from the May 2009 issue

Yissum and Germany's Merck set up nanotech start-up

Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA (EXTRA: MRK) announced that they have signed an R&D agreement for the joint development of a novel semiconductor nanoparticle technology for a novel display application by Yissum spin-off, QLight Nanotech Ltd. The announcement was made at the 2009 NanoIsrael Conference.

Professor Uri Banin from the Institute of Chemistry and the Center invented the technology for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Yissum, Merck, and the Office of the Chief Scientist have invested several hundred thousand euro to set up QLight that will develop nanotechnology for color display screens for use in computers, televisions, and other devices.

Merck will license QLight's semiconductor nanoparticle technology for optical applications and will sponsor an R&D program. QLight will carry out over the next three years. QLight will contribute its experience in nanoparticle research, particularly in synthesizing and manipulating new nanoparticles. Merck will contribute its expertise in the specialty materials field and in large-scale production of sophisticated chemical formulations, which will be used for producing large quantities of the nanoparticles developed at QLight.

Flat-screen displays are mainly manufactured based on liquid crystal technology (LCD). QLight's technology will enable the development of both flexible and very large displays, including advertising displays, large-scale video and TV walls. The semiconductor nanoparticles technology enables large-scale production and will allow high brightness and low energy consumption.

Merck KGaA has expanded its activity in Israel in recent years, including through its acquisition of Serono, which owned Ness Ziona-based Interpharm Laboratories, as well as through cooperation agreements with the Chief Scientist, which have already resulted in two agreements with Compugen Ltd. (Nasdaq: CGEN; TASE: CGEN).

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report May 2009

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