Michigan companies travel to Israel to expand export opportunities in defense

Monday, December 3, 2018

Business leaders from eight Michigan companies are traveling in Israel this week to meet with prospective partners and customers to increase export opportunities in the defense sector.

The trade mission, taking place Dec.1-Dec. 5, is being coordinated by the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA) in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s International Trade Program and the Michigan Defense Center. The delegation is hosted by SIBAT, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defense. SIBAT is uniquely positioned within the Israel Ministry of Defense, while having a close, ongoing relationship with Israel’s defense industry.

The U.S. is Israel’s largest single trading partner with $34.87 billion in bilateral trade taking place in 2017. Since signing a Free Trade Agreement in 1985, U.S./Israel trade has grown eight-fold. Since 1995, nearly all trade tariffs between the U.S. and Israel have been eliminated.

“Michigan’s ties with Israeli companies have resulted in good jobs here and we look forward to further strengthening these relationships,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Jeff Mason. “This trade mission will open doors for these companies by helping them identify and enter into new partnerships in the important defense sector, ultimately growing their businesses and bringing more and better jobs to Michigan residents.”

Participating companies on the Israel Defense Trade Mission are:

Altair Engineering Inc. (Troy) – Provider of enterprise-class engineering software enabling innovation, reduced development times, and lower costs through the product lifecycle from concept design to in-service operation.

AxleTech International LLC (Troy): Technology company that engineers, designs, manufactures, sells, and services powertrain solutions for on- and off-highway heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

Challenger Communications, LLC (Albion) – Manufacturer of world-class antenna systems and mounts. Builds antennas ranging from 1.0-meter quick-deploy models, to 12-meter earth stations. Designs and manufactures trailers for systems that require mobility.

Cignys (Saginaw) – Manufacturer that provides real solutions to numerous industries including defense, aerospace, and automotive.

Data Security Consulting (Detroit) – Provider of data security by helping customers identify, protect, and safeguard their most sensitive information.

Fluxtrol Inc. (Auburn Hills) – Provider of engineering services such as computer simulation, optimal design of induction coils and related processes, prototyping and validation, onsite setup, operating training, and on-going technical support.

R.A. Miller Industries (Grand Haven) – Designer, developer, and manufacturer of custom-designed antennas for military general aviation and heavy-duty trucks market.

Synergistic Inc. (Sterling Heights) – Provider of business development, acquisition, and operational expertise.

This mission is the third MEDC trade mission that Challenger Communications, LLC has participated in.

“While in-country on trade missions, MEDC and their partners take care of the logistics that we don’t have time to do, and they speak the local language, which helps tremendously. They take a list of companies we are interested in, confirm that those companies are interested in our products, and set up the meetings,” said Challenger Communications Director of Sales and Marketing Jill Reschke. “They also make all the arrangements which make meetings possible, like transportation and translators. And the safety and comfort that traveling in a group provides, especially a group that knows the area, local laws, and signage, is invaluable.” 

In 2017, Michigan export sales totaled more than $189 million to Israel, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is up from $162 million in 2016. Companies participating in MEDC International Trade Services reported export sales of $3.2 million to Israel in FY18.

Since its inception in 2011, the MEDC International Trade Program at the MEDC has worked with Michigan companies to support nearly $2.5 billion in export sales and 11,617 jobs across the state.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.