U.S and Israel today announced $4 million for five newly selected clean energy projects as part of the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program. The selects companies are 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.
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.
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.”
The five approved projects are:
- BrightSource Industries Ltd. (Jerusalem, Israel) 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.
Mr. Avi Hasson, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority said: “The cooperation in clean energy is particularly important, helping to combat global climate change and integrating into the countries’ efforts to implement the Paris greements, 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 BIRD Foundation.
BIRD Energy began in 2009. 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.