RD374 - Virginia-Israel Advisory Board FY2015 Annual Review

Executive Summary:
Executive Summary: FY 2015 Results

1. The Sabra factory in Chesterfield County continues to be a major economic success for the Commonwealth despite the challenging economy. The Sabra facility opened its Center of Excellence in April 2013 and subsequently doubled its manufacturing capacity. The recent expansion added 70 new jobs in FY2015.

2. The VIAB initiative that led to the establishment of the “Virginia Israel Bio Sciences Commercialization Center” has morphed into Virginia Life Science Investments (VLSI). A total of nine Israeli companies are now part of the initiative. An $18 million fund has been raised to support the growth of these companies. The VIAB was responsible for securing the fund’s first Israeli investor who has invested $500,000 of direct investment into Virginia via the fund. Significantly, EOS of Tidewater expanded its manufacturing facility in FY2013 to produce countertops based on Cupron technology and Cupron continues to expand its licensing agreements. Expanded studies are now taking place with the Sentara health organization. ImmunArray received approval to market its first product in the area of Lupus diagnostics. Total new jobs created in FY15 for VLSI and related companies is 10 and expansion is expected to accelerate in FY2016 and FY2017.

3. The VIAB initiated program, VIAC (Virginia-Israel Agro Technology Commercialization Center) is expanding. The VIAB has teamed with Virginia Tech to evaluate and facilitate Israeli agro tech projects/investment in the Southwestern part of Virginia. The VIAB is initiating/facilitating/monitoring several projects: Project Jonah (aquaculture), a “smart turnkey greenhouse” project, Project Milk and EPC (on site solid waste treatment). The VIAB is exploring other ways to augment this initiative including special funding opportunities. Progress is being made including the purchase of land (105 acres) for Project Jonah, location for first EPC site, and an agreement with Virginia Tech to host Project Milk as a demonstration site location. These projects could lead to additional new jobs in Southwest Virginia totaling between 450 and 525 jobs over the next 12 – 24 months. Jobs attributed to all of these projects in FY15 total 7 as most of these projects are in the early “ramp up” stage.

4. A total of 144 new jobs were created in FY2015 from VIAB efforts representing additional tax revenue to the Commonwealth of $480,240 on a tax base of $8.35 million.

5. From FY2000 – 2015, the VIAB has been involved with activities adding approximately 1954 net new jobs to Virginia’s workforce. These jobs have generated approximately $ 60.8 million in state tax revenues. If we discount this amount by a conservative 78% for multiple parties involved in the facilitation process, the amount of tax revenue generated by the VIAB is $ 13.38 million which represents a 534% return on Virginia’s investment in the VIAB over the past 15 years.

6. The VIAB projects that the current pipeline of activities will increase jobs in Virginia by 925 jobs over the next one to three years. This would translate to additional state tax revenue of $3.1 million based on a tax base of $53.7 million.

7. The State Auditor of Public Accounts completed the VIAB Audit for FY2015 and reported no issues.

VIAB Objectives

The primary mandate of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board continues to be economic development in Virginia. Our goals and strategies are:

1. Facilitating new Israeli company entry into Virginia.

2. Working with the Israeli companies already located in Virginia via networks to help facilitate internal growth and expansion.

3. Leveraging each company’s strength to create a multiplier effect for job creation.

4. Devoting from 10% - 15% of our energies to special educational and cultural projects.