By Anthony J. Ruiz
It would take you over 15 hours to travel the 7,366 miles from Las Vegas to Jerusalem by plane. And while the two cities are a world apart, their interests align in at least one significant way: water. Now, as a result of the efforts by the Nevada Water Center of Excellence (COE), the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED); Nevada and Israel can be considered linked in another way: Creating jobs.
“Through our work with partners, we have struck two agreements that have the potential to bring new businesses and technologies to Las Vegas from Israel,” said Nathan Allen, executive director of the COE. “As we continue to do business in Israel, we are seeing progress within the water industry sector, and I’m optimistic that we’ll see even more deals in the future.”
For years, the nation of Israel has positioned itself as a global water technology leader. It has enhanced its research and development efforts, leading to a host of homegrown companies working on developing sustainable solutions for the arid nation.
As the driest state in the United States, Nevada is poised to collaborate with Israel on water technology solutions.
“Since 2013, Nevada has been working to leverage the State’s water expertise with international companies who would benefit from the services of the Nevada Center of Excellence and our research institutions,” said Steve Hill, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “The Governor’s trade mission to Israel the following year allowed Nevada and Israel to find opportunities based on similarly arid landscapes and complimentary expertise in water resource technology and management. The Nevada Water Center of Excellence has worked diligently to attract partner companies to our state, and it is exciting to see that two Israeli companies will launch their US operations in Nevada. We are thrilled that Ayyeka and OutLocks will be important contributors to our water technology cluster.”
In early October, the COE reached an agreement to bring two innovative Israeli start-ups to the U.S. market with locations in the Silver State. Here’s an overview of the two water companies relocating to Nevada:
• Founded in 2007, OutLocks is an Israeli start-up venture that provides specialized physical security solutions. A pilot installation will begin in Las Vegas in 2015 and OutLocks has agreed to launch their sales and distribution for US water operations in Nevada.
• Founded in 2011, Ayyeka is an Israeli start-up venture that provides remote monitoring solutions for use in control of water facilities. Ayyeka completed installation of a demonstration project in Las Vegas in September 2015 and has agreed to base their US water operation in Nevada in the first year. Within the first three years, Ayyeka will establish physical operations for business development, marketing, product development, and manufacturing.
Both agreements include partnerships with SNWA, the water utility for Southern Nevada.
“For nearly a decade, SNWA has maintained strong relationships with water agencies in Israel.” said David Johnson, SNWA Deputy General Manager. “Through these relationships—and our partnerships with COE and GOED—we are working to deploy these innovative, smart-technologies to enhance SNWA’s water systems monitoring capabilities and security protocols. This not only increases service reliability for all of our customers, but also advances the evolution of these cutting-edge technologies.”
The Nevada cohort hopes that it can continue to build relations through job growth and relocation between Nevada and Israeli. Overall, Nevada representatives had more than 20 individual meetings with companies and an additional 10 companies attended a single morning presentation.