Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, consistently ranked among the world’s top science and technology research universities, is Israel’s first university. Since its founding in 1912, the institute has educated generations of engineers, architects, and scientists who have played a key role in laying the State of Israel’s infrastructure and establishing its crucial high-tech industries. Beginning with 17 students, Technion has been Israel’s primary source of technological manpower and the nation’s largest comprehensive academic center for advanced science and technology education, as well as applied research. In addition, Technion is one of only a handful of technology institutes in the world with an affiliated medical school.
Technion has 18 academic departments in engineering, natural sciences, medicine and architecture, as well as 60 research centers. Students may choose from some 50 undergraduate and 82 graduate academic programs. There are currently close to 14,000 students at the Technion (~9,300 BSc, ~2,800 MSc, ~1,000 PhD, and ~ 660 MD). To date, Technion has awarded around 100,000 degrees. Technion graduates have brought the unique skills and penchant for innovation which helped conceive and consolidate the modern State of Israel – commonly acknowledged to be the “Start-up Nation.”
The staff of the Technion includes 620 faculty members; 1,000 technical and administrative staff; 250 clinicians; and 950 adjuncts and instructors.
The main campus, Technion City, is a 300-acre site located on Mount Carmel in Haifa that comprises 90 buildings and is frequented by thousands of people every day. Technion City includes a substantive network of dormitory villages offering individual and family accommodation (4,200 dormitory beds) to students and young faculty. The Rappaport Faculty of Medicine is located off-campus, in the Bat Galim seaside neighborhood, adjacent to the Rambam Health Care Campus — northern Israel’s largest medical center.
Technion Graduates Drive Israel’s High-Tech Economy: Technion graduates make up the majority of Israeli-educated scientists and engineers, constituting more than 70% of the country’s founders and managers of high-tech industries. Technion graduates founded and/or lead two-thirds of Israeli companies on NASDAQ.
Technion’s success in supporting Israel’s economy has been dramatic. Israel is now home to the greatest concentration of high-tech start-up companies anywhere outside of Silicon Valley. High-tech industry now accounts for more than 54% of Israel’s industrial exports, and over 26% of the country’s exports. In Israel, 135 out of every 10,000 workers are scientists and engineers, compared to the United States (second place), where 85 out of every 10,000 workers are so employed. Moreover, in Israel, nine out of every 1,000 workers are engaged in R&D, nearly double the rate of the USA and Japan.
Interdisciplinary Research – Great Minds Together
Some of the most advanced research facilities in Israel are located at Technion, which has embraced the interdisciplinary research approach that is driving new developments worldwide. Among Technion’s outstanding interdisciplinary research centers are the Asher Space Research Institute, Grand Water Research Institute, Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering, Grand Technion Energy Program, Nano-Med Initiative, Technion Autonomous Systems Program and Technion Computer Engineering Center. World-class laboratories such as Photovoltaic Laboratory, Micro-Nano Fabrication Unit, Electron Microscopy Center, and Genomics Center enable the cutting-edge research that has empowered Technion to build its reputation for academic excellence and boldly inventive research.
Science in the Service of Humanity
Among the pioneering fields in which Technion has achieved international recognition are regenerative medicine and stem cell research, tissue engineering, aerospace, microelectronics, communications, computer science, superconductivity, fiber optics, optoelectronics, quantum engineering, water resource development and management, catalysis, nanotechnology, biotechnology, the life sciences, and more.
Over the years, Technion has become renowned for its scientific and technological breakthroughs. The file compression algorithm used for “zipping” files was developed by Technion Profs. Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv, and has become an international standard for data compression. The Azilect® drug for Parkinson’s disease was developed by Profs. Moussa Youdim and John Finberg, together with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and is sold world-over.
The Nobel Prizes in Chemistry received by Distinguished Prof. Dan Shechtman in 2011 for his discovery of quasicrystals and by Distinguished Profs. Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover in 2004 for their discovery of ubiquitin are a definitive demonstration of Technion’s collective strength and innovation-stimulating environment.
Protecting Israel, Saving Lives
Technion researchers and graduates play a leading role in strengthening Israel’s security, through advanced technologies developed in Technion labs, and by Technion-trained engineers who develop defense systems to protect lives and property. An outstanding example is “Iron Dome,” the lead team of which was comprised entirely of Technion graduates. Iron Dome has achieved dramatic success and worldwide attention in recent conflicts. By successfully intercepting thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilian communities, Iron Dome was a strategic “game changer.”
Technion as a World Leader in Engineering: Recognition of the Technion’s excellence in engineering is manifest in the number of Technion faculty members (seven foreign associates and one full-member) who have been elected as Foreign Associates in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer.
Technion boasts the first and only department of aerospace engineering in Israel, and is the first Israeli university to place a satellite in space. Technion is also the first to establish a nanoscience and nanotechnology center.
Technion as a Global Academic Frontrunner
Technion’s impact is not confined to Israel; it is also the first Israeli university to establish a presence overseas.
In 2011, a partnership between Cornell University and Technion won a prestigious international competition to establish a new applied science institute in New York City, leading to the founding of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII). This is the first time an Israeli university has established a center of advanced research in the United States. The JTCII graduate program focuses on commercialization of immediate relevance to New York’s economic growth.
In 2013, Technion announced the establishment of the Technion–Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT) adjacent to Shantou University in southern China, which will grant undergraduate and graduate Technion degrees. All academic aspects will be governed by the Technion academic authorities to ensure that the curriculum and standards are equivalent to those at Technion in Israel. Studies begin in 2014 in the field of civil and environmental engineering. This landmark collaboration was made possible by a donation to Technion from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, combined with a strategic investment by Guangdong Province.
In addition to these new overseas campuses, Technion has signed memoranda of understanding with more than 200 universities and research frameworks abroad.
USA: Johns Hopkins, U Michigan (medical), Yale (economics, homeland security), USC (iPodia Alliance)
- Canada: University Health Network (Toronto), Waterloo U, McGill U
Singapore: CREATE program of the National Research Fund of Singapore (tissue engineering and stem cell research)
Australia: Sydney University (photonics, tissue reengineering)
European Research Council: 7th Framework Programme (2006-2013): Total approved funding ~ €100M; Currently active in Horizon 2020 Programme (2014-2020)
France: Companies (e.g., Veolia, Servier, Sanofi, Mérieux, Havas), Universities and Research Institutes (e.g., Inserm, École Polytechnique)
Germany: Umbrella Framework (Aachen – Jülich – Technion); Minerva Centers; Hasso Plattner Institute; Life Science Network (with 5 German Universities)
United Kingdom: Manchester University; University College London; Cambridge University; University of Nottingham
A Partner to Technology Companies Worldwide
Technion’s strategic partnerships include close relations with industry, particularly with multinational corporations, in a wide range of high-tech fields including pharmaceuticals; information & communications technologies (ICT); biomedical engineering; energy; defense; and environmental protection. Multinational corporations have established labs or research centers on or near the Technion campus in order to benefit from proximity to its students (e.g., Microsoft, HP, and Intel). Collaboration with industry is also expressed in Technion’s educational programs – including internships for students.
A Global Leader in Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Creativity is embedded in the “DNA” of Israeli culture, and Technion enjoys a unique innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Students are drawn to study at Technion because they know it provides not just formal education but also an environment that stimulates innovation and enables it to flourish. Technion was recently ranked sixth in the world for entrepreneurship and innovation, and first in the world for “universities that have created/supported highly effective technology innovation ecosystems despite a challenging environment.” Technion entrepreneurship programs include the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center (BEC); Innovation Knowledge Center; BizTEC Entrepreneurship National Challenge; and multiple entrepreneurship courses, workshops, and mentored marathons.
International Students: Spreading Knowledge, Creating Goodwill: The Technion International School (TIS) was established to enhance and expand the Technion’s international activities, offering students from countries around the world an opportunity to join Technion academic programs in science and technology. Most of these programs are taught in English. There is also a Freshman Year of Engineering in Russian.
Foreign students not only earn a world-class education, but may also act as goodwill ambassadors for Technion, and Israel, when they return to their home countries.