By The Business Journal of Milwaukee

A collaboration between Virent Energy Systems Inc. of Madison and an Israeli biofuels company has been awarded a $900,000 grant to back development and research into the conversion of wood, grasses or other biomass into fuel.

Under the $2.1 million project, HCL CleanTech of Israel will use its technology to extract non-food sugars from cellulosic biomass. The sugars will then be sent to Virent's facility in Madison for conversion into biofuels and biochemicals using Virent's Bioforming technology.

The grant was awarded by BIRD Energy, a program for U.S.-Israel joint renewable energy development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, and the BIRD Foundation. The mission of the BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation is to stimulate, promote and support industrial research and development of mutual benefit to the United States and Israel.

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