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NYSERDA and Israel Innovation Authority Announce Agreement to Support Emerging Clean Energy Projects to Accelerate Global Market

Memorandum of Understanding Continues Strong Partnership Between New York and Israel
Supports Governor Cuomo’s Economic Development and Nation-leading Clean Energy Goals


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Israel Innovation Authority today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support partnerships between New York and Israel focusing on emerging clean energy projects that will accelerate the pace of innovation in the global marketplace. The agreement builds on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to expanding trade with Israel and supports his nation-leading clean energy goals.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the MOU today at the Advanced Energy Conference in New York City. The agreement was signed by NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton and Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority Dr. Ami Appelbaum.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "While the current administration in Washington continues to ignore the threat of climate change, and puts the focus back on fossil fuels, New York is leading the charge to invest in clean renewable energy. ‎New York's partnership with Israel on so many fronts will now also include working together to build on Governor Cuomo's unwavering commitment to supporting clean and renewable energy solutions. We also know the green economy is the way of the future, and we will continue to create new opportunities for New York businesses while helping restore and protect our environment."

Eli Cohen, Israel Minister of Economy, said, “Israel’s technological capabilities are known throughout the world as one of the most innovative and advanced. Thanks to a thriving high-tech community and a strong academia, Israel is considered a world leader in innovation and technological breakthroughs. One sector that exemplifies this is the renewable energy sector. Israel was one of the first countries to adopt solar technologies in the 70's and since then has moved to develop various solutions in sub fields such as wind, solar-thermal, PV, smart grid, energy efficiency and biofuels. Climate change and global warming are major threats to the entire planet. Countries around the globe are combining forces to collectively find solutions to ensure the safety of our planet for generations to come. I am confident that this collaboration will spearhead efforts of both countries in this domain."

Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, said, “The State of Israel and New York State are among a handful of places that lead the world in innovation - bringing welfare and progress to the entire globe. Energy use, with its dramatic environmental implications is one of a handful of topics that demand our most urgent attention. For these reasons this MOU between Israel and New York has the potential to have a huge impact - not just for our two States but for the benefit of the world.”

Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, said, “This MOU furthers the sustainability of New York’s economic and energy policies while helping achieve Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean-energy commitments. Together, NYSERDA and the Israel Innovation Authority are leading the way in creating an international model of success for combatting climate change with innovative energy solutions.”

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Clean energy innovation and economic development go hand-in-hand and this MOU will help us strengthen New York’s vibrant clean tech ecosystem. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to working with partners on the state, federal, and international levels ensures that New York remains at the forefront of clean technology solutions for combatting climate change and offering sustainable and resilient energy for consumers.”

Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman, Israel Innovation Authority and Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy and Industry said, “The world's energy demand is constantly growing as most nations look to improve their utilization of existing energy sources, find alternative energy sources and promote new technologies. We strongly believe that this MOU between Israel Innovation Authority and the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), focused on innovative clean energy projects will prove paramount in providing innovative alternatives for clean energy that will resonate in the global market."

Under the agreement, NYSERDA and the Israel Innovation Authority will identify potential projects to partner on in support of new innovative technologies that could be commercialized in the global market. The agreement also seeks to facilitate partnerships between New York and Israeli-based companies focused on clean-energy research and development projects.

The MOU builds on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to partner with Israel on economic development. In March 2017, the Governor launched the New York-Israel Commission, responsible for creating a framework to strengthen economic and cultural ties between New York and Israel. The New York-Israel Commission works to promote and create opportunities to develop new programs and economic partnerships that strengthen the relationship between New York and Israel.

As part of this commitment, the New York Power Authority is also pursuing two innovative energy projects funded by the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD Energy Program), which matches U.S. and Israeli companies and researchers and receives support from the Israel Innovation Authority. A collaboration with mPrest, an Israeli software company, provided a first-of-its-kind monitoring system to identify and prevent costly problems before they occur at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. Another joint project, with Israeli developer Brenmiller Energy, will test the use of thermal energy storage with combined heat and power to increase system energy efficiency once installed on a State University of New York campus.

Gil C. Quiniones, CEO and President of the New York Power Authority, said, “The New York Power Authority has been collaborating with several leading Israeli innovators to date, and we are encouraged that with this MOU, New York will continue to innovate and lead the energy transformation, with collaboration and the ingenuity of its friends in Israel.”

In 2014, Governor Cuomo launched the Global NY initiative to offer one-stop shopping to both foreign businesses looking to invest in New York and to local businesses that want to export their products globally. Global NY currently has a trade office in Israel.

Empire State Development (ESD) maintains close ties with its Israeli counterparts, working cooperatively with the Israel Economic Mission in New York City, and with the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce. Such interactions promote the interest of New York-based companies in the Israeli marketplace, foster cooperation between New York and Israeli companies and institutions and help promote initiatives in specific areas of mutual interest such as, nanotechnology, alternative energy, and biotechnology.

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of ESD said, “New York and Israel are both world-leading tech hubs, and our shared expertise, talent, and commitment to innovation make New York and Israel natural partners in the 21st century economy. When New York State met with the Israel Innovation Authority during its trade mission to Israel in December, the potential for mutual growth and cooperation was clear – and today’s MOU represents the foundation of exciting opportunities to come.”

NYSERDA’s innovation and research initiative supports a vibrant, self-sustaining clean energy technology innovation environment to accelerate the growth and scale of businesses that serve the clean energy market in New York State and globally. Under the Clean Energy Fund, New York is investing $629 million in innovation initiatives and development through 2025.

Israel is a leader in the global tech sector and home to some of the world’s most innovative and rapidly growing businesses. It currently ranks fifth among the most innovative countries in the world according to the Bloomberg innovation index, and its high-tech sector attracted $4.43 billion in investment during 2015. Israel is also an important trade partner for New York and is the top fifth export market for New York State products. In 2016, commodities exported from New York to Israel generated $4.89 billion of economic activity.