Renewable energy research center to be established in southern Israel

September 30, 2010

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, September 30, 2010 -- The Arava Group, initiated by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Eilat-Elot municipality, recently won a tender from the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor to establish and operate a technology center for renewable energy in the south of the country.

BGU, represented by BGN Technologies, the University's technology transfer company, has joined the group commitment to invest in the long-term development of industry in the region.

The group includes industrial leaders such as Elbit Systems, Rafael and Ormat; leading investment companies, including ProSeed Venture Capital Fund, Direct Insurance Group and the Consensus Business group; academic and research groups such as the Arava Institute and Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Authority; private management groups and regional municipalities.

The Arava Group was selected on the basis of its outstanding record in both research and development and a proven ability to bring new technologies to market. It has been entrusted with the mandate to encourage technological initiatives related to production and improvement of renewable and alternative energy systems. Aid provided will encourage the development of start-ups from the initial stage through research and development until feasibility is achieved.

The government of Israel and the group will each invest half of $30 million (114 million Shekels) over a five-year period.

BGN Technologies, responsible for the commercialization of know-how and inventions of Ben-Gurion University's researchers, will represent BGU in the initiative.

According to Netta Cohen, chief executive officer of BGN Technologies, "The Arava Group has all of the components needed to succeed in this emerging field: researchers who work and live in the desert; industrial leaders who have a proven record at opening new markets; and a greater overall commitment to succeed for the advancement of the region."
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About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. With some 20,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel's southern desert, BGU is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. For more information, please visit www.aabgu.org.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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