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BIRD Energy to invest $6 Million in Cooperative Israel-U.S. Clean Energy Projects

The total value of the approved projects is $12.4 million in the areas of Solar, Microgrid, Storage and Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel’s Ministry of Energy (MoE) along with the Israel Innovation Authority have selected seven clean energy projects to receive $6 million under the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program.

BIRD Energy began in 2009 as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Since then, BIRD Energy has funded 43 projects, with a total investment of about $34 million, including the seven selected projects announced today which are valued at $12.4 million. Each project is conducted by a U.S. and an Israeli partner. Selected projects address energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries and focus on commercializing clean energy technologies that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs and support innovative companies.

Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy, said: “The Department of Energy continues its strong support for collaborative research with Israel through the BIRD Energy program. The program brings together the brightest minds from innovative companies and institutes to develop and commercialize new energy technologies that deliver tangible economic benefits to both countries.”

Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of Energy, said: “We feel very privileged to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our binational program with the DOE. The BIRD Energy program is undoubtedly a success story of cooperation based on the strategic vision of the two economies. It also promotes partnerships among the most innovative companies, generating significant value and benefit for both countries. This success is a result of a true commitment by both governments who continuously seek opportunities to expand energy related collaboration that benefits both Israel and the U.S.”

Mr. Aharon Aharon, Israel Innovation Authority CEO, said: “Collaborations promoting innovations in energy technologies with the U.S. is a significant goal for the Israel Innovation Authority that partners with the Israel Ministry of Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). BIRD Energy creates significant value for the development of the energy industry in both countries. Building on the successful implementation of BIRD Energy, we look forward to the launch of the U.S.-Israel R&D Energy Center, initiated by the Israel Innovation Authority and our partners, the Ministry of Energy and the DOE”.

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said: “The U.S.- Israel energy collaboration established a decade ago and implemented by BIRD Energy continues to foster partnerships which respond to the most pressing needs of a modern electrical grid by combining diverse capabilities and state-of-the-art, innovative technologies from both countries.”

The seven approved projects are:

  • Beam Semiconductors (Rehovot, Israel) and BannerSolar (Eagle, Idaho), will develop a 60 GHz active phased array module for wireless gigabit applications with autonomous solar power supply & storage.
  • Brightmerge (Jerusalem, Israel) and Introspective Systems (Portland, Maine), will develop and test dynamic grid pricing with edge load responsive device control.
  • mPrest Systems (Petach Tikva, Israel) and Southern Company (Atlanta, Georgia), will develop integrated primary and secondary volt VAR control and conservation voltage reduction for the distributed grid.
  • Nostromo (Even Yehuda, Israel) and Centrica Business Solutions US, Inc. (Bellevue, Washington), will develop IceBrick™ – shifting the electricity grid’s peak demand using disruptive ice-battery technology.
  • OneOPI (Herzliya, Israel) and Presidio (Albany, New York) will develop an automated simulation system and service for intelligent microgrid systems.
  • RazorLabs (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Exacter, Inc. (Columbus, Ohio) will develop an AI based grid resiliency forecasting system.
  • Technion Research and Development Foundation Ltd. (Haifa, Israel) and Primus Power (Hayward, California), will develop a high energy density gridscale storage battery.

Projects that qualify for BIRD Energy funding must include one U.S. and one Israeli company, or a company from one of the countries paired with a university or research institution from the other. The companies must present a project that involves innovation in the area of 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% to project costs and commit to repayments 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 and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects. BIRD has approved close to 967 projects over its 41-year history.

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 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.