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BGU Partners With Israel’s Ministry of Defense

BGU Partners With Israel’s Ministry of Defense

September 17, 2019

Homeland & Cyber Security, Natural Sciences

Globes — With an eye to becoming a major global power in photonics, the State of Israel has partnered with Ben-Gurion University (BGU) to open a new national research institute that will operate within the Soreq Nuclear Research Center near Yavne south of Tel Aviv.

The five-year process to set up the new Israel Center for Advanced Photonics was also led by the Ministry of Defense’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAF’AT) and the Ministry of Finance in partnership with the Israel Innovation Authority, the Council for Higher Education’s Planning and Budget Committee, and the Forum of Chief Scientists.

The government is investing NIS 200 million in the new institute. It will be headed by Dr. Raphy Lavi, who received his Ph.D. in physics from BGU.

Photonics is about the creation, strengthening, transmission and processing of photons—light particles. It is considered one of the buzz fields in technology, with an average annual growth rate of 7%.

According to MAF’AT head Danny Gold, “The Ministry of Defense is developing and making extensive use of photonics technology, and already a decade ago, we identified the field as the next growth engine for Israel’s defense industry and high-tech.”

Dr. Lavi adds, “Israel had excellent personnel in this sphere, but there was a clear lack of infrastructure that could facilitate cutting-edge achievements. The new center is designed to close this gap and put Israel on the same level as the world’s most advanced development centers.”

Government ministries involved in the establishment of the new research center say it will now be possible to expand the ability to transmit data over fiber optic communication cables more swiftly and more cheaply at the speed of light.

The new research institute will also promote research into the development of powerful lasers for industrial and military uses, waves for optic cameras for installation into autonomous cars, LED lighting, fiber optics, semiconductors, and more.

The photonics research center is being founded a few weeks after the Israel Innovation Center and the Ministry of Defense for the first time launched a consortium of defense and civilian companies in the quantum field. The consortium is aimed at promoting research in this area for the development of future technologies that will make it possible to develop new products and applications for civil and defense use in the coming years.

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