Rehovot-based Melodea Ltd., which develops nano-crystalline cellulose based products, has won the Nanotechnology Innovation of the Year Award at the NanoIsrael 2016 conference.
Melodea has developed a proprietary technology for the economically viable industrial-scale extraction of nano crystalline cellulose (NCC) from side streams of the paper industry and wood pulp. In addition, the company develops unique technologies for producing NCC based materials such as high oxygen barrier films for packaging, additives for packaging materials, water-based adhesives, paints and ecologically-friendly foams for composites, transportation and construction.
NCC generates much excitement due to its unique properties, and is considered the new high-tech material of the forest industry. It bears a huge promise as a green and safe alternative to fossil oil based materials. NCC is abundant, renewable and produced from waste of the paper industry. In Europe alone, eleven million tons of paper production waste is produced annually.
Future uses of NCC are expected to include production of high-performance reinforcing materials, biodegradable plastic bags and textiles; electrically conductive paper; new drug-delivery technologies; transparent flexible displays and even as part of the food industry.
Melodea was founded by Professor Oded Shoseyov and Dr. Shaul Lapidot (CEO) both from the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with Tord Gustafsson, a Swedish industrialist and expert in the composites industry, as a spin-off of Yissum, the technology transfer company of Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The company has a strategic collaboration with Holmen, a leading Swedish manufacturer in the forest based sector, which is also one of its major shareholders. The launch of Europe's first NCC pilot facility, located in Sweden and based on the Melodea’s technology, is expected by the end of 2016.
Dr. Lapidot said, "We are honored to be chosen by a panel of experts as the best nanotechnology innovation of the year. In the past year, we have made significant advancements in collaboration with our strategic partner, towards commercialization of our NCC based technology for production of novel eco-friendly materials.”
Yissum CEO Yaacov Michlin said, “Melodea encompasses a winning combination of outstanding technology originating from the Hebrew University with a leading international industry partner. The company, that was founded and operates within the University, reflects the innovation and attractiveness of nanotechnologies originating from the Hebrew University.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 7, 2016
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