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Israel’s Top BioEnergy Researchers Are Arriving Today at Oak Ridge National Laboratory For Deliberations to Establish U.S.-Israel Collaboration

Oak Ridge, TN (PRWEB) April 21, 2013

(April 21) The U.S.-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge announced today that twelve of Israel’s top academic and industrial biofuels research scientists and innovators -- competitively chosen by the governments of Israel and the U.S. -- have arrived at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), to explore opportunities for U.S.-Israel collaboration on research and innovation to produce alternative fuels (“advanced biofuels”) that can substitute for petroleum-based gasoline, diesel oil and aviation fuel currently produced from imported oil. They are meeting with more than two dozen researchers of the BioEnergy Science Center - a DOE energy laboratory headquartered at ORNL. Officials of the U.S. Department of Energy’s algae programs based at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Israeli government officials who coordinate aspects of their nation’s energy and technology commercialization programs also have flown in for the meetings. The delegation’s activities here follow two and one half days in Washington DC that included a briefing by senior White House staff and meetings with headquarters scientists and program managers of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, the Navy and FAA.

The elite Israeli delegation was chosen to participate in this dialogue through a competitive process, The U.S.-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge, in which the initial selection of participants was made in Israel and the final participants were selected with input from the U.S. agencies. The competition and subsequent discussion process is being sponsored and coordinated by two U.S. not-for-profit organizations, The Israel Energy Partnership (TIEP) and the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF) and by the Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) on behalf of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Ministry for Trade and Industry.

USISTF Executive Director Ann Liebschutz described how U.S.-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge is operating, “we established a team to examine and select the most-promising research taking place in both academia and private industry in Israel. Twelve of Israel’s bio-energy researchers were chosen to travel to the U.S. to meet with officials and scientists in the laboratories of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Research Centers Program, and with the university and private industry scientists affiliated with each lab. Those leading the review included The Alternative Fuels Administration in Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor; the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Navy and the FAA.”

TIEP Executive VP Neil Goldstein described the purpose for U.S.-Israel collaboration on biofuels, “Israel’s role as a scientific, engineering and entrepreneurial leader is well known,” added. “Cutting-edge research and development is taking place in Israel in the selection, bio-engineering and modification of fuel feed-stocks; in growing novel feed-stocks on non-arable land and without using fresh water; and in the more-efficient and cost effective production of fuels from feed-stocks using innovative chemical, physical and biological processes. Building on that research base, we are establishing a scientific, technical and economic collaboration between Israel and the U.S. to help both nations achieve our energy goals.”

Following the Oak Ridge meetings, the delegation will by traveling to the San Francisco Bay area to continue discussions with the Department of Energy's west-coast-based bioenergy team, and with university and private industry bioenergy leaders, to further develop the collaborative framework.

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