Israeli Embassy and BIRD Foundation host UMD Energy Consortium

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From left to right: Mojdeh Bahar (BIRD Foundation US Co-chair), Jaron Lotan (BIRD Executive Director), Natalie Gutman-Chen, (Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs), Michael Herzog (Israeli Amabassador to the U.S.), Laurie Locascio (NIST), Paul Albertus (UMD)

On June 28, 2023, The BIRD Foundation, along with the Embassy of Israel to the United States, co-hosted a dynamic reception in Washington, D.C., bringing together an exceptional community of U.S. and Israeli innovators, connectors, and key stakeholders who reaffirmed the power of collaboration and the limitless potential of joint industrial research and development. 

Keynote speakers, whose inspiring words set the tone for an evening filled with productive conversations and invaluable networking opportunities, included:

Opening remarks by Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Herzog, who reaffirmed the importance of cross-border R&D collaboration and our collective capacity to advance globally needed tech solutions. BIRD Executive Director Jaron Lotan and U.S. Co-Chair Mojdeh Bahar, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at NIST, both shared valuable insights into the Foundation's mission and accomplishments, showcasing the impact that BIRD has had in facilitating fruitful partnerships between the U.S. and Israel.

In the past, such partnerships were restricted to U.S. and Israel companies. However, in 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Energy and Israel Innovation Authority, decided that the U.S.-Israel Energy Center (managed by the BIRD Foundation) would oversee joint projects to accelerate development and deployment of critical and innovative technologies in the areas of (1) Fossil Fuels; (2) Energy Storage; (3) Cyber Security for Energy Infrastructure; (4) Energy-Water Nexus, while facilitating cooperation among consortia of U.S. and Israeli companies, research institutes, and universities. From this call, the U.S. – Israel Solid Energy Consortium (UISEC) was established for the purpose of advancing the science and development of solid-state batteries, including work on advanced coatings, cell components, cells, and materials informatics software, for both Na and Li metal batteries. Led by University of Maryland's, Dr. Paul Albertus in the U.S. and by Bar-Ilan University's Professor Malachi Noked in Israel along with their respective teams of co-PIs and graduate students, the consortium also includes the participation of SaftForge Nano, Inc. and Ion Storage Systems from the U.S. and 3DBatteryMaterialsZone and Tel Aviv University from Israel.

(From left to right: Cathy Stephens (MEI2), Jaron Lotan (BIRD Foundation), Paul Albertus (MEI2/UMD), Eric Wachsman (MEI2 Director)
"The University of Maryland is proud to be the U.S. leader for the Energy Storage Consortium of the U.S.-Israel Energy Center.  Along with our partners in the US and Israel, we are committed to advancing battery science and innovation, and ultimately translating our knowledge and discoveries to commercial application.  In the upcoming two-plus years, we are looking forward to building on the strong results and connections we have built within our consortium thus far," stated Paul Albertus.


Published July 17, 2023