Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Los Angeles and Israel to cooperate on water research

"Globes" reports that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed a cooperation agreement with the Kinrot Incubator, which invests in water technologies. Villaraigosa is currently in Israel with a delegation of top municipal officials, including Los Angeles Department of Water & Power General Manager H. David Nahai.

This seems like an excellent example of how cleantech -- in this case, water technology -- is creating a new paradigm for U.S.-Israel relations. Rather than merely planting a symbolic tree or making charitable donations in Israel, Villaraigosa's delegation will return home with newfound access to Israeli technologies that can directly benefit L.A. residents. This is a positive development both for Israeli water startups and the people of L.A., and it will help strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.

(UPDATE: Check out Villaraigosa's op-ed about how L.A. will benefit from its partnership with Israel.)

Villaraigosa told "Globes", "Israel is a global leader in high-tech and environmental solutions. As such, we intend to utilize the know-how of our Israeli friends to deal with the challenges we face from drought and global warming."

The cooperation agreement with Kinrot will reportedly enable Israeli startups to use Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) facilities for pilot projects. DWP will then install suitable Israeli technologies in its facilities. The agreement will lead to cooperation in water R&D ventures and academic studies, which will encompass the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). The Los Angeles municipality also intends to learn from Kinrot how to set up a water technology incubator, which it plans to establish on a 28-acre site in the city.

Congratulations to the Kinrot Incubator and its CEO Assaf Barnea.

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Kinrot incubator names Assaf Barnea as CEO