Merck KGaA is moving forward with plans to increase its stake in Jerusalem-based startup QLight Nanotech, which develops products for use in displays and energy-efficient light sources.
QLight, whose products are based on semiconductor nanoparticles called quantum dots, is a spin-off subsidiary of Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Merck first invested in QLight in 2012, though the companies have not disclosed details of the investment. The agreement called for an additional investment by Merck upon QLight reaching certain development milestones.
“There is ongoing discussion on the next round of investment,” Bernd Reckmann, head of Merck’s chemicals division, told Reuters during a visit to Israel. “It has not yet been decided.”
QLight, established in 2009, and Merck have been carrying out joint research into this new class of materials for several years as part of a partnership program supported by Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist.
The new technology will help to innovate the LCD display market, said Reckmann.
“It gives tools to improve the quality of the picture in brightness and color range,” he said. The technology also helps cut energy consumption of flat screen TVs, Merck said.
While LCD (liquid crystal display) is one of Merck’s biggest cash generators, the German group is also investing in OLED, a display technology that could succeed LCD.
Organic light-emitting diode displays are thinner, more energy efficient and offer higher-contrast images than LCD.
“OLED is still the only technology which has the potential to take market share in the display arena from LCD but it’s still in its infancy. There are a lot of technical challenges, especially on the manufacturing side,” Reckmann said.
Analysts believe OLED will not take significant share – 10% or more – of the display market before 2017-2018.
The success of technologies such as QLight’s in innovating the LCD market will also make it more difficult for OLED, Reckmann added.
“Israel is an economy that is transforming itself and pursuing excellence in the same way that the City of Vaughan is pursuing excellence by creating opportunities for growth and expansion. The ultimate goal is economic growth which will improve our standard of living and quality of life,” said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “This business mission to Israel shows our commitment to developing foreign markets and will allow us to build strategic relationships with leading Israeli companies. By building and enhancing the City’s international reputation and profile, we will demonstrate that Vaughan is a location for significant business success.”
The mission is being led by Mayor Bevilacqua and includes Ward 2 Councillor Tony Carella and Ward 5 Councillor Alan Shefman, as well as business representatives from the Greater Toronto Area. The City has partnered with the United Jewish Appeal Federation (UJA), the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Government of Israel Economic Mission to Canada, Canada Israel Chamber of Commerce and ColdSpring Commerce to organize a series of activities designed to achieve a high return on investment for all the business mission participants.
The mission will include high-level meetings with government officials including the Mayor of the Eilot Regional Council, the Mayor of Eilat and the Charge D’affaires of the Canadian Embassy. The mission has also secured more than 150 one-on-one meetings with Israeli companies that are directly related to the high-tech, industrial, financial and academic sectors. The delegation will participate in an event hosted by the Jerusalem Business Networking Forum that is expected to attract a business audience of more than 100.
Israel is recognized as one of the most dynamic and innovative economies in the world and the program is designed to help businesses engage and collaborate with this thriving economy.
Centred in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, the mission will focus on a number of innovative industry sectors including advanced manufacturing, environmental and green products, security, information technology, and scientific and technical products.
Some of the confirmed delegates have already made connections with Israeli businesses to network and prepare for their future international expansion. A business-to-business match-making process is a key component of the mission.
Participating organizations include Groundheat Systems Inc., SLG Consulting, Renewables and Energy Savings, Centennial College, York University, Elias Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd., Mircom Group of Companies, Canadian Gift Concepts/ABA Science Play, Gulf & Pacific Equities Corp., CompuOffice Software Inc., ColdSpring Commerce, Bond Street Mercantile, Domir Blinds Manufacturing Inc., Gulf and Pacific Equities Corp., and Hughes Decorr.
For more information on the City of Vaughan Business Mission to Israel please visit www.vaughan.ca/israel.
The program—which is the first degree offered by the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII) at Cornell Tech—entails two years of study to earn a master’s in Connective Media. Graduates will receive their degree from both Cornell and Technion. The program will collaborate with major media companies such as Facebook, Hearst, WordPress and the New York Times.
“New York City is the world’s media capital, but we can’t take that position for granted because the way media is produced and consumed is changing dramatically,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Media creators and tech companies have a lot to gain from a strong, collaborative working relationship, and I am proud that Cornell and the Technion will be training the next generation of tech talent in New York City to work with the media industry. We will reap the benefits of that partnership in the form of job creation and global competitiveness.”
The King, who said that he has visited Israel on a number of occasions and was always impressed by the country and its people, met privately with Peres following an inspection of the honor guard.
Peres, in the final day of a three-day visit to the country, also met with the Prime Minister of Holland, Mark Rutte, ahead of an address to the Dutch parliament. During the meeting the two discussed the Iranian nuclear threat, the situation in Syria and relations between the two countries, in light of recent steps taken by the Dutch government to isolate products made in West Bank settlements from Israel’s trade agreement with the European Union.
Prime Minister Rutte addressed the issue of boycotting goods from the settlements and stressed that the Netherlands is opposed to boycotting goods from Israel and that the issue had not even been considered within the country. With respect to the recent European Union directive to block Israeli groups operating within the Green Line from European funds, the Dutch Prime Minister said that the Netherlands was working within the EU to reach a consensus and find a solution that does not harm the peace process.
President Peres thanked the Prime Minister and said, “Europe, like Israel, understands that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be solved through negotiations and dialogue, not through sanctions. A day after the European announcement, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of talks for nine months – if a deal is reached between the sides there will be no need for the European sanctions, they will be irrelevant. I am sure Europe did not plan to make the negotiations more difficult but if the sanctions are implemented that will be the effect.”
President Peres also called upon the Netherlands, as a key member of the European Union, to oppose the Iranian nuclear threat and not to allow Iran to complete its race to long range missiles with nuclear warheads, “Europe’s support is important to preventing the Iranian threat. I hope that the new voices will bring a new reality in Iran – but nuclear weapons for mass destruction is a threat to the entire world and we must work to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.”
The Yaskawa Electric Corporation from Japan, a global leader in planning and manufacturing industrial robots, is set to invest tens of millions of shekels in an Israeli company in the robotics industry.
The company, ARGO Medical Technologies, has partnered with Yaskawa as it continues the global expansion of its ReWalk exoskeleton device which enables individuals with lower limb disabilities such as paraplegia to walk.
Yaskawa has made a significant capital investment into the ReWalk exoskeleton technology and will also serve as the exclusive distributor for the ReWalk in Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea, the company said in a statement.
“This strategic partnership will bring significant value through the synergy of Yaskawa’s technology in the general field of robotics combined with our expertise in the human factors and treatment of spinal cord injuries,” said ARGO CEO Larry Jasinski. “We look forward to this mutually beneficial partnership as we enter a new phase of development and growth.”
In 2008 Yaskawa bought the shares of RoboGroup, a public company traded in Tel Aviv, in a subsidiary which was a partnership between Yaskawa and RoboGroup and developed motion control technologies integrated into the Japanese giant’s products, at an investment of some NIS 20 million (about $5.7 million).
After the acquisition, the purchased company’s name was changed to Yaskawa Europe Technology and it became a subsidiary of global Yaskawa in Israel.
The Japanese robotics giant was founded 93 years ago. It employs 8,000 workers and its market value stands at $3.5 billion. Its activity in Israel has been run since 2005 by CEO Arik Dan, who studied Japanese and business administration at Keio University in Tokyo.
“Yaskawa sees great importance in increasing its investments in Israel in light of the country’s importance as a global robotics development center. Yaskawa’s goal is not to draw technologies and knowledge to Japan, but rather to develop the local company as a global development and marketing center.”
The Israeli Technion Institute of Technology and Shantou University in China will establish a joint academic technological institute in China under the name: Technion Institute-Guangdong Technology (TGIT), with a donation of $130 million from the US based Li Ka Shing Foundation .
The Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) – sponsored by the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) with a US$130 million grant – will represent unprecedented cooperation between the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government, Technion, and STU. Guangdong Province and Shantou Municipal Government will set aside RMB900 million (approximately US$147 million) to fund construction and initial operations, as well as 330,000 square metres for the campus to be located next to STU.
The US$130 million grant from LKSF is the largest ever to the Technion and one of the most generous in the history of Israeli higher education. It will be allocated for strengthening the Technion’s home campus in Haifa, for the benefit of its students and researchers, to enable the Technion to fulfil its leading role in TGIT.
Mr Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the LKSF, Will speak at today’s ceremony in Tel Aviv to formalise the memorandum of understanding for the establishment of TGIT. The agreement will be signed by Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie and STU Provost Professor Gu Peihua, and will soon be brought for the approval of the Technion’s and Chinese statutory authorities.