Technion USA - Winter 2016-2017 - page 4-5

TECHNION USA 2017
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4
2017 TECHNION USA
ather than starting with
a cast-in-stone plan, Ron Brach-
man has set a goal, is heading in
a direction that feels right, and is
learning and adjusting along the
way. “In the end, you end up with
a much better product.” Sound
like he’s talking about a new tech
startup? In a way, he is.
Mr. Brachman is leading the
innovative academic experiment
in entrepreneurial education that
is the Joan & Irwin Jacobs
Technion-Cornell Institute at
Cornell Tech in New York City.
“It’s pretty rare that you get a
chance to start, or help grow,
a new university,” he says.
“What we’re trying to do is
create, out of whole cloth, a grad-
uate-level, high-tech educational
institution. Do things where we
can experiment, understand the
results of our experiments and
continually improve our pro-
grams. As a result, it feels a lot
more like what you do in indus-
try, especially with a startup.”
A computer scientist and
expert in artificial intelligence,
Mr. Brachman became Director of
the Jacobs Institute last October.
His career includes influential
positions at Yahoo Labs, Bell
Labs, AT&T Labs and the Defense
Advanced Research Projects
Agency, which develops technol-
ogy for the U.S. Department of
Defense. Mr. Brachman succeeds
Professor Adam Shwartz, who is
moving back to Israel and taking
on the roles of Chair of the Board
of Trustees at the Jacobs Institute
and Senior Executive Vice Presi-
dent at the Technion.
The unique startup, a partner-
ship between the Technion and
Cornell University, is taking
shape as Cornell Tech’s first three
buildings rise on Roosevelt Island.
Last May, Jacobs’ inaugural class
of 12 Connective Media students
received dual master’s degrees
from the Technion (Applied
Information Science) and Cornell
(Information Systems). Last fall,
Jacobs enrolled 28 new master’s
students: 21 in Connective Media
and seven in Health Tech. Aimed
at applying computer science
to the healthcare industry, the
Health Tech program is in its
second year. Two newly minted
Ph.D. students have also joined
the Runway Startup Postdoc
Program.
Still in its infancy, Jacobs is
already seeding New York City
with entrepreneurs, startups
and innovations. Runway Post-
doc Assaf Glazer stayed in the
Big Apple to launch Nanit, his
unique baby monitor company
utilizing computer vision, to
wide media coverage last spring.
Coming up behind him are
enterprising young students like
continued on page 16
CountdownBegins:Technion
Opens in
NYC
thisSummer
continued on page 13
ChinaRising
nce proud of its ubiq-
uitous “Made in China” label,
today the emerging superpower
seems bent on transforming its
image into “Invented in China.”
And the Technion figures promi-
nently in that plan.
The Guangdong Technion
Israel Institute of Technology
(GTIIT) is under way in China
with a mandate to instill in
students the Technion’s inno-
vative spirit. “Campus construc-
tion is moving full speed ahead,”
says Distinguished Professor
and Nobel Laureate Aaron
Ciechanover, who serves as Vice
Chancellor. “By summer, we
shall have the most updated,
modern, beautiful facility.”
Soon after the Jacobs
Technion-Cornell Institute at
Cornell Tech opens its doors
on Roosevelt Island, GTIIT,
supported by the Li Ka-Shing
Foundation, will become the
Technion’s second global campus.
Some 150 students are
expected to start classes in the
fall to study chemical engineer-
ing with an emphasis on environ-
ment as well as biotechnology.
GTIIT will also eventually have
an industrial component. “Just
like the Technion in Haifa, we
want to build an incubator of
startup companies side-by-side
with the campus and encourage
Israeli startups to take advan-
tage of the market in China,”
says Ciechanover, who is also
co-director of the new Technion
Integrated Cancer Center.
In these early first steps,
GTIIT is building a campus on
the northern part of its property
and setting up a leadership struc-
ture. Chinese Professor Li Jiange
will preside as Chancellor (the
equivalent of a U.S. or Israeli
university president). Prof.
Ciechanover will be aided by
Pro-Vice Chancellors Professor
Eliezer Shalev, who has com-
pleted his term as the Medical
Faculty’s Dean and will oversee
academic affairs, and Dr. Moshe
Marom, who is in charge of
administrative issues, including
campus construction. Technion
Professor Paul Feigin is behind
the scenes, coordinating all
efforts to ensure the success of
this complex endeavor.
The GTIIT will have Schools
of Engineering and the Sciences,
which will be headed by Tech-
nion Professors Moshe Sheintuch
and Noam Soker, respectively,
and house the departments of
chemical engineering, material
sciences, environmental sciences,
physics, mathematics, chemistry
and more. These areas will
expand with the goal of eventu-
ally enrolling about 5,000 under-
graduates, led by 300 faculty
members who will be actively
involved in research. Faculty
are being recruited from various
countries, including Korea,
Germany, the U.S. and China,
and students will be recruited
from all over the world starting
in the spring of 2017.
The success of the GTIIT
pivots on maintaining the
Technion’s exacting standards.
“The school carries the Technion
name,” says Prof. Ciechanover,
emphasizing the Technion’s
GoingGlobal
NEW YORK, NY, USA
“Out of
whole cloth,
we are
creating
a graduate-
level,
high-tech
educational
institution.”
–RON
BRACHMAN
HAIFA, ISRAEL
SHANTOU, GUANGDONG, CHINA
JOAN & IRWIN JACOBS TECHNION-CORNELL INSTITUTE
GUANGDONG TECHNION ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
TECHNION–ISRAEL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
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