Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Medis Technologies Among “Best of the Best” in US Department of Defense’s Wearable Power Prize Contest

Medis Technologies Ltd. was named one of the 48 team finalists announced by the Department of Defense Research & Engineering (DDR&E) for its $1 million Wearable Power Prize competition, held in Twentynine Palms, California. The company teamed with General Dynamics Corporation to submit the Medis Power Knight ‘Fuel Cell Power Source’, a fuel cell technology for the Future Soldier program.

The 2008 Wearable Power Prize competition is a unique approach by the DoD to address the need for long-endurance, lightweight power systems for dismounted war fighters. DDR&E launched the competition in July 2007 by offering a $1 million first prize for a wearable system that provides 20 watts (avg.) of electrical power for 96 hours, weighs less than 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), attaches to a standard military vest and operates autonomously. The DoD reported that by its November 2007 deadline, 169 teams had registered to compete. Over the last ten months, the original field has dwindled to the current group of what DoD has characterized as “the 48 most innovative, capable contenders.”

About Medis Technologies
Medis Technologies is a developer of fuel cell technology. The company markets its products via branded OEM partnerships, retail outlets, service providers, the military and additional markets. Medis' indirect majority-owned subsidiary, Cell Kinetics Ltd., is engaged in the development and commercialization of the CKChip, a unique cell carrier platform intended for simultaneous fluoroscopic monitoring and analysis of thousands of individual living cells over time.

Israeli HelioFocus Uses Global Capstone's Microturbines for Concentrated Solar Power Systems

Israeli startup HelioFocus has signed a contract with the global company Capstone Turbine Corporation, a manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, for the development and modification of Capstone Turbine's C65 MicroTurbine operating on solar energy.

Under the initial phase of development, Capstone will make modifications on the existing microturbine operating on superheated air and integrate the microturbine with the HelioFocus solar concentrator system.

The HelioFocus Solar Concentrator focuses enough sunlight energy to provide an equivalent amount of combustion heat to drive the microturbine. This fuel-free renewable solution offers higher solar conversion efficiencies over traditional solar photovoltaic systems. In addition the system's increased power density should reduce area required for hosting these systems.

About HelioFocus
HelioFocus is developing modular high-efficiency solar thermal solutions for utilities, large businesses and independent power producers (IPP). The company responds to a multibillion-dollar solar market worldwide, encompassing a demand for more than 10,000 megawatts in the US southwest and south Europe alone.

HelioFocus was founded in 2007 to leverage its unique technology of air heating to more than 1,0000C using concentrated sunlight. The elevated temperature enables a high system efficiency of more than 25% and makes possible, for the first time, a combined cycle of air-turbine and steam-turbine that uses concentrated sun light as a source of heat instead of fossil fuel. Enabling such a solarized combined cycle has been the aspiration of the solar industry for many years, since this combined cycle is the most efficient fossil-based power generation concept.

HelioFocus' unique product – the HF 210 – combines very high optical and thermal efficiencies. It comprises a
large parabolic mirror for concentrating sunlight onto a proprietary receiver where pressurized working fluid
(e.g. air) can be heated to a temperature of more than 1,000°C. The compressed hot air exiting the receiver
drives a turbo generator. This unique technology is a result of two decades of research at the Weizmann
Institute of Science and is exclusively licensed to HelioFocus.

In Jan 2008, HelioFocus completed a strategic investment by IC Green Energy (ICG) a subsidiary of Israel
Corp, Israel’s largest holding company.

Israeli Startup & Developer of Energy Efficient LEDs Secures Financing from Major American Sources

Oree Inc., a developer of the world’s first flat, ultra-thin, highly energy-efficient LED lighting engine, recently announced that it has secured a $4 million venture loan from SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) and Kreos Capital. The funding will enable the company to expand both its manufacturing and business development activities.

Oree’s technology transmits LEDs onto a uniform surface in an ultra-thin structure, transforming the everyday ‘light bulb’ into an object as thin and flat as a credit card. By doing so, the company is able to significantly decrease the energy consumption and radiated heat of standard lighting solutions. Oree’s unique product, made entirely of non-hazardous materials, offers improved light quality and a longer product life span by improving the amount of light extracted and significantly reducing the system's cost.

The deal marks the first time that Silicon Valley Bank and Kreos Capital have joined forces to finance an Israeli company.

Oree’s main target markets are LCD displays and the professional lighting market. Ideal customers would be office and retail spaces requiring thin, light-weight products that are both discreet and cost-effective. Requiring no physical depth for the lighting fixtures, the product is ideal for displays and decorative lighting environments where a uniform surface illumination is required, but space is limited. The product is also versatile, enabling creative applications of all shapes and sizes - thereby appealing to numerous customer needs.

About Oree
Oree Inc. was founded in 2006 with R&D centers in Israel and Germany. The company is managed by proven entrepreneurs and backed by leading venture capital investors from Europe and Israel. Oree’s technology improves Lumen/Watt yields, shortens the supply chain and offers an inexpensive, simple and efficient product.

Emefcy Develops Innovative Wastewater Treatment Solutions

Emefcy, a Microbial Fuel Cell Wastewater Treatment provider, has developed a solution that will eliminate the need for electricity in wastewater treatment. The company’s Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) System enables the direct production of energy in the form of electricity or hydrogen from wastewater, replacing the need for traditional electricity in the treatment of wastewater.

The company, now working with Bruce E. Logan from Pennsylvania State University, a leader in microbial fuel cells, has created a system of tubes made from a special polymer and a network of carbon brush anodes that together, create bio-electrochemical reactions. These reactions result in bacteria that form an electrical conductive biofilm over the surface of the anodes and cathodes, decomposing organic matter and producing electricity simultaneously.

Emefcy believes it can save 30-50% annually, enabling a power plant to achieve a return on investment within as little as two to three years. The Emefcy MFC solution also offers several attractive direct financial benefits; the option to sell generated electricity, reduced sewage disposal – the process reduces the amount of raw sludge for disposal by up to 90% – and generation of carbon credits.

The Emefcy MFC solution can be implemented as an add-on to existing plants and is expected to be available by 2010.

About Emefcy
Emefcy was founded in 2007 to create and develop a unique set of solutions designed to change the energy economics of wastewater treatment. Emefcy products will utilize Microbial Fuel Cell technology to produce electricity from the treatment of diverse wastewater streams, on a very large scale.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

PRS Neoweb Creates Green & Efficient Instant Roads

PRS Neoweb Cellular Confinement System is a ‘soil stabilization’ solution based on innovative honeycombed geocells. It confines, stabilizes and reinforces soft soils in road construction as well as in slope and earth stabilization. This unique polymer-based solution, originally developed by the US Military and utilized by American troops in the Gulf War, has been enhanced by Israeli PRS for long-term use in civil engineering and construction projects.

The PRS Neoweb Cellular Confinement System provides a cost-effective, green and environmentally engineered soil reinforcement solution for a wide range of needs and industries including; load support, slope and channel protection, reservoirs, landfills and retaining walls for leading erosion control specialists, energy and civil engineering contractors, infrastructure companies and railroads.

Neoweb can also be used for the creation of green roofs on buildings and to encourage vegetative growth on eroded slopes; the honeycomb geocells hold the soil in place, while perforations in the material allow plant roots and soil nutrients to move freely between the cells and the ground, encouraging natural landscape growth.

About PRS

PRS provides the industry’s most advanced Cellular Confinement Systems for geotechnical construction. Since 1996, PRS has been leading the field in soil stabilization research & development with field-proven innovations in hundreds of successful projects in over 40 countries. The PRS Neoweb system delivers high-performance solutions for a wide range of road, rail, civil infrastructure, energy and mining applications.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

American Monsanto Collaborates with Israeli Evogene on Plant Yield and Environmental Stress Research

American Monsanto Company and Israeli Evogene Ltd. have entered a five-year research and development collaboration to identify key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization. The agreement is intended to enhance research efforts to discover and deliver novel yield-enhancing technologies at a time of increasing global demand for grain.

Under this collaboration, Evogene will provide Monsanto with candidate genes discovered by its computational platform that are predicted to improve yield, fertilizer utilization and a plant’s reaction to environmental stress.

This collaboration follows an announcement that took place in 2007, concerning collaboration between the two companies to improve nitrogen use efficiency in corn, soybeans, canola and cotton.

In a separate agreement, Monsanto has purchased an $18 million (USD) equity stake in Evogene and has agreed to purchase an additional $12 million in the future, subject to certain Evogene diligence requirements.

In addition to Evogene's contracts with American Monsanto and Orfuel, the company has just announced, together with Leviev Group and Orfuel, the establishment of a biodiesel company in Namibia, Africa. The new company will focus on the growth of specialized castor plants for use as feedstock for biodiesel.
About a year back, Evogene and Orfuel Inc, a US subsidiary of Ormat Industries Ltd, started their own collaboration in the field of alternative energy and biofuels, aimed at providing substantially improved feedstock sources for biodiesel production.

More about Evogene

Evogene is a leading developer of improved plants for the ag-biotech and biofuel industries. The company’s proprietary product development platform combines state of the art computational gene discovery technologies, plant and field validation capabilities and unique selection systems. The platform’s computational biology component - the ATHLETE - is based on Compugen's in-silico predictive discovery capabilities. Evogene's current programs focus on yield under normal and various environmental stress conditions (such as drought), fertilizer utilization and the improvement of plants specifically for biofuel uses.

The City of Los Angeles Signs an Agreement with Israeli Kinrot Incubator

The city of Los Angeles signed a collaboration agreement with Kinrot Incubator, a company located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee that helps entrepreneurs and researchers with water-based technological innovations.

This agreement will enable Israeli start-up companies to use water and power facilities in Los Angeles for pilot projects and to conduct joint research with the University of California, Los Angeles, on water projects. Los Angeles is interested in using the Kinrot model to establish its own incubator for water-related technologies.

About Kinrot

Kinrot was founded in 1993 as part of the Israeli Incubator Program ( In August 2006, Kinrot was privatized by Stern Partners from Vancouver, Canada. Kinrot provides an incubated environment for innovative entrepreneurs to examine their water-related technology, in order to integrate it into the water industry.