The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Fund ¿ BIRD - has approved ten new projects at an investment of $9 million. The fund's board of governors convened in Jerusalem on December 6 and approved 13 out of a total of 30 proposals submitted. All projects are joint efforts between American and Israeli companies.

1. Israeli firm D-Pharm and the American company NeurogesX will jointly develop a drug to treat chronic pain, using a compound that treats convulsions.

2. GE Medical Systems Israel and U.S. firm Robin Medical will develop a guidance and follow-up system based on magnetic resonance imaging technology for use in surgical procedures.

3. Israel's Baobab Technologies and U.S. firm InterVoice Brite will develop an system for users to order from electronic catalogs using voice, instead of menus.

4. Israel's Olive Software and U.S. company OCLC will make a system to access archive data from microfilms via Internet.

5. Israeli firm Disksite and the American firm Network Appliance (Nasdaq:NTAP) will develop a central information storage and remote access platform for data on companies.

6. Home Medicine from Israel and the American company Tender Loving Care will jointly develop software for basic follow-up of post-surgery patients.

7. A call center for communications over different media will be developed by the Israeli firm Merlynet and SER Solutions of the United States.

8. Elam Electroluminescent Industries from Israel and General Electric (NYSE:GE) will pool forces to manufacture flexible luminescent pipes for billboards and decoration.

9. Tecnomatix Technologies (Nasdaq:TCNO) from Israel and Unicam of the U.S. will jointly develop an advanced software system to manage materials used in the manufacturing process, and to locate components in the production line.

10. The Israeli firm Integra5 and the American firm Clarent (Nasdaq:CLRN) will develop a VoIP - voice over Internet protocol - system to identify and manage phone calls over cable, via digital television.

BIRD CEO Dov Hershberg said that a third of the projects are in the life sciences and the rest involve network-based data storage, VoIP applications, voice applications over a man-machine interface, and other technologies.

BIRD promotes technological alliances between Israeli and American companies. It does not get equity for its support, which can be up to 50% of the cost of a project, but royalties on future sales.