For Immediate Release - May 28, 2014

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF MASSACHUSETTS-ISRAEL WATER INNOVATION CHALLENGE; CELEBRATES CONSTRUCTION OF DESALITECH’S NEW MUNICIPAL WATER TREATMENT FACILITY IN ISRAEL

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced the winners of the first Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP) water innovation challenge. The Governor made this announcement with Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson during the U.S. - Israel Connected Summit “Going Global with Water Tech” forum. Following the forum, Governor Patrick joined representatives from Massachusetts-based Desalitech Inc., Director General of the Israel Ministry of Economy Amit Lang, representatives from the City of Ra’anana, the Israel Water Authority and City of Newton Mayor Setti Warren to celebrate the start of construction on a new municipal water treatment facility in the City of Ra’anana.

“Addressing global water challenges requires innovation and investment in new technology, water management practices and infrastructure improvements,” said Governor Patrick. “Today’s announcements emphasize the innovative ideas resulting from the collaboration between Massachusetts and Israel. I look forward to our continued progress in making Massachusetts a leader for water innovation.”

This year’s MIIP winners, Triton Systems of Chelmsford and Applied Cavitation Technologies (ACT) of Israel, will be awarded joint funds of $250,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and approximately $250,000 from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), which implements MIIP through MATIMOP, the Israeli Industry Center for R&D.

The goal of the MIIP challenge is to reward companies in Massachusetts and Israel for partnering together to develop efficient clean water technologies.  The companies will use the funding to develop and test devices to help reduce the amount of sewage sludge generated in the treatment of wastewater. Governor Patrick also announced today that MassCEC will provide up to $250,000 for a new round of the MIIP clean technology funding challenge, which will again be launched in partnership with MATIMOP. Challenge applications will be accepted later this year.

"Our long standing relationship with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has yielded great joint collaborations and we are looking forward to continuing to support and foster economic growth in both regions, focusing on areas of common interests, via R&D collaboration,” said Avi Hasson, Israel's Chief Scientist. "We are happy to see MIIP’s steady evolvement as a sustainable program for leveraging innovation and growth, and appreciate Governor Patrick's vision and leadership in initiating this collaboration.”

The MIIP was launched in 2011 as a direct result of Governor Patrick’s first Innovation Partnership Mission to Israel. During that ten-day trade mission in March 2011, a coalition of the state’s leading business executives and senior government officials explored growth opportunities of common interest for Massachusetts’ and Israel’s innovation industries. During that mission Governor Patrick and Shalom Simhon, Israeli Minister of Economy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Jerusalem resulting in this partnership.  

During today’s forum, Governor Patrick also announced MassCEC will work with MATIMOP and Israel NEWTech (an arm of the Israel Ministry of Economy) to launch the Global Water Innovation Network (Global WIN), a new initiative founded by Massachusetts and Israel, and intended to include potential partners around the world to collectively advance the adoption of water technologies in global markets.

“Massachusetts and Israel have forged a strong partnership around our shared goals of solving the world’s greatest water challenges,” said MassCEC Chief Executive Officer Alicia Barton. “This new water innovation challenge, coupled with the formation of Global WIN, will ensure that this collaboration continues, driving the deployment of cutting edge technologies and positioning Massachusetts and Israel to capture the economic benefits of this growing sector.”

"Our collaboration with the State of Massachusetts, and in particular with MassCEC, will continue to focus on challenges that the innovative industries in both states can jointly address", said Israel Shamay, head of the Office of the Chief Scientist's Americas Operations. "The next program round will focus on providing environmental and energy efficiency solutions for the oil and gas industry, and a special emphasis will be given to joint projects addressing beta sites and demonstration phase of the R&D process."

"Israel NewTech is very pleased to take part in building a global network of water Eco-system, together with MassCEC,” said Oded Distel, Director of Israel NEWTech. “Innovative water tech companies are facing similar challenges across the world. We believe that this kind of collaboration can assist introducing innovative products and services to the global market."

“The scale and complexity of our global water challenges are such that they cannot be addressed by yesterday’s solution,” said Chairman of the New England Water Innovation Network Earl Jones. “We must innovate – and innovate faster. Cooperation between two of the world’s leading hubs of water innovation, Massachusetts and Israel, as well as future members of Global WIN, is energizing in both its vision and potential.”

Desalitech Inc.’s new municipal water treatment facility in the City of Ra’anana will purify water from an old municipal well that closed because its nitrate content rose above public health limits for public consumption. The innovative plant will be built by Desalitech for Mei Raanana, the water corporation for the City of Ra’anana, and supply enough high-quality drinking water for 18,000 city residents daily. 

“A primary goal of the project was to implement a best-in-class solution, achieving high quality drinking water while reducing production costs and environmental aspects. Desalitech’s solutions are uniquely capable of purifying water with maximum water use efficiency while consuming less energy than any other system we considered,” said Boaz Friedman, CEO of Mei Ra’anana. “This system represents a sustainability plan that will provide a reliable water source to the city.”

“It is a great pleasure for me to stand with our Israeli and Massachusetts friends and contemplate the extraordinary growth we have had in the last year,” said Nadav Efraty, CEO of Desalitech. “The world needs high efficiency water and wastewater treatment far more than most realize, and Desalitech’s products are unrivaled in their ability to meet this challenge. However, we could not be saving the water and costs that we are without the partnership and endorsement we have gotten both in the US and in Israel.”

"Desalitech is a success story that reflects the importance and vitality of the Massachusetts Israel economic relationship, and we are glad they call Newton home,” said Mayor Setti Warren. “I am thrilled to join them on Governor Patrick's mission as they announce this exciting new initiative in Israel."

Desalitech Inc., previously based in Israel, relocated to Massachusetts last year, following Governor Patrick's trade mission to Israel in 2011. The company focuses on reverse osmosis processes for industrial and agricultural water and wastewater treatment, greatly reducing negative ecological impacts while improving the productive and responsible use of natural resources. Desalitech was named in the 2013 Global Cleantech 100 as a top company in clean technology.

About the Office of the Chief Scientist and MATIMOP

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of the Ministry of Economy, empowered by the Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development, oversees all Government-sponsored support of research and development in Israeli industry. This broad spectrum support stimulates the development of innovative state-of-the-art technologies and enhances the competitive power of the industry in the high-tech global market. The OCS Americas Operations was established in 2012 in order to promote, deepen and strengthen the innovation links of OCS programs with organizations in the Americas region. MATIMOP, the Israeli Industry Center for R&D acts on behalf of the OCS and facilitates international cooperation programs through various  bi- and multi-national industrial research and development agreements aiming to enhance cooperation in research and development and technological innovation between Israeli and foreign enterprises and academic research institutes.

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