Israel-US fund seeking proposals for clean-energy joint research

BIRD Energy to focus this year on AI, vehicles, natural gas and water technology

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Illustrative image of the US and Israeli flags (3dmitry; iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image of the US and Israeli flags (3dmitry; iStock by Getty Images)

The Israel-US binational fund for energy research, BIRD Energy, is calling on tech firms and academic researchers in both countries to submit joint proposals for projects in the field of clean energy technologies.

The call for proposals is part of BIRD Energy’s next funding round for joint research. Since 2009, the fund has financed 55 projects to date with a total investment from the US and Israeli governments of a total of $42 million. This funding has been matched by private money for an additional total of $55 million.

The funding this year will focus on promoting projects in the fields of renewable energy and efficiency, natural gas, water and energy initiatives and the use of artificial intelligence for better energy management.

To be considered, a project proposal must include R&D cooperation between two companies or cooperation between a company and a university/research institution, one from the US and one from Israel. The proposal “should have significant commercial potential and the project outcome should lead to commercialization,” BIRD said in a statement.

Examples of research and development topics that are within the scope of the call for proposals are research projects dealing with solar and wind power; advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuels; natural gas and other associated technologies; smart grid; energy storage; water and energy initiatives; advanced manufacturing or any other renewable energy, energy efficiency technology and AI for energy management.

The fund will provide grants per project that will be up to 50% of the R&D costs associated with the joint project, and up to a maximum of $1 million per project, the statement said.

The deadline for executive summaries is June 30, 2021, and full-scale proposals are due by August 13, 2021, the statement added. Decisions on projects selected for funding will be made in October 2021.

BIRD Energy was set up following an agreement between the US Department of Energy and the Israel Ministry of Energy to promote and support joint research and collaborations in the field of alternative energy and energy efficiency. BIRD Energy is administered by the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, which works with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.

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