Two Israel-based technology companies are shifting headquarters operations to Maryland, and three other companies are opening key offices here as part of the state's push to recruit Israeli high-tech companies, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele said yesterday in a telephone interview from Tel Aviv.
"The prospects for good growth are [a key] part of the program," said Steele, who is on a five-day trade mission to Israel that ends today. "The days of a state landing a major manufacturing plant with 5,000 or 10,000 jobs are over. Today, it's about technology."
State officials were unable to say how many people the companies will employ in Maryland. The state is offering financial incentives - possibly including such things as rent breaks, financing and work-force development assistance - but it would not discuss the specific packages offered to the companies or to quantify the value of the incentives.
About 30 Israeli companies have operations in Maryland, according to the Maryland/Israel Development Center in Baltimore. The not-for-profit group was created in 1992 to help Maryland and Israel collaborate on business.
Both should benefit in the long run, said Joseph Morgenstern, a business consultant and publisher of Israel High-Tech & Investment Report, a monthly newsletter based in Tel Aviv.
Israel has developed technological strengths in such areas as medicine and biotechnology, data management, network security and surveillance, experts say. But the country's small size - its population is slightly more than 6 million - and its inability to market to many of its neighbors means it must export to thrive, experts said.
Netanya-based Camero Inc. and Tel Aviv-based Storewiz Inc. have agreed to move headquarters-type operations to Gaithersburg, according to the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.
Camero produces high-tech products for security. Storewiz, which has developed a data-compression technology for networks, intends to transform its nascent Gaithersburg office into a worldwide marketing and customer-service headquarters, said Yakov Cohen, the company's vice president of sales and marketing.
Storewiz has an operation in Gaithersburg with three or four people. It aims to increase that to 30 or 40 employees by early next year, Cohen said. After moving sales, marketing and customer service operations to Maryland, Storewiz will leave only its top few executives and research and development in Israel, Cohen said.
Three other companies also plan expansions in Maryland.
Or Yehuda-based Global Medical Networks is opening a U.S. headquarters in the Emerging Technology Center business incubator in Baltimore. Its database technology can compile a patient's medical records from disparate sources.
Controp Precision Technologies Ltd., based in Hod Hasharon, will open an office in Columbia, officials said. The company makes surveillance-technology products that can be used in unmanned aerial vehicles and by ground-based security personnel, Controp said.
Tel Aviv-based Disksites Inc., which has developed technology to help corporations centralize huge amounts of stored data, is shifting its U.S. office to Potomac in Montgomery County from New Jersey. The Maryland office will have seven employees initially, and the number could climb to 20 next year.
Israeli companies pick Maryland
Company Home city Business Md. location Purpose
1. Camero Inc. Netanya Security Technology Gaithersburg New headquarters
2. Storewiz Inc. Tel Aviv Network storage capacity Gaithersburg Worldwide marketing headquarters
3. Disksites Inc. Tel Aviv Data storage Potomac Relocation from N.J.
4. Global Medical Networks Or Yehuda Patient records technology Baltimore U.S.headquarters
5. Controp Precision Technologies Ltd. Hod Hasharon Surveillance technology Columbia New office
[Source: Company profiles, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.]