Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently wrapped up a visit to Israel. Jackson toured Israel together with a delegation from EPA, and met with a range of government officials, industry representatives, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and community representatives to understand how Israel has successfully fostered a startup culture around environmental issues.
Jackson’s visit included a meeting at Israel Kinrot Ventures, a leading seed investor dedicated to water and clean-tech related technologies worldwide. The meeting was arranged by Israel NewTech, whose Oded Distel kicked off the meeting with an overview of Israel’s water and alternative energy sectors, followed by a presentation by Kinrot CEO Assaf Barnea. A number of Israeli technology companies then had an opportunity to each provide a short presentation on their developments (these included both Kinrot portfolio companies and others). Jackson, who holds both a BA and Masters degree in chemical engineering, expressed interest in the technologies and innovations presented. “Her technical background was evident, and we understood that the EPA perceives technological innovations as a source of solutions for the cleantech challenges of the world,” said Israel NewTech’s Adi Yefet-Beeri, who attended the meeting at Kinrot.
Jackson and her delegation also visited the Shafdan wastewater treatment plant, the Youth Environmental Education Peace Initiative developed at the Arava Institute, and Better Place. According to the Ministry’s press release, Jackson noted that she was impressed by Israel’s capabilities in innovation and environmental technology and said that the United States has a great interest in learning from Israeli policies to encourage environmental technologies, such as start-ups to prevent water pipeline leaks, wastewater treatment, air quality monitoring, etc.
During the visit Jackson signed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide the coming years of collaborative activities between the two countries. The EPA’s website reported that the collaboration as an opportunity to expand EPA’s role in environmental technology development and deployment while supporting innovation and sustainability in the US by learning from Israel’s experience. Administrator Jackson has expressed her support for greater engagement between the US and Israel on environmental issues not only through greater government collaborative activities, but joint private sector ventures that will facilitate greater Israeli investment in the US economy and greater export of US developed technologies.
For more on the visit from the EPA website click here.
For the full Ministry of Environmental Protection press release click here.