AICC’s July CleanTech meeting was hosted by Jim Siegel at Columbian Chemicals, a Marietta, Georgia-based manufacturer of high-quality carbon black additives for rubber, plastic, and liquid products. Columbian has 11 plants worldwide, 11% of the carbon black market, and $1.2 billion sales in 2008. Eli Miller discussed the Center for Water Technologies, a not-for-profit organization who’s mission is to provide Israeli eco-tech companies a launching pad for the US market. The Center intends to work closely with AICC, and believes that the Southeast could be the US center for Israeli water technology companies. Roee Madai, Israel’s Economic Consul to the Southern United States who is based in Texas but has responsibility for the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor’s activities in the Chamber’s geographical area shared the Ministry’s view that Cleantech is one of the Israeli government’s top issues, and they have devoted considerable resources to promoting the Water sector since 2006 and added Energy and other environmental capabilities in 2008. The Israel Economic Mission will coordinate an Israeli company delegation to the WEFTEC conference in Orlando in October, and is willing to bring a group of them to Atlanta within the Chamber’s “business exchange” model. Twenty five members and staff attended the meeting chaired by Gene Rubel of Interlink Technologies.
Dvir Solnik, CEO, shared information on AquaPure a Dalton, Upper Galilee-based developer of innovative and proprietary Non-Thermal Plasma technology that is used to remove micro pollutants from contaminated drinking water. Their process uses 70% less electrical energy consumption in order to remove identical contaminants from identical flow rates compared with conventional AOT technologies. The company has already raised $3 million from its shareholders, and is now seeking to raise $4 million more to take the company to the productivity phase which is expected to be in full production by late-2009. Dvir indicated that the company intends to use the funding to penetrate the US market and establish a US headquarters, and they would consider a Southeast location if they were to get the funding from this area. They also believe that there are many industries in the Southeast that could be potential customers.
HCL Cleantech, a Tel Aviv-based start-up has developed proprietary technology that changes lignocelluslosic material (biomass) to fermentable sugars and ethanol, and makes it economically attractive by dramatically reducing the most costly part of the process. The concept allows for a large variety of feedstock, requires very little water, and is virtually self-sufficient energetically. The company was founded in late 2007 and recently received a $5.5 million first round investment from Burrill & Co. in Khosla Ventures. HCL is currently working with CH2M HILL’s Atlanta office as their engineering partner, and recently submitted a grant proposal to the DOE. They plan to build a pilot in the United States, and the key is finding a facility that will receive very quick permitting.
Netanya-based Computerized Electricity Systems (CES) has developed a complete energy management system that provides consumers, developers, and energy solution providers with an opportunity to bring smart functionality and energy efficiency to all types of residential and commercial buildings. The smart distribution panel includes local and remote management capabilities, and can save consumers significant energy costs and reduce the need for additional power plants. CES was one of the first Israeli energy efficiency companies helped by the Cleantech Committee about two years ago. In the short term, they are looking for contacts in Green construction that can generate income such as solar installers, developers, etc. and in long term, they are looking to develop relationships with electric utilities, especially those that are actively pursuing government stimulus funding.