Israeli, Finnish researchers awarded $1m alternative fuels prize

“Israel is a groundbreaking country in many fields and we are working in order to ensure this continues in future generations.”

October 28, 2018 20:13
2 minute read.
Prof. Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University, winner of the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister's

Prof. Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University, winner of the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation. (photo credit: BAR ILAN UNIVERSITY)


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Prof. Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University and Finland’s Dr. Lars Peter Lindfors of Neste Oil will share the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Science Minister Ofir Akunis announced Sunday.

The annual $1m. award is the largest prize in the field of innovation of alternative fuels for transportation worldwide. Aurbach is the first Israeli researcher to win the prize since its establishment six years ago by the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Science and Keren Hayesod.

An international committee headed by former Technion president Yitzhak Apeloig selected Aurbach and Lindfors from a large number of nominations submitted by university presidents, research institutes and industry leaders from Israel and across the world.

Aurbach is being recognized for his contribution to breakthroughs in the field of battery development, including an innovative magnesium battery. His research has included the development of advanced batteries for electric vehicle applications.

Lindfors, senior vice president of technology at Finland’s Neste Oil, and his team have developed innovative methods to produce biodiesel from organic waste, including organic oils and used cooking oils.

Through these newly-developed methods, Neste has been able to produce millions of tons of biodiesel annually to power trucks and boats, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90%.

“Israel stands at the forefront of the world’s smart transportation revolution,” said Netanyahu. “We are leading solutions and international collaborations. The State of Israel has become a center of knowledge, research, industry and technology in the field of alternative fuel and smart transportation. Awarding the prize to an Israeli researcher is testimony to that.”

“The prize symbolizes State of Israel’s commitment to advancing the subject of alternative fuels for transportation, a subject with an impact on a variety of aspects of our life here – economy, security, science and society,” Akunis said.

“Israel is a groundbreaking country in many fields and we are working in order to ensure this continues in future generations.”

Aurbach and Lindfors will receive their awards on Monday as the two-day Smart Mobility Summit taking place at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater gets underway.

The sixth summit of its kind in Israel is set to attract international experts and investors and seeks to position Israel as the leading center of industry and knowledge in the field of smart mobility and alternatives to fossil fuels.

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