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Press Release – 19 October

Israel and Victoria to partner in cutting edge nanotechnology

The State Zionist Council of Victoria recently hosted a Succot cocktail function, together with the Technion Society of Australia, to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Victorian Government and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa) in the exciting research & development field of nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is a truly amazing new dimension of science, whereby molecules are replicated to produce a scientific or technological innovation. Nano-scientists at Israel’s Technion University have already created a tiny transistor that is capable of reproducing itself, a development that could conceivably lead top electronic devices assembling themselves.

Future nano-tech applications can be in health, where an implant will forewarn a disease; in defence and security where tiny robots smell lethal weapons; in the home where electronic wallpaper or paint will become a tv, computer or book; and in communications in the form of an on-line any where, any time wrist watch.

Special guest the Hon Marsha Thomson, MP Minister for Information and Communication Technology signed the agreement for the state government, together with Ron Lazarovits, President of the Technion Society of Australia (Victorian division), before more than 50 guests, including Professor Malcolm Chaikin, attending from the NSW Technion Society for the event; Professor Richard Larkins – Vice Chancellor, Monash University; and Professor Paul Feigin, William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management from the Technion.

In welcoming guests, SZCV President Dr. Danny Lamm explained, “This signing marks yet another significant collaboration between the State of Victoria and the State of Israel” following on from, “…an agreement between the Alfred and Hadassah hospitals in 2005 and ongoing collaborative work in the area of water including a project linking the Yarkon and Yarra rivers.”

This newest partnership between the prestigious Technion and the Victorian Government, stated Marsha Thomson MP is a, “great opportunity for collaboration, for exchange and mutual gain, not just for our countries individually, or the State of Victoria, but with global impacts.”

A clearly inspired Minister Thomson told of receiving the signed MOU from the Technion during the recent war as rockets rained down on Haifa: “…not even missiles overhead stopped the work from happening” the Minister enthused.

Minister Thomson said that “with the creation of the $8.1 million Victoria-Israel Science and Technology R&D fund (VISTECH), born out of a visit by Treasurer John Brumby to Israel, it seemed obvious that we should be looking at new collaborative arrangements to add to the mix”.

“Outside of Silicon Valley, the greatest concentration of start up companies is in Israel…” and Thomson stated she wanted to learn why, directly from the source.

Thomson revealed that Victoria produces the most IT graduates in Australia, and that, Victoria produces more graduates per-capita in engineering and computer science, than the US, Canada and Japan.

The agreement with the Technion, “builds on where Victoria has to go…what is going to make us a society for the future…making the most of our intellectual capacity…” she said, stating that this also mirrors Israel’s utilization of the knowledge economy.

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Ron Lazarovits, President of the Technion Society of Australia thanked, “…the Minister for having the foresight and energy to go to Israel and initiate the agreement. Very serious research effort has been invested in nanotechnology; one of best funded institutes in the Technion, so Victoria is on a winner” he said.

To read SZCV President Dr. Danny Lamm’s speech click here.

To view photos click here.