Ramot, Tel Aviv University Tech Transfer, Executes First Closing of $17 Million-round for Technology Innovation Momentum Fund

SanDisk Joins Tata as an Investor

TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd. (Ramot), the University's tech transfer company, today announced it has executed first closing of $17 million for its Technology Innovation Momentum Fund (the "Momentum Fund"). The Momentum Fund will invest in promising breakthrough technologies in a wide range of fields, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, high-tech and physical sciences.

Having completed first closing, the fund is expected to become operational shortly through its three expert scientific committees, which will review selected TAU technologies for funding commencing Q1 2014.

The lead investor Tata committed up to $5 million, with the balance of the investment provided by SanDisk and angel investors, primarily from South Africa, US and India.

Mr. René Hartner, Senior Director Corporate Strategy & Business Development at SanDisk, said, "We are pleased to support this initiative to speed the commercialization of leading-edge technologies developed at Tel Aviv University. Our relationship with TAU and the new Momentum Fund are part of SanDisk's ongoing efforts to strengthen engagements with leading universities in countries where SanDisk has a significant presence."

"We welcome SanDisk's decision to take advantage of this opportunity and invest in the future technologies coming out of TAU. We see clear potential business synergies that arise from this collaboration," said Mr. K. R. S. Jamwal, Executive Director of Tata Industries.

Dr. Giora Yaron, Chairman of the TAU Executive Council and Chairman of Ramot, believes the Momentum Fund will also help bridge the gap between academic work and marketable innovation. Working with commercial companies will help TAU develop the solutions the market is after, thereby writing the next chapter of "Start-Up Nation".

"In exchange, the fact that research takes place within an academic setting rather than in a corporate R&D lab means that projects with longer lead times will have the right conditions to develop," he added.

Mr. Shlomo Nimrodi, the CEO of the General Partner of the Momentum Fund and Ramot commented: "The Momentum Fund represents an innovative approach for early-stage innovations utilizing a for-profit investment mechanism with the support of strategic partners. The fund was able to attract household industry experts to supervise the investment decisions and the development process. The fund expects to invest in 20-40 projects an amount of $250K - $1,000K per project on a milestone basis in a diversified range of technologies, all together mitigating the risk of early-stage investment."

About Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Ramot is Tel Aviv University's technology transfer company and its liaison to industry, bringing promising scientific innovations made at the university to commercialize with industry. The company provides the legal and commercial frameworks for inventions made by TAU faculty, students and researchers, protecting discoveries and innovations with patents and working jointly with industry to bring scientific innovations to the market.

SOURCE: Ramot at Tel Aviv University

For further information:

Media contacts:

Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd.
Dr. Tamar Raz, VP Strategy & Marketing
tamar@ramot.org | P. +972-3-6406580

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Ramot at Tel Aviv University

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