WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Israel's Ministry of Energy and the Israel Innovation Authority, announced $4 million available funding for developing innovative clean energy technologies through the BIRD Energy program. This year's call for proposals focuses explicitly on combating climate change through innovation that scales up carbon-free technologies and reduces the climate impact of natural gas and other associated infrastructure, such as carbon capture and methods to reduce leakage in natural gas systems. Funding for the projects comes through Binational Industrial Research & Development (BIRD) Energy program, which promotes U.S.–Israel partnerships in bringing renewable and energy efficiency technologies to market.

This year’s call for proposals follows a highly competitive process last year that resulted in around $4 million in funding awarded to as many as four clean energy projects. The projects will focus on various areas, including batteries, energy efficiency, solar energy, and the water-energy nexus.

Projects that qualify for BIRD Energy funding must include participation from institutions in both the United States and Israel, Partners must present an energy project that is of mutual interest for both the United States and Israel. BIRD Energy then selects the most technologically innovative projects that are most likely to become commercialized and generate a significant impact. For proposals that are chosen, participants must contribute at least 50% to the project’s total R&D cost and agree to repayment if it is commercially successful.

BIRD Energy was launched in 2009 under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to support research and development benefiting both the United States and Israel. The program focuses on commercializing clean energy technologies for climate action that improve economic competitiveness, create jobs, and increase energy security. To date, BIRD Energy has funded over 60 cooperative Israel-U.S. collaborations for a total government investment of approximately $50 million and about $65 million in funds matched by the private sector.

Over the last seven years, several BIRD Energy projects have reached the commercialization stage, including

  • A nonintrusive, real-time energy monitoring platform designed to reduce energy use, manage sustainability initiatives and improve building operations
  • A new way to optimize the energy efficiency of the food and beverage industry’s compressed air generation and improve the reliability of these air systems
  • A flywheel-based energy storage technology that can charge EVs in as little as 15 minutes with a much smaller carbon footprint.  

The BIRD Energy program provides maximum conditional grants of up to $1.5 million. The deadline for executive summaries is June 29, 2023. The deadline for final proposals is September 10, 2023, and decisions will be made in November 2023.

For more information, eligibility requirements, and submission instructions, visit the BIRD Energy Call for Proposals