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Press Release
May 14, 2020
3 minute read

CSIT, NJEDA, and NJ-Israel Commission Promote Funding Opportunity for Clean Energy Sector Businesses and Researchers


Encourages Research Collaboration Between New Jersey and Israel

Newark, N.J. (May 14, 2020) – The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), and the New Jersey – Israel Commission today encouraged businesses and researchers within the Garden State’s clean energy sector to submit proposals for “BIRD Energy” grant funding of up to $1 million. Entities partnering with an Israeli company or university on a clean-energy project can get more details about the competitive funding opportunities at https://www.birdf.com/bird-energy-call-proposals/. Executive summaries for the proposals are being accepted through June 30, 2020. 

BIRD Energy is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Israel Ministry of Energy, the Israel Innovation Authority and the Israel – U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

“Governor Phil Murphy unveiled an ambitious Energy Master Plan earlier this year that sets New Jersey on a course to 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said Brian Sabina, NJEDA Senior Vice President, Office of Economic Transformation “BIRD Energy funding can help small businesses and researchers in New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem play a major role in attaining that ambition.”

To be considered, a project proposal should include:

  • Research & development (R&D) cooperation between two companies or cooperation between a company and a university/research institution (one from the U.S. and one from Israel)
  • Innovation in all areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, such as solar and wind power, advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuels, smart grid, storage, water-energy nexus, advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence for energy management, etc.
  • Innovation in natural gas and other associated technologies
  • Significant commercial potential; the project outcome should lead to commercialization

The maximum conditional grant is $1 million per project, and no more than 50 percent of the joint R&D budget.

“New Jersey has a significant number of businesses in the clean energy sector that are working tirelessly to move the Garden State toward energy independence,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “Connecting these businesses and researchers with the funding they need to conduct groundbreaking work is essential to keeping New Jersey at the forefront of innovation.”

The BIRD Foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects.

“New Jersey companies can greatly benefit from the BIRD program to increase their competitiveness in an increasingly global marketplace,” said Andrea Yonah, BIRD’s U.S. Director of Business Development for the East Coast and Midwest. “In addition to the funding, these collaborations can lead to increased revenue, follow-on investment and validation of their technology.”

Yonah noted that, in 2018 and 2019, four New Jersey companies were approved for projects with their partners in Israel. Two out of the four projects are energy-related. The BIRD Foundation believes that there are many more companies in New Jersey that qualify and encourages them to apply. Companies with questions about their proposals – or those seeking an Israeli collaborator – can reach out directly to Yonah at andrea@birdf.com.

Andrew Gross, Executive Director of the New Jersey – Israel Commission, sees BIRD Energy as critical to furthering the already solid relationship among New Jersey and Israeli companies and researchers in the clean energy sector.
“Many thanks to the BIRD Foundation for raising this opportunity with New Jersey,” Gross said. “This Commission continues to cultivate and support the synergy that exists between the Garden State and the Startup Nation so we can strengthen our economy and innovate for the future.”
 
About CSIT
In August 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation re-establishing the former New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology as the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. The Commission is tasked with leading the way in promoting the state as a home for academic and technological research, development, and commercialization. The Commission is comprised of 17 members including the State’s Chief Innovation Officer, the Secretary of Higher Education; the Commissioner of Education; and the Chief Executive Officer of the NJEDA.

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