Kandel: Israel can lead in transport energy alternatives

National Economic Council chairman Eugene Kandel tells "Globes": There is no silver bullet here. This is an evolutionary, not revolutionary, process.

"Israel can become a global catalyst for processes for finding alternatives to oil for transportation," said National Economic Council chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel told "Globes" earlier this week.

At the President's Conference in 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the idea for Israel to become a global leader in developing alternative fuels for transportation. In 2011, the Prime Minister's Office initiated a national program to develop alternative fuels at a NIS 1.5 billion investment over ten years. The annual NIS 150 million budget was divided among the Prime Minister's Office to participate in activities, and designated ministries to support ventures and experiments.

Kandel told "Globes" that he did not expect any good news soon. "There is no silver bullet here," he said. "This is an evolutionary, not revolutionary, process."

Kandel said, "Government support operates along four vectors: there are technologies which are already economical and countries should decide how to implement them; there are start-ups; there are technologies in the pipeline, which will mature in 5-10 yeas; and there are technologies in the research stage, which will mature in 15-20 years."

This week, it turns out that the national plan for alternative fuels has not avoid the Ministry of Finance's budget axe, which intends to slash NIS 35 million a year from the program, amounting to NIS 330 million over its remaining eight years.

One of the events that the program supports is EcoMotion, which will hold its first Main Event on May 9-10. Scores of inventors of smart transport technologies will attend. Alongside companies like General Motors (NYSE: GM), IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM), Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1), Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., inventors who are working in their garages at home will also display their ideas.

"The idea is to encourage awareness among the entrepreneurial and developers community to think in the direction of transportation," said Prime Minister's Office Alternative Fuels Administration director Eyal Rosner. "Transportation technologies are maturing and there is a new interdisciplinary approach. For example, Google is developing solutions for vehicles. We also have Mobileye, which has developed accident prevention technology and suddenly discovered that the technology can also save gas."

Rosner said that, in addition to financial support, the national alternative fuels program helps promote ideas among ministries. "Regulation is just as important as money now for a venture. We run a round table with the participation of representatives of the nine relevant ministries to shorten the time to market for technologies as much as possible."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 8, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013 "Israel can become a global catalyst for processes for finding alternatives to oil for transportation," said National Economic Council chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel told "Globes" earlier this week.

At the President's Conference in 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled the idea for Israel to become a global leader in developing alternative fuels for transportation. In 2011, the Prime Minister's Office initiated a national program to develop alternative fuels at a NIS 1.5 billion investment over ten years. The annual NIS 150 million budget was divided among the Prime Minister's Office to participate in activities, and designated ministries to support ventures and experiments.

Kandel told "Globes" that he did not expect any good news soon. "There is no silver bullet here," he said. "This is an evolutionary, not revolutionary, process."

Kandel said, "Government support operates along four vectors: there are technologies which are already economical and countries should decide how to implement them; there are start-ups; there are technologies in the pipeline, which will mature in 5-10 yeas; and there are technologies in the research stage, which will mature in 15-20 years."

This week, it turns out that the national plan for alternative fuels has not avoid the Ministry of Finance's budget axe, which intends to slash NIS 35 million a year from the program, amounting to NIS 330 million over its remaining eight years.

One of the events that the program supports is EcoMotion, which will hold its first Main Event on May 9-10. Scores of inventors of smart transport technologies will attend. Alongside companies like General Motors (NYSE: GM), IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM), Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1), Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., inventors who are working in their garages at home will also display their ideas.

"The idea is to encourage awareness among the entrepreneurial and developers community to think in the direction of transportation," said Prime Minister's Office Alternative Fuels Administration director Eyal Rosner. "Transportation technologies are maturing and there is a new interdisciplinary approach. For example, Google is developing solutions for vehicles. We also have Mobileye, which has developed accident prevention technology and suddenly discovered that the technology can also save gas."

Rosner said that, in addition to financial support, the national alternative fuels program helps promote ideas among ministries. "Regulation is just as important as money now for a venture. We run a round table with the participation of representatives of the nine relevant ministries to shorten the time to market for technologies as much as possible."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 8, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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