in state funding to support the event. "The trip has already borne fruit with e-Dent's investment, and I look forward to announcing even more jobs and investments in the weeks and months ahead."
The mission trip built upon the success of previous outreach efforts to Israeli companies that took place earlier this year. GRE and SIT, a business consulting group based in Tel Aviv, brought more than 30 Israeli firms to Rochester for business-attraction visits in February and June.
"The trip surpassed our expectations," said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. "From visits with government leaders in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Rehovot, Rochester's Sister City, to meetings with Israeli companies, to tours of Sheba Medical Center and the Weizmann Institute, the week was filled with meaningful and productive events. GRE will continue to nurture these contacts in Israel and intends to keep the momentum going by working to establish similar relationships with companies from other countries."
In September, GRE announced a contract with SIT in preparation for the mission trip to Israel and future business-attraction visits. Last week's event was supported in part by the Israeli Export Institute, Empire State Development Corp.'s office in Israel, as well as the Jewish Arab Development Center, the Weizmann Institute, and Sheba Medical Center.
"We were delighted to bring together leading Israeli companies and Rochester-based business, university and political leaders. This mission trip laid the ground work for what I expect will become a long-lasting relationship," said Idit Biton, Managing Director, SIT Israel. "We believe this collaboration benefits both Israel and Rochester, and SIT looks forward to working with GRE on more business-attraction efforts in the near future."
SIT officials plan to travel to Rochester from Nov. 29 through Dec. 8 to solidify contacts and prepare for future business-attraction efforts.
Systematic Inventive Thinking is both the name of a company and the innovative method it develops for
enhancing innovation and creativity across organizations. SIT Ltd. is a privately owned company headquartered in Tel Aviv that has run projects worldwide either directly out of Israel or through a variety of local strategic partners for almost a decade.
Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) is a public-private partnership established to professionally market the Rochester metropolitan region as a competitive, high-profile place for business location and growth. GRE will collaborate with business, academia, not-for-profit organizations and government to ensure a unified approach to regional economic development efforts.