23 December 2020
US DoE announces project funding via BIRD Energy partnership with Israel
In partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Energy (MOE) and the Israel Innovation Authority as part of the Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $7.15m for eight newly selected R&D projects that will leverage $10.25m in cost-share for a total project value of $17.4m in the areas of electricity storage, eco-engineered concrete, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency.
One of the projects involves VisIC Technologies Ltd of Nes Ziona, Israel – a fabless supplier of power conversion devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) transistor devices for automotive high-voltage applications – and engineering service company Vepco Technologies Inc of Chino, CA, USA, which will develop an 80kW gallium nitride (GaN)-based dual motor drive power invertor for both plug-in vehicles (PEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
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 partners must present a project that involves innovation in the area of energy and is of mutual interest to both countries. BIRD Energy’s review process selects the most technologically meritorious projects along with those that are most likely to commercialize and bring about a significant impact. Qualified projects must contribute at least 50% to project costs and commit to repayments if the project leads to commercial success.
“The BIRD Energy program fosters collaboration between US and Israeli companies that have produced real innovations in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” says US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “This partnership continues to build bilateral relationships that will benefit our economies and environment for years to come.”
The announcement builds on the long history of cooperation between DOE and MOE, which brings together experts from both nations to drive innovation in renewable energy, energy storage, energy infrastructure cybersecurity, the energy-water nexus, and other areas.
“I hope that these R&D projects will bring us closer to an efficient and clean energy market,” comments Israel’s Minister of Energy Dr Yuval Steinitz. “Government investment in R&D is important to help reach these goals, and as a recovery tool from the Corona virus crisis we are experiencing now.”
Since its inception, the BIRD Energy program has now funded 55 projects, involving total government investment of about $42m in addition to about $55m in funds matched by the private sector.
VisIC unveils 8mΩ power GaN switch for EV inverters
VisIC partners with ZF to develop EV inverters