Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Six USA-Israel energy projects receive $5.1m

Steve Rogerson
December 1, 2015
Six joint Israel-USA energy projects will receive $5.1m funding under the 2015 Binational Industrial Research & Development (Bird) energy programme. The selected projects address energy challenges and opportunities of interest to both countries, while focusing on commercialising clean energy technologies that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs and support innovative companies.
The projects were selected by the US Department of Energy (DoE) and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy & Water Resources (MIEW). Each project is conducted by a US and an Israeli partner.
The selected projects will leverage private sector cost-share for a total project value of $11.3m. This is the seventhround of funding for Bird Energy, which has approved 28 projects with a total investment of about $22m, including the projects in the current annual cycle.
“Renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements are essential to shaping our clean energy future,” said US secretary of energy Ernest Moniz. “This partnership with Israel makes possible collaborative investments that move us closer to rigorous technology breakthroughs. These advancements are a key part of modernising our energy infrastructure, enhancing our energy security and mitigating the risks of global climate change.”
The six approved projects are:

  • 3GSolar Photovoltaics  of JerusalemandArkema of Pennsylvania will develop thin and flexible printed solar photovoltaics for wireless electronics.
  • Ayyeka Technologies of JerusalemandUIS Holdings from Michiganwill developsmart grid to distribution enclosures for out-of-the box remote metering, efficiency analytics and performance enhancement;
  • Haogenplast from Kibbutz HaogenandGlobal Solar Energy from Arizonawill develop solar energy production over water reservoirs;
  • Pentalum Technologies from RehovotandTexas Tech University will collaborate on the development of a light detection and ranging (lidar) based wind farm controller and optimiser;
  • Solaris-Synergy from JerusalemandPristine Sun in Californiawill collaborate on a utility scale, low-cost floating photovoltaic solar energy system for deployment on water; and
  • Yissum – the Hebrew University of Jerusalem –andApplied Biomathematics in New Yorkwill collaborate on technology to protect birds and bats near wind energy facilities.
"The Bird energy programme is undoubtedly a success story of cooperation based on the strategic vision of the two economies, while also promoting partnerships among the most innovative capabilities, generating significant value and benefit to both countries,” said Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of national infrastructure, energy and water resources. “This success is a result of a true commitment by both governments which will work to expand the scope of the programme to include additional areas of interest, such as natural gas technologies and cyber security of energy infrastructure. This year, several projects were selected in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and water energy nexus. We wish the new partnerships and the ongoing projects success in achieving their objectives."
Bird Energy began in 2009 as a result of the USA-Israel Energy Cooperation Initiative included in the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 and the Israeli Government approval of the programme in 2008. The USA-Israel cooperation was enhanced and extended until 2024 by the Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2014.
“Bird Energy has demonstrated significant added value and mutual benefit, supporting innovation on renewable energy and energy efficiency in both countries and providing critical funding for the success of the companies and their partnerships." said Eitan Yudilevich, executive director of Bird.
Projects that qualify for Bird Energy funding must include one US 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 commercialise and have significant impact. Qualified projects must contribute at least 50 per cent to project costs and commit to repayments if the project leads to commercial success.
During its 38 years, the Bird Foundation has invested in close to 900 projects, which have yielded direct and indirect revenues of about $10bn.