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Division of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry
Author  Schulich Faculty of Chemistry - Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

The major research activities in the division are focused on molecular design, preparation and studies of novel organic, inorganic and biological materials. The chemical, physical and biological properties of these compounds and materials are investigated comprehensively by diverse traditional and modern sophisticated techniques. Undoubtedly, the molecular engineering of the materials and processes for their synthesis and studies represent a fascinating challenge whose successful solutions require a combination of synthetic expertise, mechanistic understanding, theoretical computational insight and chemical intuition.

The major core of the Division is represented by the research groups oriented around synthetic organic, organometallic and catalytic chemistry. Compared with other Israeli universities, the Technion currently accommodates the highest concentration of scientists engaged in these research fields. Overall efforts in the development of new methods and catalysts for organic synthesis are aimed at application to the smarter, more powerful and effective preparation of the materials we depend upon, and the generation of valuable new products of potential interest for chemistry, biology and materials science. At least five groups are dealing with these aspects. Prof. Marek’s group is dealing with the design and development of new and efficient stereo- and enantioselective strategies for the synthesis of important complex molecular structures, with special emphasis on the creation of multiple stereo centers in a single-pot operation. Dr. Szpilman’s group is focusing on the development of novel efficient organ catalysts for useful enantioselective transformations and on natural product synthesis. Prof. Eisen’s group is developing new actinide and group 4-containing organometallic catalysts for the efficient production of useful polymers, including the synthesis of novel membranes as trapping entities for water purification and urea trapping under human physiological conditions (organic materials-oriented projects). Prof. Gross’ group is developing corrole-based catalysts for small molecule activation, oxidation and asymmetric synthetic processes. Prof. Gandelman’s group is promoting the design and development of unique organic and metal organic-based systems, new types of paradigms, and chemical bonding as a fundamental basis for the discovery of novel efficient catalytic processes.

Synthesis, characterization and studies on organosilicon compounds with fundamentally and practically unique properties are being developed in Prof. Apeloig’s group. Preparation of novel aromatic compounds and fundamental aspects of aromaticity are being studied in Prof. Stanger’s group. Both groups apply high-level computational chemistry to investigate the related problems theoretically.

Supramolecular chemistry is mainly represented by two groups. Prof. Keinan’s group is designing and developing biomolecular computing devices, synthetic capsids and enzymes, molecular machines, catalytic antibodies, along with sensors for explosives. Prof. Eichen’s group is directing self-assembly processes for the fabrication of nanometer-scale electronic components. Optical and electrical properties of organic functional materials are studied intensively in his group.

Biologically-related chemistry (bioorganic and bioinorganic) is represented mainly by three groups. Prof. Baasov’s group is engaging in the rational design of novel antibacterial drugs, synthesis and evaluation of catalytic oligosaccharides, and the development of new chemical and enzymatic methodologies for the assembly of oligosaccharides. Prof. Gross’ group is dealing with biomimetic investigations of metal catalyzed processes to develop new strategies for combating cancer and diseases initiated by reactive oxygen species. Dr. Maayan’s group plans to study the interactions between organic biomimetic foldamers (peptide mimics) and inorganic species, such as metal ions, metal nanoparticles and metal clusters, directing these materials towards applications in catalysis and materials science.

A more detailed description of the research areas of each group can be found by following the links below:

The research areas of each group are described below:

1. Apeloig Yitzhak
2. Baasov Timor
3. Eichen Yoav
4. Eisen Moris S.
5. Gandelman Mark
6. Gross Zeev
7. Keinan Ehud
8. Marek Ilan
9. Mayan Galia 
10. Stanger Amnon
11. Szpilman Alex M.

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Israel: start-up notions
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Future Technologies in today's labs
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These are just a few of the innovations presented by Intel Corporation today at its 11th annual Research@Intel event, a showcase of the most innovative new research spawned from Intel's internal efforts and external collaborations. Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer, kicked off today's event by highlighting some of the 20 groundbreaking research projects on exhibition today.Supplementing its own robust and diverse research efforts, Intel Labs two years ago deployed a unique model of direct collaboration with the world's leading academic researchers, creating a global network of seven Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTCs) and six Intel Collaborative Research Institutes (ICRIs). Each center has built its own vibrant community of researchers to speed advances in embedded, cloud, social and secure computing, among other fields. Today's event showcases a sample of these research advances – and many from Intel's own labs – across these and many other sectors, including visual and context-aware computing as well as significant progress in fields such as big data."The majority of our research is conducted by Intel's own researchers but we are delighted by the quality and quantity of research coming out of the ISTCs and ICRIs," said Rattner. "Importantly, the deeply collaborative structure of these engagements is based on an open IP model benefiting not just Intel and researchers, but the high technology industry and human society at large."Research@Intel Demo ShowcaseDemos at the Research@Intel event are housed in four different zones. These zones include:Enriching Lives: Developing computing experiences that simplify, enhance and enrich people's lives. This research is intended to help people be understood, expressive and free. One demonstration, titled "Be Meaningful," using "Shelf Edge Technology (SET)," can help detect a person's presence in a store and create a more meaningful, personalized shopping experience. If a car needs an air filter, for example, SET could use the vehicle's service records to alert the owner about the need for a specific filter when the owner enters an auto parts store. If a person has peanut allergies, SET could warn of potentially dangerous products. If a person plans to cook salmon for dinner, SET could recommend wines to best compliment the dish.The Data Society: Unlocking the power of data for everyone. In addition to pushing the boundaries of what institutions can do with big data, Intel Labs has put an emphasis on the exploration of meaningful data exchange among individuals. Researchers are looking at ways to adapt the digital infrastructure to allow people to better capture, move and work with digital information easily and effectively. In a demonstration titled, "Vibrant Data Communities," Intel Labs researchers combine public and personal data with context-aware algorithms to identify and present the most useful information to individuals. For example, air quality sensors in a neighborhood could help steer a person clear of pollen hotspots in during allergy season.Intelligent Everything: Innovations that transform inanimate objects by adding sensing capabilities, helping enable sustainable and smart living experiences. In one demonstration, researchers are working on easy-to-use tools to automate contextual cues with already-existing sensors so that a home behaves usefully in response to events and a family's unique needs. 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World's biggest fund discovers Tel Aviv
World's biggest fund discovers Tel AvivFrom GlobsLast year, Rami Levy joined BTI, the group of businesspeople that supports peace with the Palestinians for the sake of the economy. When this step raised some eyebrows, Levy, a dyed in the wool Likudnik, stressed that his political position was still far from that of those who support the Oslo process. But in Oslo, it turns out, there has actually been a move in Levy's direction recently, or, to be more precise, in the direction of Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (TASE:RMLI). This stock is one of five Israeli stocks that in 2013 became part of the of the investment portfolio of the Government Pension Fund of Norway, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. At the end of 2013, the fund held shares in Rami Levy Chain Stores worth NIS 18 million, out of total holdings of NIS 3.5 billion in 62 stocks traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.Was the decision to invest in Ramy Levy Chain Stores politically motivated? Unlikely. But in other instances of investment in Israeli companies, the fund has certainly acted out of avowedly non-economic considerations. So, for example, in January this year the fund announced that it was putting Africa-Israel Investments Ltd.(TASE:AFIL), controlled by Lev Leviev, and its subsidiary Danya Cebus, back on its blacklist.This step was taken on the recommendation of the fund's ethics committee, which determined last November that the two companies were guilty of contributing to severe breaches of human rights through construction in East Jerusalem. As a result of this decision, the fund will sell off its holdings in Africa-Israel, which were worth NIS 7.3 million.Another loser is communications equipment producer Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:MLNX). During 2103, the Norwegian fund liquidated its holding in the company, which only a year previously amounted to some NIS 60 million. Its holding in Emblaze Ltd. (LSE:BLZ) was also liquidated last year. Similar things have happened in the more distant past. In September 2009, for example, the fund decided to sell its holdings in defense manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) because it provided equipment for the separation fence.Wary of the gas partnershipsThese instances are perhaps discordant to Israeli ears, but the general picture of the Norwegian fund's activity is actually positive from an Israeli point of view. In the course of 2013, the value of its investment in companies traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose by 43% in nominal terms, from NIS 2.4 billion to nearly NIS 3.5 billion. Even discounting the boom on the stock exchange, the rise is impressive: the fund's proportionate holding in shares on the Tel Aviv 100 list grew by 21% last year, exceeding 0.5% of the total of shares listed.At the same time, the fund raised it holdings of Israel government bonds from NIS 2.674 billion to NIS 3.75 billion. Another NIS 693 million of the fund's money is invested in Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA). The fund's total investment in the Israeli capital market is thus nearly NIS 8 billion.The fund's largest equity holdings are in Teva, the banks, and Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL), with the best performing stock being Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI). Apart from Rami Levy, it is noteworthy that the fund has added to its portfolio two gas exploration companies,Delek Energy Systems Ltd. (TASE: DLEN) and JOEL Jerusalem Oil Exploration Ltd. (TASE: JOEL). In both cases, the investment is in the parent company, and not in the partnerships they control, Delek-Drilling, Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L), and Isramco Ltd. (Nasdaq: ISRL; TASE: ISRA.L), which could indicate aversion in principle to investment in limited partnerships.What lies behind the growth in the fund's investment in Israeli stocks? Journalist Anders Horntvedt of financial newspaper "Finansavisen" points in this context to the decision by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance in the summer of 2012 to include Israel in its emerging markets index. "Beyond that, it is no secret that the current government in Norway holds more positive views on Israel than the previous government, and that certainly can't harm," Horntvedt adds.Indeed, on October 16, 2013, a new government was sworn in in Oslo headed by a center-right party, replacing a coalition of left-wing parties that took an openly pro-Palestinian stance. Since then, the new Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, has declared her opposition to boycotting Israel.Aharon (Orni) Izakson, who heads the Norwegian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, can testify to the warming of relations between the two countries. Izakson points to growing interest on the part of Norwegian companies in Israel's oil and gas exploration industry, and mentions an Israel-Norway business conference planned for November in Israel. "I hope that it will also be possible to promote the signing of an R&D agreement between the countries," he says.Will we see more Norwegian money invested in Israeli know-how?"I hope and believe that we will, although in my view it would be better to develop relations on a mutual basis, of investment by both sides."According to Horntvedt, the Government Pension Fund of Norway will continue to increase its investment in Israel and to reduce its under-exposure to the Israeli market. "The fund is growing rapidly, and so there is every reason to assume that its investments in Israel will continue to grow," he says. "There is nothing at present to prevent the fund from investing in Israel, apart from matters relating to the settlements."Do you think the ban on Africa-Israel will be broadened to other companies?"Any company that has activity in East Jerusalem or in settlements on the West Bank runs the risk of being put on the blacklist. Like it or not, that is the fund's declared policy."Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 9, 2014© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013Globes - World's biggest fund discovers Tel Aviv 
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