The Technion Model & China

“Only through the Technion model will we be able to catch up with the Western world in the fields of science and technology”

This statement was made yesterday at the Technion by Mr Hu Chunhua, Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party and one of China’s top leaders.

Mr Hu Chunhua, secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party and one of China’s top leaders, visited the Technion yesterday at the head of a delegation of senior Chinese academics and government officials. The visit is a milestone in the establishment of GTIIT, the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology, which will be inaugurated this coming December in the city of Shantou. Other senior officials who took part in the visit were Party Secretary of Shantou, Mr Chen Liangxian and China’s Ambassador to Israel, Mr Zhan Yongxin.

“We are pleased and excited to be here at the Technion, after you visited us in Guangdong in December 2015 to lay the foundation stone for GTIIT,” said Secretary Hu Chunhua. “Guangdong is the leading province in China in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), but in the fields of science and technology we have not yet caught up with the Western world. We have no doubt that only by adopting a model like that of the Technion will we be able to succeed, and this is the idea that led to the establishment of GTIIT. We thank Technion President Prof. Lavie and the team leading the establishment of GTIIT, which does everything with dedication and talent.”

Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie congratulated Party Secretary Hu Chunhua on his visit to the Technion and said that “The GTIIT Institute, which was only a dream two years ago, will be inaugurated this year. Only China can realize such a large project in such a short time, and we at the Technion feel that we are your true partners. Together with the team leading this important cooperation on behalf of the Technion, we are in the process of recruiting the Institute’s future faculty members, who are chosen according to the Technion’s criteria, so that the level of instruction at the new institute will not fall below that of the Technion.” At the end of his speech, paraphrasing Confucius’s famous saying, the Technion President said, “The Technion is your partner in a journey of a thousand miles, in which we have already taken much more than a single step.”

Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor of Haifa, Hedva Almog, said: “The establishment of GTIIT is part of a series of cooperations between Israel and Guangdong Province and between Haifa and its twin city, Shantou.” She added that an innovation center will be built near GTIIT to help Israeli companies penetrate the Chinese market and cooperate with local companies.

The Council for Higher Education (CHE) was represented by Prof. Ido Perlman, a faculty member at the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Deputy Chairman of the CHE. He said: “The Council for Higher Education is actively promoting the globalization of Israeli academia on behalf of international cooperation, and the success of the Technion and Guangdong Province in the establishment of GTIIT is a source of pride and a model for other universities in Israel.”

Hi-tech entrepreneur Dr. Yossi Vardi, who graduated from the Technion 50 years ago this month, said that “the secret of the Technion lies in the fact that it does not make do with scientific excellence alone, but also aspires to bridge the existing gap between basic science, technology and entrepreneurship. Thanks to this aspiration, the Technion has been a critical factor in the development of the Israeli hi-tech industry.”

The official ceremony held at the Senate Hall at the Technion was hosted by Prof. Boaz Golani, Technion Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development. At the end of the ceremony, Professors Moris Eisen, Alex Furman, and Eran Friedler presented the environmental studies that they have carried out in China: monitoring of ground-based mineral contamination, innovative membranes for water filtration, and runoff recycling in Guangdong Province. Environmental issues are drawing considerable public attention in China and will be one of the core subjects at the new technology institute under construction in China.

In addition, the Party Secretary toured the campus and visited the Center for Electronic Microscopy at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He received an explanation of the Titan microscope, which enables the observation of substances at the atomic level. Dr. Yaron Kauffmann demonstrated the microscope’s capabilities to the Party Secretary and the Technion President, and described the advanced studies carried out with it.

Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie (right) and Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Hu Chunhua (left)

The Party Secretary examining the Titan microscope at the Center for Electronic Microscopy

Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie (left) and Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Hu Chunhua (right)

Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie (left) and Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Hu Chunhua (right)

The Party Secretary and the Technion President on a tour of the Technion campus