Israel, Germany, launch €30 million plan to advance nanotechnology

Nanotechnology, a branch of science conducted at a tiny scale of 100 nanometers or less, already has a robust presence in the Israeli research community.

November 14, 2016 16:56
2 minute read.
nano bible

“Nano Bible,” the world’s smallest bible. (photo credit: TECHNION)


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Aiming to advance global breakthroughs in the nanotechnology sector, the Israel Innovation Authority is inviting relevant Israeli innovators to submit proposals to pursue collaborative research projects with German partners.

The Innovation Authority, together with the German Science Ministry, launched a three-year, €30 million plan on Sunday night to support such joint work in nanotechnology.

Funded Israeli-German teams will include a company and a research center from each country, enabling the groups to conduct applied industrial research and development together, according to the authority.

“This can contribute to industries in both countries and deepen cooperation between Israeli and German companies and between Israeli nano institutes and their German counterparts,” said Ilan Peled, manager of the authority’s Technological Infrastructure Arena. “Nanotech is the industry of the future in global hi-tech, and Israel has set a goal of becoming a leader of this field while cooperating with leading European countries.”

Nanotechnology, a branch of science conducted at a tiny scale of 100 nanometers or less, already has a robust presence in the Israeli research community.

The Innovation Authority has supported the establishment of six academic research institutes focused on the sector’s development, and about 200 new start-ups involved with nanotechnology have been established over the past decade in Israel, the authority reported.

“Nanotechnology is already taking a significant part of all aspects of life – from the undergarments we wear, the food we eat to medical equipment and medications,” the authority said.

By nature, nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field capable of improving existing technologies in a variety of sectors, such as energy, medicine, environment, commerce, electricity and textiles, the authority said.

Until now, product manufacturing has occurred according to the laws of physics, taking for granted properties such as iron’s strength or glass’s fragile nature. Yet nanotechnology can make glass five times stronger than iron and make iron six times lighter than it is today, the authority said.

Some examples of products generated using nanotechnology cited by the Innovation Authority included ceramic body armor, nano-based antibacterial fabrics, extra-strong glass used in some smartphones, Vulcan car batteries and packaging that extends the shelf life of certain foods.

“The field of nano deals on such small scales that the ‘old’ laws of physics no longer apply,” the authority said.

“This is going to be an enormous revolution and will enrich industries around the world by billions of dollars.”

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