Our readers already know about the video classification software which we developed for a client wishing to classify untagged online videos in order to match relevant advertising to the video content. Such a classification is of very high relevance for advertisers, who wish to determine video content, classify it according to genre and subject and finally match it with relevant, related adverts.

What most our readers do not know is that this project was made feasible by the generosity of the BIRD Foundation, a binational R&D fund with the mission to stimulate, promote and support joint industrial Research & Development of mutual benefit to Israel and the United States. Dr. Ron Maron, BIRD’s Director of Business Development, has kindly agreed to tell us the story of this project, the reasons of its success and more. This is far from being BIRD’s only success: the fund has granted during the last 40 years more than 330 million USD on nearly 1000 different projects. If it’s true that about 30% of those conditional grants are finally repaid, the total sales generated by the innovations created through the fund exceed 10 billion USD!

If this number sounds extraordinary, BIRD’s activities generate even more crucial benefits: on one hand, the developed products help improve the quality of our lives in many fields (from medical to agricultural, from industrial to water and energy supply); on the other hand, the funded cooperation enhances job creations, knowledge acquisition and technology exchange between companies of the two countries.

Ron Maron and Ron Soferman

Dr. Ron Maron (left) with our CEO Ron Soferman at IMVC 2016, that brought together experts in Machine Vision and potential users from afar industries as Food and Agriculture (image courtesy of Stephanie Robinson Jonas)

It was Dr. Maron who met our CEO Ron Soferman at the IVC event and offered him this model for cooperation, when RSIP Vision was actually discussing a project with an American company operating in the advertising arena. It seemed like a perfect match, since it was our first development in the field of advertising and at the same time we possessed the technology which our client needed in order to create the product. As Dr. Maron told us, not all matches prove in the end to be as ideal as they looked to be in the first place: many projects (he gave us a few examples) encounter unexpected issues the outcome of which is a radical change in the best case and a forced stop in the worst case.

This is probably why Dr. Maron looks so enthusiastic when he talks about our video classification project. The result of our work was in fact a clear success: the product was developed, delivered and paid, which enabled the repayment of the grant. In addition to be important by themselves, repayments are also a proof that BIRD was right in approving and funding 50% of the deal. Repayments (and all the more so full repayments) are a very good indicator of the successful commercialization of the final product.

We asked Dr. Maron what was that he most enjoyed in working with Ron Soferman and his team at RSIP Vision. The answer was not surprising: what our guest most appreciated was the easiness of working with us, thanks to the clearness and the timeliness of all the information provided by our company. This may sound like a detail, but it is such a rare occurrence that when it happens it provides a major contribution to the success of the project. In this case, information was fully provided and the technology was delivered exactly as promised, in such a way that the final product could perfectly work “at the touch of a button”. Dr. Maron declares that lack of transparency has been a key issue in other projects which eventually did not end the way they should. And this is probably why he hopes to launch another project with Ron Soferman and RSIP Vision.

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