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US-Israel fund to invest $7.15 million in eight clean-energy projects

Fast-charging batteries, next-gen heat devices, eco-friendly concrete are among projects to get cash boost from binational BIRD Energy program

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)

Fast-charging batteries and next generation heat solutions are among the eight clean energy projects that the US Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of Energy have chosen to get $7.15 million in funding from the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program.

The total value of the funding is $17.4 million, as it includes $10.25 million in cost sharing from selected companies.

BIRD Energy began in 2009 as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Since then, including the projects announced today, BIRD Energy has funded 55 projects with a total government investment of approximately $42 million, in addition to approximately $55 million matched by the private sector.

Each project is conducted by a US and an Israeli partner. Selected projects touch on energy challenges and opportunities that are of interest to both countries and focus on commercializing clean energy technologies that, it is hoped, will improve economic competitiveness, create jobs and support innovative technologies and companies.

“The BIRD Energy program fosters collaboration between US and Israeli companies that has produced real innovations in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement. “This partnership continues to build bilateral relationships that will benefit our economies and environment for years to come.”

The eight approved projects are:

• Addionics IL Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) and Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, Inc. (Northboro, Massachusetts) will develop high-power, high-capacity solid-state batteries with new electrode components.
• ECOncrete Tech Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) and LafargeHolcim (US) Inc. (Chicago, Illinois) will develop an eco-engineered concrete product to protect the ecology in areas where wind energy infrastructure is in use.
• Eviation Tech Ltd. (Kadima, Israel) and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. (Plymouth, Michigan) will develop electric aircraft battery.
• POCellTech Ltd. (Caesarea, Israel)) and W7energy LLC (Wilmington, Delaware) will develop a low-cost fuel cell system based on hydroxide exchange membranes.
• StoreDot Ltd. (Herzliya, Israel) and Nanoramic Laboratories (Boston, Massachusetts) will develop an ultra-fast charging power bank for mobile devices.
• Tadiran Batteries Ltd. (Kiryat Ekron, Israel) and Hit Nano Inc. (Bordentown, New Jersey) will develop silicon anode, nickel rich cathode, high-energy high-safety AA Li-Ion Cell for industrial internet of things applications (IOT).
• TurboGen (Ramat Gan, Israel) and En-Power Group (White Plains, New York) will develop next generation, heat and power solutions.
• VisIC Technologies Ltd. (Nes Ziona, Israel) and Vepco Technologies (Chino, California) will develop an 80kW Gallium Nitride (GaN) based dual motor drive power inverter for both plug-in and battery electric vehicles.

“The BIRD Energy program is a magnet that attracts companies interested in joint U.S.-Israel innovation with each company playing a synergistic role aimed at achieving and commercializing technological breakthroughs,” said Eitan Yudilevich, executive director of the BIRD Foundation. “Despite the significant hurdles posed by COVID-19, companies succeeded in submitting high quality collaborative proposals.”

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 BIRD Foundation seeks to encourage cooperation between US and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects.

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