Department of Energy

DOE, Israel’s Ministry of Energy, and Israel Innovation Authority Announce the U.S.-Israel Energy Center to be Managed by the BIRD Foundation

February 22, 2019

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The Center will initially fund up to $16 million for research in the areas of energy-water nexus, fossil energy, energy storage, and cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, DC –The U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of Energy along with the Israel Innovation Authority have announced the selection of the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation to manage the newly established U.S.-Israel Energy Center. The U.S. and Israeli governments will provide $8 million each for the initial two-year launch of the Energy Center.  With five-year awards envisioned, and 50 percent cost share required from awardees, the total value of the Energy Center awards could reach $80 million, subject to appropriations.

“We are proud to announce the BIRD Foundation to manage the U.S. Israel Energy Center. This Center represents another strand in the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel,” said Deputy Secretary Brouillette. “The partnership between our two countries built on our shared values has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace, and with the help of the BIRD Foundation managing the new Energy Center, the joint quest for science and innovation.”

The goal of the Energy Center is to promote energy security and economic development through the research and development of innovative energy technologies, while facilitating cooperation among consortia of U.S. and Israeli companies, research institutes, and universities.

The establishment of a joint U.S.-Israel Energy Center was first authorized by Congress in the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014. The U.S. DOE and the Israeli Ministry of Energy (MoE) signed an Implementation Agreement on June 25, 2018, establishing the Center and its four initial topic areas: fossil energy, energy cyber and physical security, energy-water nexus, and energy storage. In FY 2018, and again in FY 2019, Congress appropriated $4 million for the Center, which will be matched with funding from the Israeli Government as well as a minimum 50 percent cost share from award recipients.

With a 41-year history of efficiently and effectively managing joint U.S.-Israeli research collaboration, the BIRD Foundation is best suited to manage the new Energy Center.  The BIRD Foundation was established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies, including start-ups and established organizations. DOE manages the BIRD Foundation’s BIRD Energy program for the U.S. side.

More information on the BIRD Foundation can be found HERE.

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