Miya president and CEO Baruch Oren and B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. Chairman Moshe Gaon have presented a new forum: The U.S.-Israel Binational Cleantech Forum, which they announced at the Israel America Chamber of Commerce Conference in Washington. The goal of the forum is to create a cohesive network that connects environmental organizations to businesses and political organizations that can implement cleantech solutions.
The forum will meet twice a year, once in Jerusalem and once in Washington, and will engage in public relations, lobbying of the U.S. government and Congress, and the establishment of joint business ventures. Members of the forum will comprise figures from government, environmental organizations, industry, academia, and financial institutions.
In an exclusive interview with Globes Online, Gaon explains that the impetus behind his new initiative is based on his perceptions of the cleantech industry as a whole:
There’s a lot of activity, but no leadership, and everyone is operating alone, each country for itself, each company for itself. There are huge differences between industrialists and environmental organizations, and everyone is remote from the funds. Financing for academe is almost non-existent.
Gaon also adds that the forum will focus on the development of existing infrastructures rather than seeking to build new ones–an imperative during this time of crisis.
Water is an especially grave concern for the forum, as Gaon reveals that Israel’s water crisis could be dealt with now, if Israel’s government were to deal with the problem efficiently.
Gaon explains, Instead of supporting Gaon Agro’s desalination plant at Palmachim, the government wants to invest in a new plant that will take three years to build, when the [water shortage] problem can be dealt with now. The whole world knows that investment in existing infrastructures, such as leakage prevention, renovation of present installations or expanding pipeline networks, is the cheaper and faster way to deal with immediate water problems.”
Miya is Israeli billionaire Shari Arison‘s new venture in water technology: Arison has invested $100 million in the development of technology to conserve wasted water, a growing industry amid the demand for efficient water systems. B. Gaon Holdings Ltd. invests in water technologies and cleantech through AquAgro Fund, LP.
Gaon concludes the interview by noting that Israel’s cleantech industry at home is largely held back by a lack of government incentives, as well as lack of collaboration between Israeli companies and businesses abroad. Therefore the forum’s creation of an international network may facilitate the exposure of Israel’s clean technologies to a global market.
More about cleantech at Green Prophet:
Clean Tech Incubators from Israel and California Sign Water Deal
2008 a Big Year for Israel Cleantech Investments, Says Ernst & Young
Israel’s Innowattech Harvests Wasted Energy from Trains, Planes and Automobiles