A Columbus native, Schottenstein moved to Israel in 1982 from the third-largest manufacturing state (after California and Texas). In 1995, he was tapped by the state to open an office intended mainly to peddle Ohio-made products in Israel. Its second objective was to attract Israeli companies to establish a presence in Ohio for manufacturing or sales and distribution.Since then, “the nature of the office has changed dramatically,” Schottenstein tells ISRAEL21c. “At first we spent almost all our time on Ohio exports, but that has reversed over the last decade out of demand for Israeli companies to set up in Ohio.”
Wooing Israeli business is now a high priority for the Ohio Department of Development. The greatest success has been the biomedical field, as more clinical trials take place in Ohio than in any other state. “They get access to companies, decision-makers and academics to do their research and commercialize their products,” Schottenstein says. . . .
The department has helped about 17 Israeli businesses to develop relations in Ohio. However, Scherer emphasizes that many additional deals are struck directly between Ohio municipalities and Israeli firms without the department’s help, so the number of Israeli concerns in Ohio is actually much higher. “Many of our communities place a priority on Israeli technology,” she relates.