The Technion is one of the world’s most recognized and respected science and technology research universities with over 13,000 students many of whom are set to leave their mark on the world.
The Technion is one of the world’s most recognized and respected science and technology research universities with three Nobel Prize laureates: Distinguished Professors Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko in 2014 and Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman in 2011, all three were awarded the prize in Chemistry. A fourth laureate, Distinguished Professor Arieh Warshel, from the University of Southern California, recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is a Technion graduate.
It is home to about 13,000 students and 18 different faculties. Today the Technion is quickly growing and needs more dorm beds than the current 4,900 it has on its main campus. To this end, it is collaborating with the municipality to find additional space for the dorms.
One of the more interesting initiatives has been housing some of the students in the Hadar neighborhood; one of the city’s’ less advantaged. This move has left a positive footprint on the neighborhood as is evidenced by the opening of many businesses aiming to cater to the new student population as well as the revitalization of many of the neighborhood’s buildings and streets. Furthermore, later this year elements of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning will relocate to the historic Technion building, which is now home to the Madatech, the National Museum of Science and Technology (on which we reported in the last issue). They are planning to open a museum and visitor center on the ground floor of the Octagonal building, which will undoubtedly contribute to the increased involvement of the public in its activities. In addition, the Technion opened its port campus further contributing to the rejuvenation of that area which is a high priority for the municipality’s development.
On the International front, the Technion continues to collaborate with leading American universities in innovative research and development. Over the past few years, the Technion has additionally grabbed the attention of the Chinese who continue to express their wonder at the Start-up nation that doesn’t stop giving. Li Ka-Shing, the 8th richest man in the world has recently donated $130 million from his own foundation to help improve the Technion’s infrastructure. The goal of the Chinese involvement is quite obvious as they seek to learn Israel’s “secret sauce’ for innovation and startup culture.
Ka-Shing who made a nice profit from his investment in Waze, which was sold for over a billion dollars to Google last year, has definitely set his sights on the Israeli high tech scene. Sources in Israel say that this is why Li decided to invest in Israeli higher education – specifically at the Technion, whose graduates lead many of Israel’s most successful startups.
The second collaboration with the Chinese is the establishment of the Technion campus in Shantou. This was funded to the tune of $150 million from the Guangdong Province and the Shantou municipality. Chinese students will earn degrees from the Technion in civil and environmental engineering or computer science. This is the first time China has invested in and completely paid for a university to open up business and start operating in China. Similar projects are already in the pipeline with an emphasis on Chinese-Israeli collaborations.
There is no doubt that the future looks bright for the Technion and its graduates and as things go, a strong Technion will continue to create a strong Haifa.