Maayan Ventures Ltd. (TASE:MAYN) portfolio company Bnano Ltd. has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Korea's Charm Engineering Co. Ltd. (KSX: 9310). Bnano is developing the airSEM, a revolutionary scanning electron microscope enabling 10-nanometer resolution in open air. Charm will pay Bnano $4.4 million for the joint development and integration of the microscope, of which $1.6 million was transferred when the agreement was signed.
When integration of the airSEM microscrope with Charm's systems for flat screens and solar panels is completed, Charm will buy Bnano's products as set out in the agreement.
The airSEM microscope functions in the open air, and does not require a vacuum. Commercial scanning electron microscopes require the sample to be isolated from the environment. Another uniqueness of Bnano's microscope is the ability to hook it up to other measuring devices, such as optical microscopes. The airSEM can provide an image of any material in any accumulation, without the need for prior study, enabling the examination and sampling of materials in their natural environment.
Studies estimate that the large microscope market will total $3.6 billion in 2012, that the specialist microscope market will total $2.3 billion, and the market for microscopes for research institutes will total $1 billion.
Bnano CEO Dr. Dubi Shachal founded the company. Chairman Avi Simon said, "The agreement with Charm encourages us to pursue this line with a leading equipment maker for the semiconductor industry, which will help us raise capital to enter our main target market - specialized microscopy products for industry and academe."
"The agreement is proof of professional recognition by Charm, a leader in its field," said Maayan Ventures chairman Guy Rosen. "The joint product targets the flat TV screen and solar panel markets, both of which are growing rapidly."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 5, 2012
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