The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources (MIEW) have selected five projects to receive US$4 million under the 2014 Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program. Each of the cooperative projects includes a U.S. and an Israeli partner and addresses energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries, while focusing on commercializing clean energy technologies that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs, and support innovative companies. The selected projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of US$10.3 million. This is the sixth year for BIRD Energy which has, so far, approved 22 projects with a total investment of about US$18 million (including the projects in this cycle).
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of BIRD: "We are pleased to see a continuous flow of joint U.S.-Israel innovation to further develop renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Projects awarded under the BIRD Energy partnership have already delivered new commercialized technologies, attracted follow investment, and contributed to job growth in both countries."
The five approved projects are:
- Advanced MemTech (Ness Ziona, Israel) and Arkema (King of Prussia, PA), will develop a carbon nanotube composite membrane that is electrically conductive.
- Aquanos (Shoshanat HaAmakin, Israel) and Aquagen ISI (South Yarmouth, MA), will collaborate on the development and commercialization of an algae-activated aerobic wastewater treatment technology.
- Fridenson Logistics (Haifa, Israel) and ChargePoint (Campbell, CA), will develop a smart grid capable, cloud-connected electric vehicle charging station.
- NewCO2Fuels (Rehovot, Israel) and Acumentrics (Westwood, MA), will collaborate on the development of enhanced performance solid oxide fuels cells for dual application.
- Silentium (Rehovot, Israel) and GE Energy (Houston, TX), will collaborate on the development of active noise control for power generation ventilation.
This partnership between Israel and the United States began as a result of the U.S.- Israel Energy Cooperation Initiative included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Israeli Government approval of the program in 2008. This is the sixth round of funding provided by BIRD Energy, since its establishment in 2009.
Projects that qualify for BIRD Energy funding must include one U.S. and one Israeli company, or a company in one of the countries paired with a university or research institution in the other. The companies must present a project that involves innovation in the area of energy and is of mutual interest to both countries. BIRD Energy has a rigorous review process that selects the most technologically meritorious projects along with those that are likely to commercialize and have significant impact. Qualified projects must contribute at least 50 percent to project costs.