“BIRD Energy” Announces $3.6 Million in Cooperative Clean Energy Projects

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“BIRD Energy” announces $3.6 Million in Cooperative Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources (MEW) have selected four projects to receive $3.6 million under the 2013 Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program. Each of the cooperative projects includes a U.S. and Israeli partner and addresses energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries, while focusing on commercializing clean energy technologies that improve our economic competitiveness, create jobs, and support innovative companies. The selected projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of $8.8 million.

This partnership between Israel and the United States began as a result of the U.S. Israel Cooperation in Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the Israeli Government approval of the program in 2008. This is the fifth round of funding provided by BIRD Energy since its establishment in 2009. Recently, new legislation has been proposed in the U.S. Congressto extend the BIRD Energy collaboration until 2024 and expand it to include projects focused on natural gas.

Projects that qualify for BIRD Energy funding must include one U.S. and one Israeli company or a company and a university or research institution, one from Israel and one from the U.S. The companies must present a project which involves innovation in the area of energy and is of mutual interest to both countries.

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of BIRD said: “BIRD Energy is a unique program that actively engages in matchmaking activities to create alternative energy and energy efficiency partnerships between Israeli and American companies. The funding provided to the companies accelerates the development and commercialization of their technologies.  We already see sales from projects that we have supported over the last 5 years.”

Mr. Silvan Shalom, the Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, said:  “The Ministry sees great importance in R&D cooperation between companies from Israel and the United States.  The synergy accelerates the process of R&D to commercialization and improves market penetration of new technologies.”

The four approved projects include:

  • EnStorage (Yavne, Israel) and Princeton Power Systems, Inc. (Lawrenceville, NJ), will develop a next generation energy storage system for uninterrupted supply.
  • GenCell (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Innovative Machine Corp. (Birmingham, AL), will collaborate on the development and industrialization of a new cathode for a next generation electrochemical fuel cell generator.
  • Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Haifa, Israel) and Aquion Energy, (Pittsburgh, PA), will develop an advanced energy system for remote off-grid systems.
  • Winflex (Kibbutz Moran, Israel) and GE (Niskayuna, NY), will collaborate on the development of a wind turbine generator with an inflatable rotor.

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 the various areas of technology, and provides assistance in locating strategic partners from both countries for developing joint products.

During its 36 years, the BIRD Foundation has invested in more than 870 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $10 billion.

The BIRD Foundation supports projects without receiving any rights in the participating companies or in the project itself. The financial assistance is repaid as royalties from sales. The Foundation provides support 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 demand that the investment be repaid if the project fails to reach the sales stage.

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