Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the United Israel Appeal are accepting applications through the end of this month for the Second Annual Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation. The competition, which is open to participants throughout the world, offers a million-dollar prize for new ideas in the field of transportation fuels.
Israel considers energy sources and technology development a national and international concern.
“Oil is a political tool that is second to none in its strength, found in the hands of our greatest enemies,” Science Minister Yaakov Peri explained. “The State of Israel must act to lower its strategic value and reduce the world’s dependence on it.”
To that end, in 2011, the Prime Minister’s Office established a National Program to Reduce Global Dependence on Oil. The contest is an outgrowth of that initiative. Nominees need to be engaged in “paradigm- shifting research or technology development” worthy of worldwide recognition.
Last year’s winners were Professors George A. Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash from California, for developing and advancing the “Methanol Economy”.
“The triangle of government, academia and private entrepreneurship is the way to find the right solution to fuel substitutes,” said Eyal Rosner, head of the Alternative Fuels Administration in the Prime Minister’s Office. “I have no doubt in our power to substantially reduce fuel dependence within a decade and of course make Israel a leader of the Western world in the field.”
This year’s prize will be awarded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister Peri for global innovation, a scientific or a technological breakthrough at the Fuels Choices Summit, to be held in Tel Aviv in December 2014.
“Israel will be a hub of knowledge and practice in the field of oil substitutes,” Peri said.