Innowattech of Israel is developing technology to generate electricity from road traffic. In its first commercial project the company will supply its technology for lighting road signs on the Venice-Trieste highway in Italy.

Italian infrastructure and civil engineering contractor Impregilo SpA is upgrading the Venice-Trieste highway at an investment of €225 million. Work began in 2010 and is due to be completed in 2013. The project involves widening the road to three lanes in each direction and building 11.5 miles of bridges and overpasses.

Innowattech CEO Dr. Lucy Edery-Azulay told Globes, Israel’s leading financial daily, that “Drivers will read traffic reports on electronic signs, which will be powered by electricity from the drivers’ own vehicles.”

Innowattech’s generators will be placed beneath the highway’s upper asphalt layer. The Innowattech technology converts mechanical energy from vehicular or rail traffic into electricity. Its R&D center is at Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

According to Edery-Azulay, by the end of June Innowattech will have signed more agreements with various companies around the world that are interested in its technology.