US-Israeli clean-tech R&D projects get USD 4m in grants

CSP park. Author: Shayan (USA). License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

November 11 (SeeNews) - Five US-Israeli projects focused on clean energy R&D are receiving USD 4 million (EUR 3.7m) from the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Israel’s energy ministry (MIEW) along with the Israel Innovation Authority, it was announced Thursday.

The grants come under the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy programme. Since its launch in 2009, BIRD has awarded about USD 26 million in financing to 31 projects, these five winners included.

Under the latest round of the programme, BrightSource Industries Ltd and Nevada-based Dynamis Solutions LLC will develop an automated heliostat cleaning system for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, in a bid to boost electricity production and cut operating costs.

Solview Systems Ltd and Florida company Yarotek PR LLC will use their grant to develop rooftop solar analytics for the commercial and industrial markets to facilitate the adoption of solar.

CelDezyner Ltd and POET Research Inc of South Dakota will receive support for their work on a new process for lower cost production of ethanol from second generation, lignocellulosic feedstocks.

Technion IIT and Pajarito Powder LLC of New Mexico have been awarded funds to develop lower cost catalysts for energy storage and energy generation devices.

Last but not least, Waves Audio Ltd and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University won a grant for their electrostatic speaker using a nanoscale active membrane based on graphene, achieving significant energy savings.

Under the BIRD programme, qualified projects must contribute at least 50% to project costs and commit to repay up to 150% of the grant if the project leads to commercial success. The programme’s goal is to encourage cooperation between Israeli and American companies through funding joint R&D in energy efficiency, biofuels and solar energy, and other segments of the clean energy industry.

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