Technion Awards Michael R. Bloomberg Honorary Doctorate for Leadership in Positioning New York City as a Global Capital of Technological Innovation
Technion Celebrates its Innovators’ Transformative Impact at Technion Benefit on March 15 at The Plaza Hotel in NYC
New York, NY (March 16, 2016): The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology celebrated Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term New York City Mayor, philanthropist and founder of Bloomberg LP, and presented him with an Honorary Doctorate at the Technion Benefit Gala on Tuesday, March 15, at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. The event was sponsored by the American Technion Society, which provides critical support to the Haifa-based Technion, ranked among the world’s leading science and technology universities.
Mr. Bloomberg was honored for his vision in opening a channel of active collaboration between Technion Israel and New York City, through the selection of the Technion-Cornell bid for the establishment of a new ‘School for Genius’ on Roosevelt Island in 2011. The Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute today promotes and leverages a synergy between its parent institutions to offer a global perspective on technology transfer, commercialization and entrepreneurship.
“To build a world-class research institute, you need a visionary leader who can look far into the future. Michael Bloomberg was that person for the Technion, and we are honored to celebrate his achievements,” said Peretz Lavie, Technion President. “Because of Mr. Bloomberg’s vision and foresight, the Technion and its partner Cornell University will create leaders in New York who will develop innovative technology and solutions to benefit mankind, establishing the City in a leading position for the 21st century and beyond.”
“The Technion is an incarnation of that quintessential Israeli idea that nothing is impossible,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “That’s an idea that Israel and New York City share. It’s what has made both centers of innovation and invention, and it is what has allowed both to respond to adversity with strength.”
Acclaimed journalist Charlie Rose served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, which also featured a special performance from the renowned soprano, Renée Fleming, in concert with legendary Israeli pianists Leonid Ptashka and Gil Shohat.
Mr. Bloomberg worked to position New York City to become the global capital of technological innovation. From 2007-2012, jobs in the City’s tech sector grew by 74 percent, making the City second only to Silicon Valley in venture capital funding for tech startups. In December 2010, the Bloomberg administration launched Applied Sciences NYC, a competition leading academic and research institutions from around the world to propose a new or expanded applied sciences and engineering campus in New York City. Winners would receive support from the City to make those campuses a reality.
The winner was a partnership between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. As a result, the Technion is helping lead the way to diversify and strengthen New York City’s high-tech industry. Over the next three decades, the new applied science and engineering campus being built on Roosevelt Island is expected to generate 8,000 permanent jobs, 20,000 construction jobs, hundreds of new companies and more than $23 billion in economic activity in NYC alone.
The evening also celebrated the Technion’s role in helping to create a technological revolution in New York City, similar to the one it spurred in Israel, where Technion graduates have launched and led many of Israel’s major companies, including 59 of the 121 high-tech Israeli companies traded on the NASDAQ. Additionally, the Gala highlighted the achievements of some of the Technion’s highly successful innovators, including Shiri Azenkot, Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute assistant professor, whose research is enabling blind people to see through interactive technology; and Ran Korber, Technion alumnus and CEO and Co-Founder of BreezoMeter, whose company is monitoring air quality for a healthier environment. The event also showcased the work of Dr. Kobi Vortman, Technion alumnus and founder and vice chairman of the board of INSIGHTEC, an Israeli company developing breakthrough technology for the operating room of the future.
“As a world leader in entrepreneurship and innovation, the Technion has pioneered the technologies that have built Israel as the Start-Up Nation,” said Jeff Richard, Executive Vice President of the American Technion Society. “We are proud of what the Technion has already accomplished in New York, and we look forward to seeing Technion faculty, students and alumni continue to drive groundbreaking innovations and build new businesses that improve the quality of life for people around the world.”
The 2016 Technion Benefit Gala was made possible by the generous support of Gala Chairs: Lauren and John J. Veronis, as well as Honorary Chairs: Joan and Irwin M. Jacobs, Eric Schmidt, and Joan and Sanford I. Weill.
Additional support was provided by: BHI USA, Bank Hapoalim; Zahava Bar-Nir; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Canyon Partners, LLC; Laura Flug; Forest City Ratner Companies; Elaine and Ken Langone; The Ronald S. and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation; The Neubauer Family Foundation; Proskauer; Joanna S. and Daniel Rose; Julia and Joshua Ruch; Perri and Eric Ruttenberg; Jeanne S. and Herbert J. Siegel; Gillian and Robert Steel; and Ann and Andrew Tisch.