Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hebrew U.'s Yissum launches cleantech program

Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is launching a $1 million program to support the development of cleantech inventions by scientists at the University.

"We are pleased to launch Yissum's Cleantech Programme, in response to the growing need for alternative energy solutions, novel technologies to combat water shortage and cleaner technologies to protect the environment," said Nava Swersky Sofer, President and CEO of Yissum. "We hope that this initiative will assist in bridging the gap between the Hebrew University's cutting-edge research in these fields and the product-based industry, leading eventually to the commercialization of new 'green' technologies for the benefit of us all."

Initially, five novel technologies were chosen, three of which aim to reduce the polluting effects of toxic substances and create alternative, clean, energy sources. These inventions involve the generation of clean fuel, detoxification of gasses emitted by burning fossil fuels and detecting toxic chemicals.

Prof. Yoel Sasson, from the Hebrew University's Institute of Chemistry, and his team invented a novel method for the effective clearing of poisonous mercury from gases emitted into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants.

Professors Aharon J. Agranat, Chairman of the Department of Applied Physics, and Shimshon Belkin, from the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, invented a novel device enabling the simultaneous monitoring of an array of biological sensors designed to detect toxic substances.

Prof. Uri Banin, from the Institute of Chemistry and the Harvey M. Krueger Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, invented a novel family of photocatalysts based on new nanomaterials. Photocatalysis is the acceleration of a photoreaction in the presence of a catalyst and provides a way to harness solar energy for useful chemical work.

More information about these projects is available in the official press release from Yissum.

Previous Yissum "success stories" include water technology companies Leafsen, En Gibton, and TreaTec21 Industries.

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Hebrew University to invest in cleantech projects