Last week the Embassy of Israel in association with Callaghan Innovation facilitated a lecture by Professor Moti Herskowitz, Vice President and Dean for R&D at Ben Gurion University - focusing on innovation and renewable fuels.
Moti Herskowitz, professor of chemical engineering and researcher in the fields
of advanced materials, catalysis and multiphase reactors, has been Vice
President and Dean for Research and Development since 2003. He has published
over 120 papers and 22 patents on basic and applied research in novel renewable
and clean fuels as well as processes for their production.
his address in Wellington to a group of specialized scientists the professor
has been in New Zealand talking to institutions about potentially
working together on renewable energy products.
Israel wanted to
be at the forefront of renewable energy after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said in 2010 that hundreds of millions of dollars would be invested
in research and development of alternative energy. The professor said he had
discussed collaboration with various bodies in the renewable-energy sector, and
was confident partnerships would emerge.
‘‘New Zealand, I
think, is making an effort here, a local effort, and I think we have a major
effort in Israel and we’re looking for partners. As part of my visit here, I
was pleasantly surprised at the level of technology they’re trying to develop
here.’’ He said alternative energy sources existed but it was at the next step
of investment, which would commercialise the product, where many projects fell
a barrier, to move from the lab or small units. New Zealand is a relatively
small country, and has limited resources to invest in such.’’
The Stump for
Pump programme, which will study the feasibility of converting forestry waste
into liquid biofuels, recently received Ministry for Primary Industries funding
of $6.75 million.
mme partners Norske Skog and Z Energy matched the funding, bring the total project worth to $13.5m. New Zealand would struggle to globalise such efforts, however, given budget limitations and local needs, Herskovitz said. "Use biomass forestry waste, it's wonderful. You have this waste and you're going to take care of it; it's a win-win situation."