Washington, D.C. – Today, following years of action by Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) the U.S. and Israeli governments are launching the U.S.-Israel Energy Center.
The U.S.-Israel Energy Center is a joint project between the U.S. and Israel that will include R&D and academic and technology transfer ventures in four key areas: energy storage, energy cyber and physical security in critical infrastructure, fossil energy, and the energy-water nexus. The U.S. Government and Israeli Government have each dedicated $4 million to the Center.
“The creation of a joint United States and Israel energy center is a critical step towards a cleaner, more efficient and secure energy future for both countries. I am so pleased to see the agreement signed today after years of work in Congress aimed at increasing collaboration with one of our closest allies,” said Senator Cantwell. “I look forward to supporting the Center and ensuring that it take advantage of all interested and qualified academic institutions in the United States and Israel, including in my home state of Washington."
“The new U.S.-Israel Energy Research and Development Center, long-championed by the U.S. Chamber, is a significant achievement between the two governments to support advanced research and help drive economic growth. With the new Center, the U.S. and Israel will seize the tremendous opportunities they have to invent and develop new technologies and solve some of the biggest challenges in the energy, water, and agriculture sectors. We look forward to working with both governments to support the Center and the growing economic relationship,” said Myron Brilliant, U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs.
Since the passage of the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, Senator Cantwell led a bipartisan group of senators in pushing the Department of Energy to move forward with the center’s launch. In a 2015 letter, Senator Cantwell asked the Department of Energy to implement a provision from the United States Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, to establish the joint center that will help deepen energy development collaboration.
In a 2016 letter to the Department of Energy Senator Cantwell and Murkowski emphasized the importance of “connecting two of the world’s most innovative countries – building bridges and helping to move important new technologies to market.”
After the Department of Energy committed to establishing the joint United States and Israel energy center in September 2016 Senator Cantwell said, “This act [the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014] builds on the Department of Energy’s existing collaborations with our critical ally. Establishing a joint center for innovation in areas of mutual interest including clean energy, water efficiency, and cybersecurity could not come at a better time, given the rapidly changing global energy landscape.”