Merck to Sponsor Three-Year Joint R+D Program with QLight Nanotech

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, and Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced today at the NanoIsrael conference the signing of a research and development agreement between Merck and Yissum's spin-off, QLight Nanotech Ltd., for the joint development of a novel semiconductor nanoparticle technology for a novel display application invented by Professor Uri Banin from the Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will license QLight Nanotech's semiconductor nanoparticle technology for optical applications and will sponsor an R&D program to be conducted by QLight Nanotech over the next three years. QLight Nanotech will contribute its experience in nanoparticle research, particularly in synthesizing and manipulating new nanoparticles, and Merck will contribute its expertise in the specialty materials field and in large-scale production of sophisticated chemical formulations, which will be used for producing large quantities of the nanoparticles developed at QLight Nanotech.

"The long standing experience and the leading scientific expertise of the scientists of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the field of nanotechnology has convinced us to enter into a collaboration, which will enable both partners to explore a new horizon of optoelectronic applications," said Dr. Volker Hilarius, Director Advanced Technologies - Innovation Scouting at Merck. "We applied for the support of this joint effort at the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor as part of the 'Global Enterprise Cooperation Framework Program.'"

"We are very pleased to partner with Merck, the world leader in liquid crystal materials for display applications," said Yehuda Yarmut, Executive Vice President of Yissum. "This collaboration combines Professor Banin's expertise in nanoscience and nanotechnology and, in particular, his leadership in research on nanoparticles with Merck's expertise in specialty materials."

Flat-screen displays are ubiquitous in computer and television screens, and are mainly manufactured based on liquid crystal technology (LCD). QLight Nanotech's new technology will enable the development of both flexible and very large displays, including advertising displays, large-scale video and TV walls. QLight Nanotech's new semiconductor nanoparticles technology is enabling large scale production and will allow high brightness and low energy consumption.

Professor Banin is co-chairperson of the upcoming NanoIsrael conference and exhibition, the central showcase for Israel's excellence in the interdisciplinary world of nanotechnology, to be held on 30-31 March 2009, at the Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel. Dr. Volker Hilarius will participate in the conference, where he will lecture at a session on applications of nanotechnology. For more information please visit http://www2.kenes.com/nano/Pages/home.aspx

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