A Magnet for Solution Seekers

What’s driving the increasing global interest in the Technion?

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal profiled Technion President Peretz Lavie. The article highlighted his leadership in increasing the Technion’s global partnerships – and profile – to unprecedented heights.

By any measure, the past few years have been nothing short of extraordinary for the Technion. They have brought about the birth of a far-reaching collaboration with Cornell University to create the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in the heart of Manhattan. They have given rise to the Guangdong-Technion Institute of Technology – funded by a grant from Chinese philanthropist Li Ka-shing – which will soon kick off a new era of Israeli-Chinese collaboration in research, education, and business.

Just this month, the Technion and New York University announced a groundbreaking step forward in the fight against cancer – in the form of two major joint research endeavors, including the establishment of a state-of-the-art facility on the Technion campus. The partnership – supported by a gift from philanthropists Laura and Isaac Perlmutter – is just one of many now being incubated with leading institutions spanning across Europe, Canada, and other countries around the world.

In unprecedented ways, the world is looking to the Technion to help solve its greatest challenges. You can see this truth in the long lists of distinguished visitors who are traveling to the Haifa campus. They come from every corner of the planet: mayors and legislators; presidents and prime ministers; the CEOs of multinational corporations and the presidents of universities. Each of them is looking for opportunities to partner with Israel’s greatest university.

Many ask me: what’s driving this surge in global interest?

Is it the extraordinary success of Technion faculty and alumni, who represent a quarter of Israel’s Nobel Prize Laureates, a third of its most important business leaders, and two-thirds of the CEOs of its NASDAQ -listed companies? Most graduates will talk about the unique mindset and skill set that they acquired during their education at the Technion, that allows them to solve problems and face challenges.

Is it the university’s cutting-edge, multidisciplinary approach to research, which brings together thinkers from across different fields to address major challenges – from fighting cancer to making our cities more sustainable?

Or is it the Technion’s central role in making Israel the Start-Up Nation? There is a running joke in Israel about the imaginary slide that runs from the Technion to the industrial parks housing Yahoo, Google, Microsoft – and other high-tech powerhouses that are situated within 10 minutes of the Haifa campus.

This record of success has turned the Technion into a magnet for those seeking solutions to problems – and looking for a glimpse into a new model for 21st century education.

At the American Technion Society, we take special pride in the Technion’s extraordinary success. This month we marked a major milestone as an organization, surpassing $2 billion in total funds raised for the Technion since our inception in 1940. By providing this support, the ATS has served as a critical bridge in turning big ideas at the Technion into impact across Israel – and around the world.

As the Technion continues to rise in the ranks of world-class universities, we will remain its integral partner. With pride in this past, we look forward to an even more successful future. I’m confident that, as Frank Sinatra once sang, “The best is yet to come.”

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