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5 Years of Nano-Technology as an Israeli National Project

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

As reported in IVC:

With strong representation from Israeli academia and industry, INNI is charged with setting national goals and priorities for advancing nanotechnology in Israel, creating long-range plans that fully exploit Israel’s scientific and commercial capabilities.

In the five years since declaring nanotechnology as a national priority, the field marked significant achievements. 88 world-class scientists immigrated to Israel and were accepted as faculty members at the universities. The number of junior scientists in the field (including post-doctorates) is 320, the number of doctoral students is about 800 and the number of masters students is more than 900. In the past three years over 6,000 scientific papers have been published where 1170 of which resulted from collaboration between the universities.

The financial side is also impressive with $101 million invested in the last five years in basic equipment, in addition to 45 million invested in new infrastructure and facilities.

In these years there were 625 collaborations between Israeli academia and industry (domestic and foreign), and 170 “success stories” in the form of startup companies and approved patents, with another 704 patent filings.

Dan Vilenski, a member of the National Committee for Nanotechnology, says, “I believe we are on the correct path to turn Israel into a leading power in nanotechnology. The program’s achievements prove:

•The existing scientific infrastructure in academia has impressive potential for establishing industry based on nanotechnology.
•When a national program is managed with high standards, the result is cooperation between government agencies, academia and industry and the efficient use of public funds. It has yielded a remarkable return on investment.”
In light of the achievements of the program during the first five years, it was decided to continue funding the program for another five years but with a change of emphasis. From a program designed to build applied nanoscience infrastructure as a foundation for academia and industry, the emphasis moves to focused R&D programs that can be applied to industrial applications within a reasonable time.

In order to accelerate establishment of industrial activity based on nanotechnology, the university nanocenters have begun to employ industrialists / entrepreneurs whose role is to identify emerging opportunities at the nanocenters at the early stages, to identify strategic partners and to realize application of the emerging nanotechnologies in industry.