PMO to award $1 million alternative-fuel prize

February 2, 2017 22:55

The prize will be formally awarded on October 31 at the Fifth Annual Fuel Choices Summit in Israel.

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Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will award a $1 million prize to the world’s leading researchers in the field of alternative fuels for transportation.

The Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation, now in its fifth year, is jointly administered by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Science, Technology and Space Ministry, in collaboration with Keren Hayesod (United Israel Appeal).

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Dr. Anat Bonshtein, Acting Chairperson and Director of the Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative at the Prime Minister’s Office, said the world of transportation is undergoing a revolutionary change.

In 2011, Netanyahu initiated the National Program to Reduce the Global Dependence on Oil, with the aim of spurring global innovation and scientific research in the field of alternative transportation fuels.

To promote the initiative, the prize, offering the largest financial award available to date in the field, was launched to encourage scientists to pursue research to reduce global dependence on oil.

“The right way to develop this future as quickly as possible is through the joint effort of the government, academia, industry and private entrepreneurs via international cooperation,” Bonshtein said.

The award connects all the different actors in the field on a global scale, she said.

The prize is open to scientists and researchers worldwide who are actively engaging in breakthrough research in the field. The deadline for submission is May 1.

Last year’s prize was awarded to two scientists for their groundbreaking research into alternative fuels.

Northwestern University Prof. Mercouri Kanatzidis, who is a senior scientist at the Argonne National Laboratories, received the prize for his innovative research in the design of nanostructured thermoelectric materials, which are able to convert waste heat into electricity.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Prof. Gregory Stephanopoulous, who is president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, received the prize for his pioneering work in metabolic engineering, which has significantly contributed to the engineering of microbes for biofuel production.

The prize will be formally awarded on October 31 at the Fifth Annual Fuel Choices Summit in Israel.

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