Friendship makes the world go around

Two donations and a new prize were announced at the Technion at the annual session of the Board of Governors

Good news for the Technion: Two donations and a new prize were announced today at the annual session of the Board of Governors. Japanese entrepreneur Dr. Hiroshi Fujiwara has announced a donation of $4 million to the Technion’s Cyber Security Research Center, and Technion graduates Dr. Andrew and Aviva Goldenberg will donate $5 million to the Technion for the establishment of a Pavilion Studio at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning.

In addition, the Mauerberger Foundation Fund Prize for Significant Technologies for Africa was announced In a special plenary session of the Board of Governors called “Technion, Israel & the World in the 21st Century – Fulfilling the Technion Vision,” the Technion recognizes the donors.  Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie said at the ceremony that “there are friends and donors here from South Africa, Japan, Canada, the United States and Israel, all of whom have one common denominator: the aspiration to Tikkun Olam. To you, those who practice Tikkun Olam, we express our thanks today. By giving of yourselves, you make the world a better place.”

“The drive towards a better society, a better habitat for mankind, is not a new one. In fact, one could argue that it is as old as humanity itself. Starting with the bible – it doesn’t take long for the reader to reach the point in which Adam and Eve are expelled from paradise – and from there onwards everything is pretty much an uphill battle” said Prof. Boaz Golani, Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development.

“This notion has been the driving force behind religions, political parties and even a failed startup or two. It has also been the driving force behind some of the most revolutionary scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs thus far. it all originated at the same place: identifying a problem and trying to address it and improve life using science and technology. The establishment of Technion itself is well rooted in similar circumstances

Technion was to become unique worldwide, as a university that would precede, create, shape, and secure the future of a modern state.

This journey is far from over. Currently, both Israel and the world at large face new & somewhat daunting challenges – some new, some old – all demanding our fullest attention. It is the vision of the Technion and the foresight of its founders that will guide us in our attempt to face and overcome these challenges to the benefit of humanity, but it is the support of our friends and partners that is imperative to turn our quest into a successful one. ”

Technion graduate Sami Sagol, who turned Keter Plastic from a small factory in Jaffa into a huge international conglomerate, said at the ceremony: “I entered the Technion as a young student in 1960. After graduating I often worked with the Technion and its graduates.  The Technion is a leading institution thanks to the inter-disciplinary connection between the faculties, between engineering, medicine, science, psychology, etc.”

“My parents, Henry and Marilyn Taub, began their support of the Technion 50 years ago, with the understanding that a leading science and engineering institution was a vital need for the State of Israel,” said Steven Taub. “My brother Ira, my sister Judy and I are proud to be a second generation of Technion supporters,” he added.

First Japanese donation

Japanese entrepreneur Dr. Hiroshi Fujiwara has announced a donation of $4 million to the Technion’s Cyber Security Research Center.  “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a new stage in our relationship with Japan,” said Professor Boaz Golany, Vice President for External Relations & Resource Development at Technion. “Japan and Israel share many similarities, as both are highly developed countries that rely heavily on technology as an economic booster. We strongly believe that today’s new pledge will enable us to better prepare ourselves to some of the cyber challenges both countries face at the present time and even more so in the future.”

Dr. Fujiwara, an entrepreneur and a successful businessman, acquired professional experience in global companies, including IBM and Hitachi, and is the founder and president of Tokyo-based firms BroadBand Tower (BBTower) and Internet Research Institute (IRI). Dr. Fujiwara first visited Israel and Technion in 2016 at the initiative of Mr. Kanji Ishizumi, President of Technion Japan (the Technion’s friends association in the country). During his visit, he met with Technion President, Professor Peretz Lavie as well as researchers and faculty. He said: “My involvement is intended to create the infrastructure for such cooperation with the hope that it will lead to commercialization of technologies that will benefit our two countries.”

The Cyber Security Research Center was opened at the Technion in April 2016 in cooperation with the Israeli National Cyber Bureau. “Israel and Technion in particular, are leaders in maintaining the country’s ability to withstand cyber threats. Yet to continue to do this we must promote interdisciplinary research that relies on the capabilities of the Technion. This new gift will enable us to do exactly that, as it will allow faculty members from various disciplines to continue and investigate the protection of cyberspace,” said Prof. Eli Biham, head of the Center.

For Africa

“The Mauerberger Foundation Fund Prize for Significant Technologies for Africa is intended to strengthen the academic ties and exchange of information between the Technion and Africa and to harness new technologies for the benefit of humanity. The new prize is a natural continuation of the Fund’s support the Technion and in Israel in general, as well as in South Africa.

The Mauerberger Foundation Fund (MFF) has always worked for the benefit of human beings regardless of religion, race and color, and adhered to this principle even during the period of apartheid in South Africa. In many ways, the Founder’s vision for the Foundation Fund anticipated South Africa’s unique journey to democracy with a constitution that acknowledges the injustices of its past.

Mauerberger believed strongly in practicing “Tikkun Olam” (Repairing the World) and the Technion, which he first visited in 1955, was an opportunity for him to advance humanity. He assisted in the establishment of the soil engineering labs and in 1979, 3 years after his death, the Mauerberger Building was completed. Today, the Helen and Morris Mauerberger Soil Engineering Building is home to Engineers without Borders (EWB), a pioneering program that the MFF continues to support.

Foundation Chair Dianna Yach said that the prize would promote technological breakthroughs in areas related to the advancement of humanity. The competition will be open to researchers from the Technion, the Weizmann Institute of Science, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University.

“At the Technion we received tools for a career”

Technion graduates Dr. Andrew and Aviva Goldenberg will donate $5 million to the Technion. The donation, said Dr. Goldenberg, expresses their thanks and appreciation to the Technion for providing the two of them with tools for successful and rewarding careers. Moreover, the Technion is the place where the couple met for the first time 50 years ago, in December 1967.

Dr. Andrew Goldenberg is a graduate of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Aviva is a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning. Dr. Andrew Goldenberg, who completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering at the Technion, continued his doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, where he has been a professor since 1982.

The Goldenberg’s donation will serve two purposes: the establishment of the Pavilion of the Andrew and Aviva Goldenberg Architecture Studio and a scholarship in robotics engineering.

Dr. Derek Yach and Dianna Yach

Dr. Hiroshi Fujiwara with Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie

Dr. Andrew and Aviva Goldenberg with Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie