Whitewater to invest in water security start-up

Whitewater chairman Ori Yogev: I want Whitewater to be the global leader in water security.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Whitewater subsidiary Whitewater Security is in advanced negotiations to water security start-up CheckLight Ltd. Whitewater will make a strategic investment of up to NIS 10 million in several stages.

Microbiologist Prof. Shimon Ulitzur of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology founded CheckLight together with his daughter, Dr. Nirit Ulitzur in 2001. The company’s technology uses light-emitting bacteria to identify pollutants in water in real time. The technology is one of eight recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CheckLight’s product is already on the market.

Whitewater chairman Ori Yogev declined to respond to questions from “Globes” about the investment, but confirmed that the company has made a strategic decision to invest in water security. He said the reason was straightforward: Israel, by necessity as an arid country, is an expert in water issues. In addition, because Israel is a small country surrounded by enemies, it is also an expert in security issues. These circumstances come together in the issue of water security - a topic that the wider world only became aware of as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Yogev said, “The moment I entered the water industry, I sought a sector where we were unique, in order to focus on it business-wise. I concluded from my market study that there is no leading company in water security. I want Whitewater to be the global leader in this field, and I believe that we can do it within three to five years.”

Yogev is not the only investor to say that Israel should become the leader in water security. Next week’s International Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference - Watec 2007 will include a three-day International Workshop on Water Security to formulate Israel’s first water security standard. The Standards Institutions of Israel is heading the effort, which as part of its Ten Lakes Program, sought to identify gaps in international standards and to fill them with an Israeli standard. The Ten Lakes Program focused on water security and the reuse of treated wastewater. Standards experts from the US, Canada, and Europe will participate in the workshop.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on October 24, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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