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Prime Minister's 2nd annual contest for oil substitutes is underway
By SHARON UDASIN
01/04/2014
Science Minister: Oil is a political tool found in the hands of our greatest enemies, Israel must lower its strategic value reduce the world dependence.
 
Nominations are being accepted for the second annual million-dollar prize for alternative transportation fuels – an international competition sponsored by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Science and Technology Ministry, in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office and Keren Hayesod- UIA, is accepting applications through April 30 for the Second Annual Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation.

This year’s prize, which will be awarded in December, will be granted based on global innovation and a technological breakthrough in the field of alternative fuels. Nominees must be engaged in “paradigm- shifting research or technology development” worthy of widespread recognition, and may be citizens of any country.

“Israel will be a hub of knowledge and practice in the field of oil substitutes,” Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri said.

The establishment of the contest in 2013 followed the government’s decision in 2011 to establish a National Program to Reduce Global Dependence on Oil, with a goal of encouraging international breakthroughs in transportation fuel alternatives, the Science Ministry explained. The award has become “an integral part of the Israeli government’s vision” of reducing global dependence on traditional oils, the ministry said.

“Oil is a political tool that is second to none in its strength, found in the hands of our greatest enemies,” Peri said. “The State of Israel must act to lower its strategic value and reduce the world’s dependence on it.”

Last year’s prize winners were University of Southern California Profs. George A. Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash, for their research on developing a methanol- based economy.

“The triangle of government, academia and private entrepreneurship is the way to find the right solution to fuel substitutes,” said Eyal Rosner, head of the Alternative Fuels Administration in the Prime Minister’s Office. “I have no doubt in our power to substantially reduce fuel dependence within a decade and of course make Israel a leader of the Western world in the field.”
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