Tokyo-based fund aims to bring Hebrew University technologies to Japan

The strategic partnership enables the parties to adapt Hebrew University technologies to the Japanese commercial market.

May 13, 2019; Tokyo, JPN; General overall view of the Tokyo Tower in the Shiba-Koen district of Minato and Tokyo downtown skyline. The tower, built in 195, is 1,092 feet (332.9m). The games of the XXXII Olympiad, will be held in Tokyo on July 24-Aug 9, 2020 (photo credit: KIRBY LEE/USA TODAY/VIA REUTERS)
May 13, 2019; Tokyo, JPN; General overall view of the Tokyo Tower in the Shiba-Koen district of Minato and Tokyo downtown skyline. The tower, built in 195, is 1,092 feet (332.9m). The games of the XXXII Olympiad, will be held in Tokyo on July 24-Aug 9, 2020
(photo credit: KIRBY LEE/USA TODAY/VIA REUTERS)
Yissum, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s technology transfer company, signed a strategic partnership with Tokyo-headquartered investment fund Universal Materials Incubator Ltd. (UMI) on Monday, aiming to commercialize “cutting-edge technologies” for Japanese corporations.
UMI, a 16.5 billion yen ($151.5m.) investment fund specializing in material and chemical innovation, has also invested in Yissum’s Racah Nano Venture Fund, an investment vehicle launched earlier this year to focus on advanced materials and nanotechnology innovation developed at Hebrew University.
The strategic partnership, the parties said, will enable Yissum and UMI to adapt Hebrew University technologies to the Japanese commercial market, grow their international presence and create future joint investment opportunities.
“The partnership with UMI advances Yissum’s efforts to bring Hebrew University innovations to global markets and furthers our international strategy of global outreach that already includes similar partnerships in China and South America,” said Dr. Itzik Goldwaser, Yissum senior vice president of Business Development and Alliance Management.
The Racah Nano Venture Fund, which completed its initial closing in July and has now raised in excess of $7m., offers funding to Hebrew University research projects and aims to de-risk early-stage investments for the nanomaterials industry.
“Through this collaboration, we aim to strengthen our network in Israel and improve our position as a new business creation platform in the materials and chemical industries in Japan,” said UMI chief information officer Dr. Shosuke Kiba. “Israel is a global leader in the start-up ecosystem and one of our top international targets for finding investment projects that contribute to the development of the Japanese materials and chemical industries.”
In May 2018, Japanese imaging giant Canon completed its first acquisition in Israel, acquiring Hebrew University spinout company BriefCam for a reported $90m.
Based on technology developed at the university’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, BriefCam rapidly turns large quantities of video surveillance into actionable intelligence and can accelerate investigations.
Deployed by private companies and law enforcement, BriefCam played an important role in reviewing and identifying the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.