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Benny Landa

Visionary, prolific inventor and holder of more than 1,000 granted and pending patents worldwide, Benny Landa changed the course of the printing industry at IPEX in 1993, when he unveiled the E-Print 1000, the world's first digital color printing press. He came to be known as the father of digital printing. Twenty years later, Benny founded Landa Digital Printing and revolutionized the industry again using an entirely new technology – Nanography®, that brings digital printing to mainstream production.

An Early Passion for Innovation

Benny was born in Poland in 1946 to Holocaust survivors. When he was two years old, his family emigrated from Europe to Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). After eight years as a carpenter, Benny’s father bought a small tobacco shop. To help make ends meet, he built a photo booth, serving as a studio and dark room, at the back of the shop. Mr. Landa Sr. devised a unique camera from bicycle parts and pulleys that would capture the image directly onto photographic paper, avoiding the need for film. This important concept would later take hold as an essential element of digital printing, later introduced by Benny in 1993. In these early days, Benny assisted his father in the darkroom and developed his first invention: a mixer for photographic chemicals using rubber tubing and an electric motor from an old phonograph.

After an eclectic university education that included physics and engineering at Israel’s Technion, and psychology and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Benny graduated from the London Film School. In 1969 he began his professional career at CAPS, a micrographics research company and was instrumental in developing an innovative micrographic product that won the company a major contract with Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Division – and soon saw him appointed head of R&D.

In 1971, he and a colleague founded Imtec, a company that became Europe’s largest micrographics company. Benny invented the company’s core imaging technology, and, while researching liquid toners, worked on a method of high-speed image development that would later lead to his groundbreaking invention of ElectroInk®.

The First Digital Printing Revolution

The First Digital Printing Revolution

In 1974, Benny followed his long-time dream and moved to Israel. Three years later, he founded Indigo, which commercialized the ElectroInk concept. Building on his previous discoveries in black and white imaging, his new process used small color particles and an electric charge to form a thin, smooth, plastic layer on paper. With quality that nearly rivaled offset printing, Indigo enabled high-speed production of high-quality color images. By the beginning of the 1990s, Indigo had become a printing equipment manufacturing company and offered the industry a revolutionary new method of printing that brought it into direct competition with industry giants such as Xerox, Kodak and Heidelberg.

A Desire to Help Others

A Desire to Help Others

In addition to being an inventor and visionary, Benny Landa is also a philanthropist. In 2002, together with his wife Patsy, he established the Landa Fund for Equal Opportunity Through Education. The aim of the Fund is to enable bright Israeli youth of “privileged minds and underprivileged means” to achieve higher education. The Landa Fund enables young new immigrants and Israeli Arabs to acquire university degrees. The Fund has invested more than $50 million at all six of Israel’s universities. Thousands of Israeli youth have earned university degrees as a result. The Landa Fund also supports non-profit organizations in the fields of education and the advancement of shared citizenship, tolerance and understanding between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.