SCRA Inks International Agreement for Renewable Energy Collaboration

July 23, 2008

CHARLESTON, SC – July 17, 2008 — SCRA, a global leader in applied research and commercialization, and the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative, based in Southern Israel, signed a cooperative agreement last week that will pave the way for bi-national collaborations on a wide array of alternative and renewable energy technologies.  The agreement was concluded in Eilat, Israel following three days of meetings with senior regional and city government officials, energy and environmental researchers and renewable energy program managers.

The agreement reflects a vision and goals for how the two organizations will work together to explore alternative and renewable energy opportunities both for the state of South Carolina and the southern Negev, the Arava area and the city of Eilat, and to promote a more sustainable environment and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of both regions.  The collaborations likely will involve research organizations, institutions of higher education and other subject matter experts in Israel, South Carolina and additional locations, to foster research for advancing state of the art renewable energy and sustainability technologies and systems.

The Israeli delegation was comprised of Hanoch Bar-Nov (Manager and Director of Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative), Dorit Benet (Manager, Eilat-Eilot Environmental Unit), Noam Ilan (Sustainable Energy Coordinator, Eilat-Eilot Environmental Unit), Udi Gat (Mayor of Eilot Regional Council), Meir Itzchak Ha’levi (Mayor of Eilat) and Amnon Shimoni (General Manager, Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative Economic Department).  Representing SCRA were Russ Keller (Senior Director, Alternative Energy Programs) and John Berenyi (Senior Alternative Energy Advisor to SCRA).

The representatives of SCRA and Eilat-Eilot also met with the Director of Environmental Programs in Aqaba, Jordan to determine how initiatives in this collaborative process may be expanded to include Jordanian partners beyond the geography of the principal bi-national partners.

Initial collaborations are expected to focus on energy production from agricultural waste streams, development of various low input/high yield energy crops and related processes for biofuel production and adaptation of solar energy to provide air conditioning through adsorptive cooling.
Additional areas may emerge as the bilateral or multi-lateral dialogue and information exchange continue.  Ultimately, the goal is to promote development of these technologies, and to facilitate commercialization for some of these systems in Israel, the United States and elsewhere around the world.

The partnership between South Carolina and the Eilat-Eilot region of southern Israel may offer access to several sources of bi-national funds through foundations established to promote US-Israeli collaboration, including the Bi-national Science Foundation (BSF), the Bi-national Agriculture Research and Development (BARD) Foundation, and the Bi-national Industry Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.
Section 917 of the US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 also includes a program that will fund collaborative US-Israeli projects in renewable energy topics.  The merit reviewers for this newly authorized Department of Energy program will include officials from BSF and BIRD.

“SCRA is excited to work with the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Inititive. It further augments our leadership role in developing alternative and sustainable energy applications,” said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. “Additionally, this collaboration establishes an additional vector for SCRA’s international business – comparable to our engagement in the Intelligent Manufacturing System collaboration, which advances manufacturing science globally – and through PDES, Inc., which develops and deploys global standards for product data.”

Beyond the technology-based collaborations, the parties also agreed to sponsor conferences, forums and seminars, and to disseminate information to bring their efforts to the attention of persons and organizations within these fields.  This initiative may include knowledge transfer that could enhance conservation and energy efficiency initiatives and learning opportunities with primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education in southern Negev, South Carolina and elsewhere.

About the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative:  The Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative is an effort by public and private organizations in the southern Negev region of Israel to create a center of excellence for renewable energy and energy conservation that will permit a path for sustainable development as the southern Negev region attempts to grow its population significantly over the coming decade.
The national Israeli government is seeking innovative ways to find a local renewable energy solution for the city of Eilat such that it can become less reliant on its sole power generation plant, located 200 miles to the north.  The initiative will draw together researchers at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Ben Gurion University, and various Israeli and international business partners.

About SCRA:  SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with offices in Anderson, Charleston, and Columbia, South Carolina.  SCRA collaborates to advance technology with industry, government, and research universities like Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Through its affiliations with the National Hydrogen Association, the US Fuel Cell Council, the National Energy Marketers Association and the South Carolina Biomass Council, SCRA is well-positioned to execute the mandates given to it by the South Carolina General Assembly to facilitate the development and growth of knowledge economy jobs within the alternative and renewable energy sector.  For more information,
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