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Posted: March 16, 2009
The Israeli nanotechnology survey
(Nanowerk News) A survey of Israel's nanotechnology industry held by the Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative (INNI) in anticipation of the 2009 NanoIsrael Week, conveys careful optimism. The survey, which looked at the situation of academic research in Israel, reveals that the average investment per Israeli investor averages USD 1.1 million. It is estimated that some USD 320 million were invested, to date, in academic research.
The survey also shows that despite the difficult times experienced by Israel's economy, investors still regard Israel as a promising opportunity for nanotechnology research. "A review of the research stages reached by researchers sends positive signals to potential investors," say the survey's authors. 58% of the researches are in their preliminary stages; 24% in the prototype stage, 14% in the testing phase and 4% are already being commercialized. The survey concludes that this is the right time for starting partnerships with players from the Israeli academy and industry.
Close to half the funding given to Israeli nano research (45%) comes from Israeli and foreign scientific funds. The Israeli government contributes about 15% to the nano pie through bodies like MAGNET (generic technological R&D program) and the defense ministry. The balance of the multi-annual budget, approx. USD 320 million, is shared by the hosting institutes (17%), foreign government programs, donors and independent funding sources. The Israeli industry is responsible for a mere 8% of the funding, and foreign corporations 6%. Venture capital investors invest only one percent.
The survey, which was held in collaboration with Dr. Dovev Lavie from the Technion and Prof. Israeli Drori from the Administration College and Tel Aviv University, shows that the Technion employs 170 nano-researchers, followed by 55 researchers at Tel Aviv University, 45 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 37 at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, 35 at the Weizmann Institute of Science and 30 at Bar Ilan University. Since 2002, the number of nanotechnology researchers in Israel has doubled.
The two main disciplines which provide researchers to the nanotech field are chemistry (25.6%) and physics (19.5%). Most of the researchers surveyed prefer focusing on materials (33% of the researchers), electronics and photonics (22%) and biotechnology (17% of the researchers).
NanoIsrael 2009 will be held on March 30th and 31st at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem. It is organized by Kenes Organizers, (the organizers of the annual Israel Biomed Weeks) and in collaboration with INNI – Israel National Nanotech Initiative and the Nanotech centers of Israeli universities.