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November 27, 2008 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-11-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

In Search from page A13

More
Mission
Moments

• Gov. Granholm visited Jerusalem's
Old City; Yad Vashem, Israel's
Holocaust memorial; the
Jerusalem Archaeological Park-
Davidson Center, the gift of
Bloomfield Hills philanthropist Bill
Davidson and his wife, Karen; and
the steps leading up to the Temple
Mount that Doreen Hermelin of
Bingham Farms and her late hus-
band, David, donated.
•"As a person of faith," said
Granholm, who is Catholic, "arriv-
ing in Jerusalem is a truly incredi-
ble experience. The history, beauti-
ful architecture and the olive trees
remind you of the unique history of
this place."
• She noted that the journey from
Tel Aviv to Haifa went through the
Carmel Mountains, "a wine-growing
region known for its many artist
colonies." She called Haifa breath-
taking - "situated high above the
sea."
•The governor's previous invest-
ment missions to Germany,
Austria, Japan and Sweden gener-
ated $944 million in new invest-
ment in Michigan from 42 compa-
nies. As a result,10,600 jobs were
created or retained here. Michigan
has lost 400,000 manufacturing
jobs in recent years, according to
Granholm.
• MEDC President James Epolito
joined the governor in Israel after
meeting with Jordanian Prince
Hamzah, who serves as energy
advisor to King Abdullah II, and
after going to Dubai, United Arab
Emirates, where he mingled with
venture capital and business lead-
ers. By the end of last week, the
governor's team had been in three
countries, holding 48 meetings
and talking with some 130 compa-
nies.
•Joining the governor in Jordan was
Dr. Haifa Farkhouri, president and
CEO of the Lathrup Village-based
Arab American Chaldean Council.

A14

November 27 - 2008

rime Minister

Olmert with

ov. Granholm
in Jerusalem

Joint Declaration of Strategic Cooperation
regarding water technology. Cosigners
were Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert,
his deputy prime minister and his minis-
ter of industry, trade and labor.
"Israel has been the Silicon Valley of
such technology," Granholm said. "And
Michigan has more miles of shoreline
and access to water than any other state
besides Alaska. Water is a niche for us."
Michigan won't be sending water to
Israel, but rather combining its water tech-
nology with Israel's to enhance techniques
in water quality, water conservation and
wastewater reuse.
"We're doing a map of Michigan busi-
nesses to parallel what Israel has with
respect to businesses expert in water
technology and water opportunities,"
Granholm said. "This is an obvious area of
partnership."
The governor said her Nov. 17 meeting
with the prime minister also validated
her confidence in her heightened pursuit
of venture capital as a pillar of Michigan's
economic growth. One of her visits in
Israel was to Inspire Invest, a Tel Aviv ven-
ture capital firm whose portfolio includes
the Michigan defense firm Burtek Inc.

Mission Power
Granholm's delegation included repre-
sentation from the State of Michigan, the

Michigan Economic Development Corp.
(MEDC), Oakland County Planning and
Economic Development Services, the Ann
Arbor-based Michigan Israel Business
Bridge and the Better Place Inc., a non-
profit economic development organization
serving the Grand Rapids area. The MEDC
funded the trip. Oak Park resident Gary
Torgow, president of the Detroit-based
Sterling Group, chaired the mission.
Lots of positive meetings with enter-
prises of all sizes will translate into trans-
Atlantic business ties between Michigan
and Israel, Granholm promises.
"I can't tell you when because the
MEDC must take action before we can
confirm anything',' she said. "But I know
that over the next couple of months, you'll
see announcements, some shorter term
and others longer term."
She pointed to the nonprofit Michigan
Israel Business Bridge (MIBB), headed by
Executive Director Ron Perry, as a central
player in identifying prospects and oppor-
tunities. It already knows which Michigan
business people serve on corporate and
organizational boards in Israel. Perry was
instrumental in arranging the governor's
meeting schedule.
"The MIBB is our vehicle through which
a lot of these relationships can be built
up and significant deliverables can flow:'
Granholm said.

While in Israel, she spoke at the second
annual MIBB Automotive Partnership event.
After meeting with Olmert, Granholm
shared ideas with Shai Agassi, CEO of the
Better Place subsidiary in Tel Aviv. He gave
her fresh enthusiasm for electric vehicles.
Israel is committed to all electric vehicles
by 2020 to become independent of foreign
oil. "It's a national security issue for them','
Granholm said. "Obviously, it's an energy
issue.
"The same two principles apply to us."
She added, "Shai really wants to partner
with Michigan to produce the vehicles. He
already has produced an all-battery car.
And he is building stations in Israel where
car batteries can be recharged:'
That showpiece car is a great sales tool
for such a partnership. "It's so important
that Michigan and our automakers, espe-
cially at this time, lead the country in
producing the electric vehicle Granholm
said.
Granholm urges Congress to under-
stand why America must embrace energy
production as opposed to ceding that
technology to Asia and oil production to
the Middle East.
"The Better Place is a classic example
of the synergistic automotive expertise
that we have right now between Michigan
companies and Israeli companies,"
Granholm said.

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