TEL AVIV, Israel, October 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The BIRD Foundation will invest $3.1M in four clean energy cooperative projects, between U.S. and Israeli companies, under its "BIRD Energy" program. "BIRD Energy" was established following an agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy/EERE and the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure (MNI) to promote U.S.-Israel cooperation in clean/renewable energy technologies.
The U.S. - Israel Energy Cooperation Program was authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and was approved by the Israeli Government in 2008. This program was launched in 2009 through the Binational Science Foundation (BSF), which administers cooperation in the Academic area and the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), which administers cooperation in the industrial area.
Each of the cooperative projects includes a U.S. and Israeli partner and addresses energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries. The selected projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of $8.5 million.
- Cima NanoTech, Caesarea, Israel and Integrated Photovoltaics, Inc. (IPV), San Jose, California will test and demonstrate a process for producing low-cost crystalline silicon solar wafers and solar cells that combines IPV's low-cost high-efficiency wafer technology with Cima Nano's electrode coating process.
- Ener-T International Ltd., Jerusalem, Israel and Halotechnics, Inc., Emeryville, California will develop a high-efficiency concentrated solar thermal plant design using high-temperature molten salts as a heat transfer fluid and for energy storage.
- Greenlet Technologies, Tel Aviv, Israel and Viridity Energy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will jointly develop a WiFi-based load management system for residential and commercial buildings that can monitor and control individual appliances without the need for professional installation.
- Pentalum Technologies, Rechovot, Israel and 3Tier, Seattle, Washington, will develop and test a LIDAR-based system, which gathers data using lasers, to facilitate wind speed and power output forecasting in wind farms.
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of BIRD commented that this is the third round of joint projects approved by BIRD Energy during a time of budget difficulties. "This investment reflects a commitment by the United States and Israel to cooperate in promoting the development of new alternative and renewable energy technologies. The American and Israeli companies who were awarded the grants represent a cooperative strategy to develop innovative technologies despite declining investments in the Cleantech sector."
About the U.S. Department of Energy/Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (http://www.eere.energy.gov)
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. It supports this goal by improving energy efficiency and productivity; bringing clean, reliable, and affordable energy technologies to the marketplace; and making a difference in the everyday lives of Americans by enhancing their energy choices and their quality of life.
About the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure (http://www.mni.gov.il)
The Ministry of National Infrastructures is responsible for a broad range of issues in the fields of energy, water, electricity, fuel and soil. The Ministry supervises the Israeli energy sector, including licensing and R&D activities, as well as ensuring the effective use of natural resources and protection of the environment for the benefit of all citizens.
About the BIRD Foundation (http://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 34 years, the BIRD Foundation has invested in more than 800 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $8 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.
Limor Nakar-Vincent Director,
U.S. Business Development & BIRD Energy
SOURCE The BIRD Foundation