|From the President
In December 2009, I participated at the annual event of the French Technion Society that took place at the CollŤge de France. The entire day was dedicated to understanding the secrets of Israelís high-tech phenomenon, and Technionís major contributions to its performance on international markets.
What, then, is the secret of Technionís success?
Prof. Peretz Lavie
It lies in the fact that during its 85 years of existence, Technion knew how to reinvent itself. During its first 25 years, Technion trained - in evening classes - more welders, carpenters, and electricians than engineers. In the 1950s, the aeronautical engineering faculty, the first to be built on the new Mount Carmel campus, laid the foundation for the Israeli aerospace industry. Twenty-five years later, Technion established a microelectronics center that led to the development of Israeli high-tech, and an excellent Faculty of Medicine.
Scientific-technological research in the 21st century is changing before our eyes. This century will be characterized by an explosion of knowledge doubling in quantity every three to four years, requiring the cooperation of scientists from diverse areas. Technionís interdisciplinary research centers such as the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, the Lorry I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering, and the Autonomous Systems Program have crossed traditional borders and started new scientific dialogues.
This century will be marked by existential questions and our ability to cope with global warming, overcrowding, and the depletion of the traditional sources of energy will decide the destiny of our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. It is incumbent upon us to look for nonpolluting renewable sources of energy. We have set up the Technion Energy Program, the Grand Water Research Institute, and established research grants for energy, ecology, and environmental studies.
In order to preserve its leading status, Technion has to be part of globalization. Globalization of universities in the 21st century is characterized by a massive youth migration. According to a U.N. estimate, in 2007, 2.5 million students studied abroad and that will grow to 7.5 million within a decade. Iíve been a partner to the steps Technion has taken in this direction: The International School of Engineering opened last year and this year weíll launch an international masterís program for business administration, which will join the already existing Technion American Medical School (TeAMS) Program.
Technionís position in the world will be decided not only by the quality of its faculty, but by its capability of breaking down physical borders and joining the globalization wave in higher education.