Thursday, September 25, 2008

21Ventures and Quercus Trust award grant to support solar research at Weizmann Institute

21Ventures and the Quercus Trust announced last week that they have awarded a $200,000 grant to support the solar energy research of Professor David Cahen of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. The grant will be used to further the exploratory research of novel approaches to harness solar energy in less expensive and more efficient new ways and to explore approaches for making better use of existing solar energy technologies.

Professor Cahens ground breaking work has the potential to make a significant impact on the availability and the ultimate use of alternative energy sources, in this case, solar energy. Such efforts support the goal of 21Ventures and the Quercus Trust to secure a cleaner and healthier environment worldwide, said David Anthony, Managing Partner, 21Ventures.

One area that the research will focus on is exploring the potential of various long-term light management approaches. That direction will be complemented by research on potentially low cost, novel ways to collect more energy from sunlight and the means of using that energy in daily life.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in New York, 21Ventures is a venture capital fund which invests in seed, early stage technology and publicly traded companies in the physical security, clean energy and mobile software markets.

The Quercus Trust, which does not have a web site, has quietly become one of the world's leading cleantech investors. Led by David Gelbaum, a former hedge fund manager at Princeton/Newport Partners, the Quercus Trust reportedly had a 20-company portfolio of clean energy stocks worth more than $400 million as of December 2007. Earth2Tech provides a breakdown of ten cleantech venture funding deals made by Quercus in the first quarter of 2008 alone.

David Anthony and David Gelbaum both sit on the Board of Directors of WorldWater and Solar Technology Corportation.