By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
They say that you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg. Judging by my recent trip to Landa in Israel, Benny has used up a whole hen coop setting up Landa Labs and Landa Digital Printing. The Landa facilities are in Rehovot, 40 minutes from Tel Aviv, on the way to Jerusalem and home to the Weizmann Institute of Science, from where many of the Landa team have graduated.
The investment in research is obvious from the minute you walk through the doors of Landa Labs facilities – Landa’s innovation engine. Even a science ignoramus like me could not fail to be impressed by the equipment in the labs. From one of the most advanced electron microscopes in Israel, to the equipment used to create the nanoparticles that form the core of the Landa Labs research, not a dollar or shekel has been spared to ensure the Landa team are working at the cutting edge of nanotechnology.
I was shown live pictures of nano particles – 50 nanometres across – displayed on a large monitor. My immediate reaction was that this is like exploring the bottom of the oceans – there are sights that no-one in the world has seen before, and more waiting to be discovered.
I am not a scientist, but I can recognise expertise when I see it. The team that Benny has assembled were clearly enthusiastic and energised about their work. Although focused on the production of energy from ambient heat, this work is generating spinoffs like Nanography®, hair care products and medicinal delivery systems.
A short distance away is the Landa Digital Printing facility in the Rehovot Science Park, not far from the HP Indigo site! Here the atmosphere is slightly different as the team concentrates on completing the development of the Nanographic technology and bringing the first presses – the folding carton Landa S10, a high-speed, B1 digital press to the alpha trials ahead of the first beta installation in 2014. Preparations are already underway in the manufacturing hall where the presses will be assembled and the initial NanoInk® Colourant manufacturing will begin.
A team is working on an amazing service portal to connect users around the world with online support in Rehovot. The portal will deliver service support via augmented reality as well as on-site engineers.
There is a great buzz about the place, none more so than in the staff restaurant where the team meet for complimentary breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner. Benny has a tradition of looking after his employees and if I stayed in Rehovot for more than a week, I could easily have come home a stone heavier. But the restaurant gives everyone, Benny included, an opportunity to network, catch-up on progress and chat through the latest challenges. I could easily have put a bed in the corner and not gone back to the hotel!
Completing the fowl metaphor, Benny is not counting his chickens just yet, but there are so many nano-related opportunities being hatched in Landa Labs, it won’t be long before the rest of the world will be flocking to Israel.