Monday, January 21, 2008

Ben Gurion University partners with Israel Cleantech Ventures

Ben Gurion University of the Negev will invest in Israel Cleantech Ventures and will collaborate with it in locating and developing ventures in the field. The university did not disclose the amount of the investment, but sources inform ''Globes'' that it amounts to an initial few million dollars.

Israel Cleantech Ventures is the country's first specialized venture capital fund investing in energy, water, and environmental companies. Its general partners are Jack Levy, Glen Schwaber, and Meir Unkeles.

Ben Gurion University is an R&D leader in water, renewable energy, and environmental technologies. The university's research institutes include water purification, waste treatment, and solar and other renewable energies. Israel Cleantech will collaborate with these institutes and the university's technology transfer arm, BG Negev Technologies and Applications Ltd. Israel Cleantech hopes that the investment and collaboration will make it a leader in the field in Israel.

Ben Gurion University president Prof. Rivka Carmi said, "Promoting environmental research, such as water and renewable energy technologies is one of the primary goals of the university's research program. We hope to position the university as a leading institution in these fields at both the national and international levels. We hope to collaborate with more companies in the sector."

Levy added, "For us, this is a strategic investment with an institution that aims to be Israel's cleantech leader. We believe the collaboration will benefit both parties."

Ben Gurion University has invested in other venture capital funds. A university spokesman said that the investment in Israel Cleantech is the first investment in a cleantech fund, and that the university expected to make more investments in the sector.