BIRD Energy Press Release November 2016
November 13, 2016
BIRD Energy to invest $4 Million in Cooperative
The total value of the approved projects is $8.6 million in the areas of Solar Energy, Biomass, Fuel Cells and Energy Efficiency
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources (MIEW) along with the Israel Innovation Authority today announced $4 million for five newly selected clean energy projects as part of the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz stated in an announcement published by the DOE: “The collaboration through BIRD Energy leverages the work of top energy scientists in the U.S. and Israel which will help both nations continue to work together to foster research and development efforts, build on the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement and to drive down the costs of clean energy technologies.”
Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources said: “The climate change and clean energy challenges cross borders, and that is where collaborative projects emerge and succeed. The great minds and capabilities from Israel and the U.S. together with the MIEW and DOE’s continuous support for the BIRD Energy program, does and will drive technological developments for the Clean Energy market in both countries and worldwide.”
Mr. Avi Hasson, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority said: “Israel Innovation Authority is proud to support the BIRD Energy activities, which is another important step in promoting bilateral cooperation in innovation between Israel and the United States. The cooperation in clean energy is particularly important, helping to combat global climate change and integrating into the countries' efforts to implement the Paris Agreements, in addition to its contribution to economic growth in both countries.”
“Celebrating its eighth anniversary, BIRD Energy has demonstrated how the U.S. and Israel can effectively cooperate to develop innovative clean energy technologies. We are pleased that both the U.S. and Israel are committed to continuing this program on a long-term basis," said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation.
BIRD Energy began in 2009 as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Since then, BIRD Energy has funded 32 projects, with a total investment of about $26 million, including the five selected projects announced today, which will leverage cost-share for a total project value of $8.6 million. The program encourages cooperation between Israeli and American companies through funding joint research and development in a range of clean energy subsectors including energy efficiency, biofuels and solar energy.
BIRD Energy projects address 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 five approved projects are:
· BrightSource Industries Ltd. (Jerusalem) and Dynamis Solutions, LLC (Las Vegas, Nevada), will develop an automated heliostat cleaning system for concentrated solar plants, increasing electricity production and reducing operating costs.
· CelDezyner Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) and POET Research, Inc. (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), will develop an innovative process for lower cost production of ethanol from second generation, lignocellulosic feedstocks, which could provide further options to reduce oil dependence.
· Solview Systems Ltd. (Ramat Gan, Israel) and Yarotek PR, LLC (Aventura, Florida), will develop rooftop solar analytics for the commercial and industrial markets to ease the adoption of solar energy.
· Technion IIT (Haifa, Israel) and Pajarito Powder, LLC (Albuquerque, New Mexico), will develop lower cost catalysts for energy storage and energy generation devices used to level intermittent renewable sources or for back-up applications.
· Waves Audio Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia), will develop an innovative electrostatic speaker using a nanoscale active membrane based on graphene achieving significant energy savings.
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 efficiency or renewable 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 and commit to repay up to 150 percent of the grant if the project leads to commercial success.
About the BIRD Foundation (www.birdf.com)
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies in a wide range of technology sectors by providing funding and assistance in facilitating strategic partnerships for developing joint products or technologies.
During its 39 years, the BIRD Foundation has invested in more than 900 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $10 billion.
The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights in the participating companies or in the projects, themselves. BIRD funding is repaid as royalties from sales of technology products that were commercialized as a result of BIRD support. The Foundation provides funding of up to 50% of a project's budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not require repayment if the project fails to reach the sales stage.