WASHINGTON – Israel and the US launched a joint collaboration this week focused on energy research and development.The center, titled the US-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering and Water Technology, is supported by both governments as well as private sector partners, launching with $16 million in funds. US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz officially launched the center on Monday in a small signing ceremony at the US Chamber of Commerce.“I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Energy of the State of Israel and the Department of Energy of the United States of America have signed an agreement establishing a new US-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy, Engineering, and Water Technology to advance energy research and energy security between our two nations,” said Perry. “The partnership between our two countries has long advanced the cause of freedom, dignity and peace and, as we are highlighting today, the joint quest for science and innovation.”Congress legislated enhanced energy cooperation with Israel in 2018, earmarking funds for accelerated development of technologies for fossil energy, energy cybersecurity in critical infrastructure, the energy-water nexus, and energy storage.The new project will supplement a decade’s worth of energy cooperation between Israel and the US, which began with the US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. That law formed the BIRD Foundation, which has produced 37 energy-related projects with over $30m. in funds.