A venture capital fund set up by Labor Party Leader MK Shimon Peres and specializing in nanotechnology has raised $5 million in its first week.
The fund is headed by Dan Maydan, president emeritus of Applied Materials, who is widely considered to be one of Israel's leading lights in the international high-tech world.
Peres' son, Chemi Peres, is also on the board of the new fund. Peres junior is also on the board of Pitango venture capital fund.
The new fund will be officially launched in September under the auspices of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, according to the fund's manager, Einat Wilf. Wilf was reluctant to announce any exact figures for the fund's plans, saying only that, "we hope to raise significant funds from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, though we have no set amount in mind."
The fund expects to raise the investments from companies and Jewish organizations, as well as private individuals.
Nanotechnology covers the realm of research where dimensions are incredibly small, at less than 1,000 nanometers. Many believe it is the direction of future research, and will lead to products becoming lighter, more precise, cleaner and cheaper.
Shimon Peres has tried in recent years to make nanotechnology the new national Zionist ideal industry. He has attempted to raise sums from various bodies and donors, particularly from the Jewish world, for investing in nanotechnological research, citing it as "the most important revolution in the field of science and technology."
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