Li Ka-shing Makes Historic Visit to Technion

53The Hong Kong philanthropist Li Ka-shing, came for a special visit to Technion for the signing of the historic agreement to establish a technological institute in Guangdong Province, China. As part of the agreement, the Li Ka Shing Foundation will donate 130 million dollars to Technion – the largest donation in the university’s history, and one of the largest in the history of Israel. The contribution will go towards developing the Technion Campus in Haifa and towards the welfare of its students and researchers.

In his first visit to Israel, Mr. Li was clearly moved at his visit to the Technion. Mr. Li expressed delight about the cooperation with the Technion and said,  “as many of you know, I have often referred to my own commitment to making a difference as being like having a “third son”. Ladies and Gentlemen, my third son and I are honored to be counted among your company today.”

Technion President, Professor Peretz Lavie, thanked Mr. Li and recalled the first time they met in September 2011, which led to the momentous agreement being signed today. “Most dreams never come true,” said Professor Lavie, “but this dream has, and will no doubt be realized because of the amazing similarities between the vision and values of the Technion and of the Li Ka Shing Foundation.”

Mr. Li Ka-shing met with Technion’s three Nobel Prize Laureates, Professors Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover, and Dan Shechtman, and was given a model of the ubiquitin-protein ligase system – the scientific discovery made by Professors Hershko and Ciechanover for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004. Mr. Li Ka-Shing was also presented with a special exhibition  of eight innovative technological developments conceived by Technion researchers and graduates, among them a snake robot developed for search and rescue operations, with uses for marine and medical applications, by Professor Alon Wolf from Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering; a miniature robot for back surgery, developed by Professor Moshe Shoham, also from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering;  the “Rewalk” exoskeleton that enables paraplegics paralyzed from the waist down the ability to walk up and down stairs, developed by Technion alumnus Dr. Amit Goffer; The Pillcam, by Given Imaging, developed by a Technion alumnus, which when swallowed by a patient, provides an image of his/her digestive system;  and the technology by NanoSpun developed by Professor Eyal Zussman from the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, which uses patented nano-technology processes, for the development of advanced biological water and sewage treatment; “Z-Scan Technology”, presented by Prof. Ron Kimmel of the Faculty of Computer Science and a leading expert in geometric image processing; Ultra-filtration membranes for water purification and desalination, presented by Prof. Raphael Semiat, Dean of the Wolfson Faculty of Chemical Engineering and a top expert in water technology; and  Image2Text technology for real-time translation of images to concepts, presented by Prof. Yehoshua Zeevi, director of the Technion’s Ollendorff Minerva Center for Vision and Image Sciences.

The ceremony at the Technion was hosted by Professor Boaz Golany, Technion’s Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development. Professor Golany said, “Albert Einstein brought to the Technion an educational culture whose motto is to learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow. Within one hundred years, Technion built advanced technological foundations and transformed the land of Israel from a remote province in the Ottoman Empire to a scientific and technological powerhouse.”

 In the photo: Li Ka-shing meets with Technion Nobel Laureates. From left to right: Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, 2004 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry; Prof. Dan Shechtman, 2011 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry; Mr. Li Ka-shing; Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie; Prof. Avram Hershko, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

The Li Ka Shing Foundation

The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980 by global entrepreneur and philanthropist Li Ka-shing. Mr. Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it. To date, the Foundation has granted over HK$14.4 billion (US$1.86 billion) in charitable donations, approximately 90 per cent in support of education reform initiatives and medical services in Greater China region.

The Foundation supports projects that promote social progress through expanding access to quality education and medical services and research, encouraging cultural diversity and community involvement.