US-Israeli energy projects to receive $3.5m funding
Four American-Israeli energy projects to receive binational government startup funding.
Illustrative photo Photo: Courtesy
Four American-Israeli projects in renewable energy will be receiving portions of
a $3.5 million budget allocated jointly by the United States Department of
Energy and Israel’s Energy and Water Ministry, under the 2012 Binational
Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program.
receiving funding involves one American and one Israeli partner and aims to
address energy challenges that both countries are interested in tackling, BIRD
Energy announced on Sunday.
Not only will the money finance research, but
it will also serve to help commercialize clean energy technologies that can
improve economic competitiveness and create jobs, according to BIRD. This is the
fourth class of collaborative BIRD projects to be approved specifically for the
The US and Israeli governments established BIRD in 1977 to
promote cooperation between the two nations in the emerging hi-tech and start-up
sectors, and have since expanded its scope to areas of renewable energy, life
sciences, electronics, optics, software and homeland security, the organization
said. BIRD finances about 20 projects annually, and the cumulative sales of
products that have resulted from BIRD projects now amount to over $8
The first of the four projects that BIRD has selected for this
round of investments is a Hydrogen-Halogen Regenerative Fuel Cell initiative
between Bromine Compounds of Beersheba and Sustainable Innovations of
Glastonbury, Connecticut. In developing the fuel cell, the two companies hope to
generate a mechanism that can provide low-cost, transportable, modular energy
storage capability, according to BIRD.
Also focusing on storage, the
second project will center on developing high-energy, rechargeable magnesium
The two firms working on the project, Bar-Ilan Research and
Development Company of Ramat Gan and Pellion Technologies of Cambridge,
Massachusetts, claim that the magnesium batteries are superior to lithium-ion
technology in size, weight, lifetime and cost.
B.G. Negev Technologies in
Beersheba will be working with Southwest Solar Technologies of Phoenix, Arizona,
to jointly develop a concentrated photovoltaic system that employs a new type of
active cooling module, in the third project, according to BIRD.
fourth project will involve Pythagoras Solar of Petah Tikva and BISEM of
Sacramento, California, and the two companies will be developing windows capable
of efficiently producing electricity from solar energy. The windows will involve
building- integrated photovoltaics, in which photovoltaic solar windows with a
high level of transparency and insulation replace the typical windows of a