The U.S. Department of Energy, in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Energy and the Israel Innovation Authority, announced $4.8 million for five newly selected energy projects as part of the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program. The approved projects will leverage cost-share for a total project value of $10.5 million in the areas of hydrogen storage, advanced biofuels, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency. Today’s announcement represents the ninth annual selection of BIRD Energy projects, which promote energy innovation, economic security, and bilateral cooperation.
“The BIRD Foundation has served as a matchmaker to develop partnerships between U.S. and Israeli researchers at the forefront of technology across the industrial spectrum. This kind of collaboration will be mutually beneficial and allow both countries to achieve their economic and energy security goals,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
This announcement builds on the robust and ongoing cooperation between DOE and MOE under the U.S. Israel Energy Dialogue, which brings together experts from both nations to encourage innovation of sustainable energy technologies, explore the energy-water nexus, and enhance energy cybersecurity.
BIRD Energy began in 2009 as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Since then, BIRD Energy has funded 37 projects with a total investment of about $30 million, including the five selected projects announced today. To date, BIRD Energy awardees have attracted more than $200 million in venture capital and other follow-on funding to commercialize clean energy technologies. The program encourages cooperation between Israeli and American companies through funding joint research and development in a range of technologies, including solar, wind, biofuels, energy storage, fuel cells, smart grid, and water and energy efficiency.
BIRD Energy projects address energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries, while focusing on commercializing sustainable energy technologies that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs, and support innovative companies.
During the last seven years, four BIRD Energy projects have reached the commercialization stage, including a self-powered wireless sensor for monitoring energy use in buildings, a new enzyme for the production of biodiesel, a utility scale solar concentrated photovoltaic system employing a new active cooling module, and a new system to facilitate wind speed and power output forecasting for wind generation.
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 sustainable and clean energy and is of mutual interest to both countries. After undergoing a rigorous, meritable review process, 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.
Below are the five approved projects announced:
- Brenmiller Energy Ltd. (Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel) and Power Authority of the State of New York (White Plains, New York) - will develop high temperature storage based in combined heat and power (CHP).
- CelDezyner Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) and AdvanceBio LLC (Milford, Ohio) - will develop a process for production of ethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks.
- QDM Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) and ALD NanoSolutions Inc. (Broomfield, Colorado) - will develop 3rd generation high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cables.
- SoftWheel Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Detroit Bikes (Detroit, Michigan) - will develop an energy-efficient, low-maintenance, high-performance bicycle.
- TerraGenic Ltd. (Kadima, Israel) and Triton Systems, Inc. (Chelmsford, Massachusetts) - will develop a safe hydrogen transport and storage system.