Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the winners of the 2013 Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation – the largest prize in the world in the field of alternative fuels: Prof. George A. Olah and Prof. G.K. Surya Prakash from the University of Southern California, for their work on methanol economy.
The prize will be awarded at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit – which is being organized by the Prime Minister's Office Alternative Fuels Administration – next month in Tel Aviv.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "Until the 19th century, the world was dependent on salt in order to preserve various products and this was the accepted method since time immemorial. The 19th century saw the development of refrigeration. We can and must reach a similar change in the awful dependence on oil, with all its negative consequences. We decided to take action and enact a multi-year move and an effort that is not dependent on the ups and downs of the oil market. This is the main thing that we are doing. This prize is significant and prestigious. It symbolizes this commitment to the researchers and gives them a true return for their efforts."
Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri said, "This is not the largest prize in the field of alternative fuels for nothing. Israel aspires to find a solution to the global challenge and both free itself from the dependence on oil and change the agenda on the regional-strategic, economic and environmental levels."
PMO Alternative Fuels Administration Director Eyal Rosner said, "Israel has set an ambitious goal for itself – reducing the use of fuel in transportation by 60% by 2025. Innovation, creativity and – no less – a prudent and strong policy are necessary to reach this goal. Israel is posed to be a global leader in this area. We must reduce the dependence on oil and on the oil-producing countries, and thus strengthen the global economy."