1. Board of Governors
    1. council
      1. president
        1. Senate + Academic Assembly
        2. Technion Comptroller
        3. Senior executive VP
          1. Dean of Undergraduate Studies
          2. Dean of the Graduate School
          3. Dean of the Unit for Continuing Education and External Studies
          4. Pre-Univ Education Center
          5. Heads of Academic Units
          6. Dean of Students
        4. Executive VP for Research
          1. Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF)
            1. Research Authority
            2. Finance & Economics
  • Technion Technology Transfer Office
  1. Israel Institute of Metal
  2. Azrieli Continuing Education & External Studies Division
  3. Human Resources
  • Legal Department
  1. Executive VP for Academic Affairs
    1. Academic Staff
  2. Executive VP & Director General
    1. Finance
    2. Human Resources
    3. Operation
    4. Investments
    5. Safety Affairs
    6. Information Systems
  3. VP for Resource Development & External Relations
    1. Resource Development
    2. External Relations & Communication
    3. Events and Visits
  4. Assistant to the President for Strategic Projects

 

ארבעה סטודנטים מצטיינים מהטכניון חזרו מקורנל-טק לאחר שפיתחו שם יישומים חדשניים בתחומים שונים

הדס אורגד, מרוה מועלם, עוזי סמג’ה וחאדי חדאר התחילו את שנת הלימודים הנוכחית אחרי חווית קיץ ייחודית: שהות בקמפוס קורנל-טק בניו יורק. הקמפוס, שהחל לפעול הקיץ ונחנך רשמית ב-13 בספטמבר, הוקם בעקבות זכייתם של הטכניון ואוניברסיטת קורנל בתחרות שיזם ראש עיריית ניו יורק לשעבר, מייקל בלומברג. במסגרת הקמפוס פועל מכון טכניון-קורנל ע”ש ג’ייקובס.

שהותם של ארבעת הסטודנטים מהטכניון בקורנל-טק היא חלק מתוכנית לחילופי סטודנטים בין שני המוסדות. לדברי לירז מנצ’ל, אחראית קשרי טכניון-ג’ייקובס, “אנחנו בוחרים את הסטודנטים שלנו בקפידה, והתגובות בהתאם – המנחים שמארחים אותם שם מתפעלים מאוד מרמת הידע שלהם ומתפלאים שרובם סטודנטים לתואר ראשון שמעולם לא עסקו במחקר. השהות בקורנל-טק כמובן מעשירה את הסטודנטים אבל גם תורמת תרומה משמעותית למחקר בקורנל טק, ולכן נוצר שם ביקוש לסטודנטים נוספים שיגיעו בקיץ הבא. התקווה שלנו היא שבעקבות הקשרים האלה ייווצרו קשרי מחקר ארוכי טווח בין פרופסורים משני המוסדות.”

עוזי סמג’ה, חיפאי, כבר מתחיל ליצור קשר כזה. “הגעתי לקורנל טק בתחילת הלימודים שלי לתואר שני ועבדתי עם פרופ’ מור נעמן ממכון טכניון-קורנל על דפוסים של קריאת טקסט. הרעיון הוא להבין מה הקורא רואה, כמה זמן הוא עוצר על טקסט, מתי הוא חוזר לפיסקאות קודמות. זה משהו שהייתי רוצה להמשיך כאן במסגרת התואר השני, ואני מקווה שתהיה לי הנחייה משותפת של פרופ’ נעמן עם חבר סגל מהטכניון.”

הטכניון מספק למשתתפים בתוכנית כרטיס טיסה, ביטוח רפואי והוצאות קיום בסך 2,500 דולר. רוב הסטודנטים שוהים כ-8 שבועות בקורנל טק וזו עבורם ההזדמנות הראשונה להשתתף במחקר אקדמי. מרוה מועלם מהכפר עילבון עשתה את הקיץ בקורנל-טק בהנחיית פרופ’-משנה יואב ארצי החוקר את הממשק בין למידה עמוקה לעיבוד שפה טבעית. היא התמקדה ביכולתם של רובוטים להבין הוראות פעולה כתובות שהם מקבלים. מרוה הגיעה לטכניון אחרי לימודים בתיכון הישראלי למדעים ולאמנויות בירושלים. כיום היא לומדת לתואר ראשון כפול – מתמטיקה ומדעי המחשב – במסגרת תוכנית רוטשילד טכניון למצוינים (שנה ג’).

האדי ח’דר מהכפר ואדי חמאם לומד גם הוא במסגרת תוכנית רוטשילד טכניון למצוינים וזו השנה האחרונה ללימודיו במסלול הכפול של פיזיקה ומדעי המחשב. “הנסיעה לקורנל הייתה הזדמנות ראשונה לעבוד על בעיה מעשית משמעותית ולהרגיש שיש כאן תרומה ממשית לחברה.” בהנחיית פרופ’ איתי גורביץ הוא חקר, מנקודת מבט של מודלים מתמטיים, את הבעיה של התאמת תרומות כליה למטופלים הנזקקים להן. “יתכן שאני רוצה לתרום לאחי כליה, אבל עקב אי התאמה זה בלתי אפשרי. יתכן שהפתרון טמון בכך שמישהו אחר יתרום לאחי כליה ואני אתרום לאחיו של אותו תורם. יש כאן אפשרויות מורכבות מאוד ולכן חשוב מאוד לפתח מנגנון שעשוי לפתור אותן באמצעים מתמטיים.”

הדס אורגד, ילידת נתניה הלומדת גם היא בפקולטה למדעי המחשב (שנה ב’), השתתפה בקורנל-טק בפיתוח אמצעי הגנה על משתמשי אנדרואיד מפני מעקב. לדבריה, “רבים מהיישומים החוקיים שאפשר להוריד ב-Play Store של אנדרואיד מאפשרות לגורם חיצוני לעקוב אחר המשתמש. האפשרות הזאת מנוצלת בעיקר בהקשר של אלימות בתוך התא הזוגי, כשבן הזוג של הקורבן מטיל עליו אימה ומשבש את חייו באמצעות אותם יישומים. מאחר שלא מדובר ברוגלות קלאסיות (spyware), אפליקציות האנטי-וירוס הקיימות בשוק לא מזהות אותן ולא מתריעות מפניהן. הפרופסורים שהנחו אותי שם, טום רינסטפרט וניקי דל, פיתחו ‘רשימה שחורה’ של אפליקציות קיימות עבור משתמשים שרוצים להגן על עצמם מפני מעקב כזה. הבעיה היא ששוק האפליקציות מתחדש בקצב מסחרר, ולכן התמקדתי בפיתוח תוכנה שמזהה אפליקציות כאלה גם אם אינן כלולות באותה רשימה שחורה.”

בתמונות:

הדס אורגד

עוזי סמג’ה

מרוה מועלם והאדי ח’דר

The Israeli ambassador H.E. Mark Regev welcomed representatives of the Technion to the Grosvenor Hotel where they held a private briefing on the activities of the Technion.

London, 08.12.2017 – Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev welcomed representatives from the Technion to an exclusive private breakfast briefing at the Grosvenor Hotel on the current activities at the Technion. A lively room of over one hundred people came to listen to top investors discuss the latest start up opportunities available from its cutting edge scientific and technological knowledge and capabilities, the Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF).

Ambassador Regev remarked that, “Israel is rapidly establishing itself as a key component for global development. Technology innovation is becoming a major export with much larger nations like the USA and China are capitalising on the 21st century technology, innovation and conceptual products produced in Israel. I am very pleased to be here supporting the Technion, an institution that is developing future technology that will change the world.”

(L-R) Thomas Lau; Eddy Shalev; Ambassador Mark Regev; Professor Wayne D. Kaplan; Jonathan Metliss; Jonathan Mitchell.

Professor Wayne D. Kaplan, Executive Vice President for Research of the Technion and Director of the Technion Research & Development Foundation, speaking at the event said, “Technion is a research university effervescent with new technologies, all firmly based in fundamental science. The academic, intellectual, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit on campus is tangible – you can feel it. I welcome all those in the UK to come and see for yourselves how our people are disrupting this space for generations to come. Our research at the Technion is not carried out in a vacuum but with a reason and a vision for the future.”

An independent analysis commissioned by the Technion showed that in Israel alone, in less than 20 years Technion alumni have started more than 1600 companies that created 100,000 jobs, and have a combined revenue of nearly $30 billion.

Eddy Shalev, co-founder of Genesis Partners and one of first venture capital funds in Israel remarked: “Technion people have instilled two ingrained skill sets, financial and technical. There are a mix of disciplines where there is opportunity to invest, including chip design, hardware, software, cyber and med-tech. In 1996, direct foreign investment in Israel was around $5 billion a year. In 2016 it was $22 billion. Some three hundred multinationals now have big operations in Israel employing thousands of people and the Technion is a key contributor to this amazing growth.”

Jonathan Metliss, Governor of the Technion who chaired the event in his opening welcome said, “When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that ‘Israel had to innovate or perish’ it encapsulated the spirit of the ‘start-up nation.’ Israel in its isolation from mainstream commerce with its geographical neighbours linked with the discipline from military service were major contributors to developing a technology sector that now employs over 270,000 people. This innovation has allowed Israel to become a key player on the global technology stage.”

A study from the lab of Prof. Noam Adir of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology: natural evolutionary processes prevent the presence of dangerous and potentially lethal molecular interactions by avoiding the presence of specific protein sequences in microorganisms. They found these sequences by a novel method – looking for what is missing in biological data sets. The group then experimentally showed that when these sequences are present in a protein, bacterial growth is indeed inhibited. The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Evolution is an ongoing process, whereby those individuals of species that are the most fit for their environment have more offspring and thus out-compete less fit individuals. The individual’s fitness is a product of the quality of its cellular biochemistry, made possible by the thousands of enzymes that allow its physiology to perform all of the necessary chemical reactions that allow the cell to live. Deficiency in these molecular functions can lead to disease, loss of adaptability to environmental changes, or weakness against other organisms. The molecular machines that make life possible are large polymers made up of linear sequences of building blocks that contain different chemical functions: proteins, DNA, and RNA. Biological variety is a result of the evolutionary changes in these polymers, first and foremost the result of the astronomic number of possible permutations in the order of the 20 naturally occurring amino acid (AA) residues that are the building blocks of proteins. There are 8,000 possible sequences of three AAs, 160,000 sequences of four AAs, over 3 million sequences of five AAs and so on. Since proteins can contain between hundreds to thousands of AAs, the possibilities are endless.

The millions of different protein sequences found in all organisms determine the three-dimensional structures that give proteins the ability to function correctly. Proteins in cells can work alone or associate correctly with other cellular components, while avoiding incorrect and harmful associations with other components. Changes to the sequences naturally occur due to mutations (single site, or larger changes due to more dramatic sequence shuffling) of an organism’s DNA – the genetic material. Changes due to mutations can lead to new positive characteristics, or they may have negative consequences to the organism’s viability. A mutation that has a negative effect may prevent the organism from competing with other organisms in its environment, eventually leading to its demise. One could predict that over time, evolutionary pressure would work against the presence of organisms containing these internally lethal sequences and they would disappear.

Over the past few years, there has been a world-wide effort to obtain the entire DNA sequences (the entire genomes) of many organisms. These data have given us the ability to predict all of the possible protein sequences (the proteome) that might exist in organisms as simple as bacteria or as complicated as humans. Prof. Adir and his students, Dr. Sharon Penias-Navon and Ms. Tali Schwartzman, hypothesized that the huge amount of data made available by modern genomics would allow them to look for short sequences that occur less often than expected or are completely missing in the organism’s proteome. They developed a computer program that searched the many existing data sets to identify short sequences that are underrepresented (URSs). While they found that most of the sequences of three or four AAs indeed do exist at their expected frequency in the proteins of different organisms, URSs do exist. They used the program to search for URSs in the proteomes of many different organisms (especially pathogenic microorganisms) and found that different organisms have different URSs.  Adir and Penias-Navon wanted to prove that these URSs are indeed harmful, and they hypothesized that protein synthesis (translation) by the ribosome is the function that URSs might harm.

They embedded bacterial URSs (identified in the proteome of the gut bacterium E. coli) comprised of three or four AAs in a normal protein sequence, and showed that no matter where they put the URS, protein translation was inhibited. They showed that these same E. coli URSs had no effect on protein translation in human cells, showing that the effect is species specific. They further showed that one four-AA URS was powerful enough to inhibit translation completely to the point where the growth of the bacterial cells was significantly reduced: these are indeed lethal sequences. Adir and Navon suggested that URSs could be used as highly specific anti-microbial agents, and a patent, together with the Technion, was submitted.

In order to obtain even more precise molecular details on the action of the URS, they initiated a collaboration with Prof. Joseph Puglisi and his student Dr. Guy Kornberg of Stanford University, who are experts in following protein translation in single ribosomes, thereby obtaining direct information on the translation reaction mechanism. Using these single molecule methods, the inhibitory effect of the existence of a URS on translation was confirmed. Their methods enabled a precise determination of the site of inhibition. They found that as soon as the URS AAs enter the entrance to the ribosomal nascent protein exit tunnel, translation is inhibited.

Each year, the International Space University honors the memory of one of its greatest supporters, Dr. Gerald Soffen, with a lecture featuring a prominent visionary in the space sector. Few are more visionary than ISU’s Chancellor and Apollo 11 moonwalker, Dr. Buzz Aldrin.

Buzz Aldrin, most famously known as the second man to walk on the Moon is hands-on with the next big dream: humanity’s next big frontier – getting people to Mars.

On Tuesday 28th July 2016 at the Technion the 86-year-old space man addressed the 2016 class of the International Space University, sharing his experiences as an astronaut and his mission not only to fly people to the Red Planet, but also to “maintain a permanent human presence on Mars.”

“There’s no greater endeavor that humanity will undertake for generations to come than to create a permanent presence on another planet in the solar system.”

Recalling the impact of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon he said that, “The world welcomed us back as heroes. But we understood that they were [not] just cheering for three guys. It was what we represented: a nation, and the world coming together. We had accomplished the impossible and the true value of Apollo is the amazing story of innovation and teamwork that overcame many obstacles to reach the Moon.”

Buzz Aldrin earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. He was selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, and earned the nickname “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised are still used today. He also pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking.

In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz set an EVA record for a 5 ½ hour spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.

Since retiring from NASA, Buzz has remained a proponent of human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the “Aldrin Mars Cycler”, and has received three US patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to addressing science literacy for children by igniting their passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through delivering hands-on STEAM activities and inspirational messages.

Dr. Aldrin is an author of nine books including his New York Times best-selling autobiography entitled, “Magnificent Desolation”. He continues to inspire today’s youth with his illustrated children’s books: Reaching for the Moon, Look to the Stars, and recently released Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. His 2013 book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration”, outlines his plan to get us beyond the moon and on to Mars. As one of the leading space exploration advocates, Buzz continues to chart a course for future space travel and is passionate about inspiring the younger generations of future explorers and innovators.

ד"ר באז אולדרין

ד”ר באז אולדרין

Technion scientists measure and record thermal motion in a water droplet; new kind of medical sensor may result

Graduate student Shai Maayani (Left) and Professor Tal Carmon

According to scientists from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, measuring a water droplet with a resolution comparable with the scale of a single atom will reveal that the droplet interface behaves like a miniature stormy sea. The waves in this ocean are generally referred to as “thermal capillary waves” and they exist even if the droplet is seen, to the naked eye, as being at rest.

Using that knowledge, the researchers developed technology to analyze the thermal capillary dynamics in a drop of water. The advancement could one day lead to a new generation of medical sensors that are able to identify abnormal cells.

The findings by graduate student Shai Maayani and Professor Tal Carmon of the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering were published in recent issue of Optica, available on-line at:  https://www.osapublishing.org/optica/abstract.cfm?uri=optica-3-5-552

The measurement of thermal capillary waves, performed by Mr. Maayani was made possible by turning the water droplet into a device the researchers called an “opto-capillary resonator.” The device was used to introduce light into a water droplet to record the thermal capillary motion inside it. Being able to accurately measure this activity means that it could also be possible to support a controlled energy exchange between light and capillary waves in the drop.

“The surface of a water drop is constantly moving, due to what is called ‘Brownian motion,’ or ‘thermal motion,’” said Prof. Carmon. “Thermal motion on the outer surface of a water droplet impacts many processes including breaking of a single drop into many smaller droplets.”

The researchers experimented with what are called “capillary oscillations” in a water droplet. These motions are governed by water‘s surface tension, the force that gives a drop of water its shape. Water droplets are a fundamental structure of self-contained liquid bounded almost completely by surfaces

In their experiment, photons (particles of light) were confined to circulate along the equatorial line of the droplet, at a depth of 180 billionth of a meter.  Being so close to the drop interface, which host the thermal capillary waves, enabled recording this thermal motion of water.

According to the researchers, once inside the water droplet, light circulates up to 1,000 times around the circumference of the droplet, which helps in measuring the capillary waves. The number of times that light circulates is called ‘optical finesse’ and can be used to monitor the movements down to the size of 1/1000th of the very small wavelength of light.

“Optocapillary cavities can support a controlled energy exchange between light and capillaries,” explained the researchers.

When light waves and water waves co-resonate in certain ways – when they pass through one another – there can be an exchange of energy between the two types of waves. The data from that interaction could be used to develop a new type of sensor. For example, if a biological cell is placed into a water drop the cell’s reaction to waves – whether waves of light, water or sound – can reveal information about the nature of the cell.

“Based on a cell’s reaction to light, water and/or sound waves, it may one day be possible with the optocapillary resonator to determine whether a cell is normal or a malignant cancer cell,” concluded the researchers.

Redefining part of 300 year-old classification system for grouping members of the animal kingdom

New “molecular fingerprint” of animal kingdom emerges from gene regulation survey

An international team of biologists has identified the molecular signature of the animal kingdom, providing genetic evidence for an animal classification that has been used for nearly 300 years. Their research, published this week in the journal Nature, offers a historic dataset for the field, serving developmental biologists, evolutionary biologists, and computational biologists alike.

Professor Itai Yanai

The study was led by Professor Itai Yanai of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Department of Biology, in cooperation with research teams in Australia, Germany, the US, and Israel. The research team investigated an extremely diverse set of animal species, applying an extremely powerful technique called CEL-Seq, developed in 2012 by Dr. Tamar Hashimshony in the Yanai lab. CEL-Seq allows for the monitoring of the activity of all genes in individual cells, and the team used it to analyze gene regulation in 70 embryos in each of ten species.

The researchers found a striking pattern of universality across the species. Between phases of similar genes turned ‘on’ at the beginning and the end of development, a mid-developmental transition was discovered. This newly discovered gene regulatory pattern explains how the differences among animals develop and evolve, which allows biology to now have molecular means to define the specific properties of groups of species.

Their work further defines a category of animal life under-defined since 1735 when Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, recognized as the father of the biological classification of organisms, proposed a two-name classification system for the world’s plants and also animals classified animals into “families” based on similarities and differences in body “plans.” The work sheds new light on how, at the molecular and genetic levels, animals of different body designs (whether they have a true spinal column (mammals) or just a nerve cord (chordates) have evolved to be different and why.

Nearly eight million different species of animals are thought to inhabit the planet, covering a striking exuberance of diversity. For example, animals span five orders of magnitude of adult body sizes. Prof. Yanai’s team began this research by asking what is common to all animals. To tackle this question, they chose ten of the most different animals one could choose: a fish, a worm, a fly, a water bear, a sponge, and five others, each of a different phylum (a term coined by German naturalist Ernst Haeckel in the 19th century to describe a group of animals with the same body plan). About 35 phyla are typically recognized, however it remains controversial with contention over whether this is a meaningful classification and, if so, what attributes are the same, or different across all animals.

Inverse hourglass model for the origin of phyla compared with the hourglass model for within phylum evolution

“We selected species representing ten different animal phyla,” said Prof. Yanai. “For each phyla we determined the gene expression profile of all genes from the development of the fertilized egg to the free-living larvae. We found a surprising pattern of gene expression conservation in all species occurring at a pivotal, transitional period in development.”

By studying the molecular programs of development in ten very different animals, the researchers found that all of the animals they studied express two distinct “modules” of genetic expression. (A module is a set of genes – similar across the organisms – that are turned ‘on.’) During the transition between the modules, mechanisms of cell signaling and regulation occur.

With this new knowledge, the researchers proposed a definition for phylum as “a set of species sharing the same signals and transcription factor networks during the mid-developmental transition.” In other words, they clarified the definition by suggesting that those organisms sharing a phylum, formerly by virtue of body design alone, also share a unique and similar genetic and molecular transition that other species do not.

To demonstrate their proposal, the researchers developed an “hourglass model” that captures gene expression differences between species. The inverse hourglass model shows the origin of phyla compared with the hourglass model that demonstrates “within phylum evolution.”

Embryonic development is called the “phylotypic” stage. This is when the embryo begins to assume recognizable features typical of vertebrates. The phylotypic stage represents a general layout on which specialized features—such as the turtle’s shell, the pig’s snout, or your large brain—can be mounted later in development.

The researchers proposed that during the phyletic transition period, properties specific to each phylum are genetically encoded. Their emerging dataset, they said, will be useful in studying the hallmarks of animal body plan formation from the embryonic stage.

As with many scientific discoveries, the researchers suggest that their work “raises more questions than it answers.” For example, “what molecular pathways underlie phyletic transition in each phylum? Why are the phyletic-transition mechanisms so relatively susceptible to change? Is the coupling of the conserved modules universal to all multicellular life?”

“The transition we identified may be a hallmark of development only in animals,” the researchers concluded. “Or, future work may show that this is a general characteristic of development in all multicellular life.”

Despite the diversity of body structures in mature animals (bottom), the embryos look very much alike at the phylotypic stage

Improves potential of solar to become a major energy source

HAIFA, ISRAEL (February 18th, 2016) – A patented breakthrough by researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology improves the efficiency of organic photovoltaic cells by 50 percent, and could someday provide a huge boost for the viability of solar power as a major source of energy. The researchers recently published their findings in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Organic photovoltaic cells convert solar energy into electric power through organic molecules. One of their advantages over “traditional” solar cells made of silicon is that they can be mounted on lightweight, flexible, and easy-to-replace sheets, which can be spread on roofs and buildings like wallpaper, converting solar energy into electrical current. In the future, they could also be used to provide a cost-efficient and reliable source of electricity in isolated regions.

Despite the advantages of organic cells, their conversion potential to this point has not been fully utilized, according to lead researcher Professor Nir Tessler, of the Technion Faculty of Electrical Engineering, and director of the Wolfson Microelectronic Center and of the Sarah and Moshe Zisapel Nanoelectronics Center at the Technion.

“In our study, we found that the organic photovoltaic cell’s efficiency and electricity production are limited by structural aspects,” he explains. “We have proved that the limitations are related not to the material, but to the device structure. We have developed an addition to the existing systems, improving the efficiency of converting solar energy into electric current inside the cell from 10% (a level considered to be “high efficiency”) to 15% (the level at which industry experts say organic solar cells will be cost-effective), and adding 0.2 volts to the cell’s voltage.”

The development is based on increasing the energy gap between the electrodes by changing their fixed position in the system. By doing so, the researchers were able to increase the voltage, leading to an increase in system power. “This improvement is significant for the relevant industry, and it was achieved by focusing on structural changes in the device, versus developing new materials, a common approach by researchers in this field. It seems as if we have stretched the laws of physics with the aid of engineering.”

Prof. Tessler estimates that he and his team will complete the development of a prototype system within a year.

Link to the article in the Journal of Applied Physics

Vigor Medical Technologies Ltd., operating within the framework of the Technion’s T-Factor Start-Up Launch Program, takes first place (out of 150 companies) in the iNNOVEX Competition. The company developed a novel device that enables the safe insertion of medical instruments into the chest area.

iNNOVEX 2016

Presentation of the “2016 Most Innovative Israeli Start-Up Award” to Vigor Medical Technologies at the 2016 iNNOVEX competition

Vigor Medical Technologies Ltd. won first prize at the annual iNNOVEX Competition, and in so doing has been named the most innovative and promising Israeli start-up for 2016. The competition, which was held jointly by Google and the OurCrowd Foundation, attracted some 150 young start-up companies developing novel products expected to have great impact on the lives of many.

Vigor – a start-up developing devices to prevent lung and heart collapse – was established a year and a half ago by Dr. John Abeles, an American physician from Florida who was also the company’s first financial investor, Irina Kavounovski, a Technion graduate from the Faculty of Chemical Engineering who is currently serving as the company’s CEO, and her father Igor Waysbeyn who is the company’s CTO; Waysbeyn specializes in emergency medicine and holds a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Vigor developed a plastic mechanism to treat chest trauma. Thoracic related trauma, which accounts for approximately 4 million cases a year worldwide, is the major cause of death in accidents. Medical treatment offered at such events involves the insertion of drains and surgical tools to the chest area. The ability to provide such treatment within the first hour after traumatic injury – often referred to as the “golden hour” – is critical as it typically determines the fate of the victim in about 80% of cases. However, such medical intervention can be very dangerous because it could potentially damage internal tissues in the chest.

Today, abdominal laparoscopic surgery (minimally invasive) is done using access devices (Trocar), through which surgical tools are inserted and manipulated. The problem is that this device is dangerous for use in chest surgery, as it may damage internal tissues and cause serious or even fatal injuries, especially when used out in the field by paramedics.

Vigor’s product changes the game rules: it allows medical personnel, including paramedics and medics, to perform the treatment without fear of inflicting damage. This product, unlike Trocar devices used in abdominal surgery, allows simple and quick replacement of its drains, so it is also suitable for make-shift field conditions.

Vigor’s product is suitable for treating penetrating trauma (caused by gunshot or stabbing) as well as blunt force trauma (caused by impact such as from a fall, traffic accidents, or other). It becomes fixated to the chest walls and creates a permanently sealed passage that prevents the infiltration and escape of air and liquids, and allows the fixation of the drain for the removal of fluids and air from the chest. The product has been adapted for use in civilian rescue services (such as Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA)) military emergency response units, emergency departments and trauma centers, and to treat patients after chest and abdominal surgery.

The company started out within the framework of the start-up accelerator program MassChallenge in Boston, and went on to take part in the Technion’s T-Factor Start-Up Launch Program. David Shem Tov, the Director of T-Factor, emphasizes that Vigor was the first company to join the accelerator program and is expected to complete its seed stage soon. “This is our goal,” he explains, “to provide Technion researchers, students and alumni with assistance in launching start-ups implementing their innovations. We accompany them through the initial stages, provide them with access to Technion’s technological environment, give them financial support, and do everything in our power to help them build their company.”

In less than two years Vigor’s product completed development and entered preclinical trials, and is expected to soon begin the necessary processes for approvals by the regulatory authorities in the United States (FDA) and Europe (CE). Vigor’s CEO Irina Kavounovski expressed her gratitude, “Technion accompanied us closely both with funding and training, and the Technion Society in France (ATF) directed us towards potential investors and fitting business competitions in France. Here in Israel we received assistance from the Chief Scientist and our product received very positive feedback from the MDA’s chief paramedic. We believe that this win here at iNNOVEX 2016 will open-up more doors and opportunities for potential investors and for growing our contacts in the medical world.”

 http://www.vigormt.com/

Photo (right to left) Liz Leibovitz, architect Moshe Tzur, Azrieli Foundation Chairman Danna Azrieli, Noa Gantz and Amit Chelouche Photo Credit: Raphael Delouya

Photo (right to left) Liz Leibovitz, architect Moshe Tzur, Azrieli Foundation Chairman Danna Azrieli, Noa Gantz and Amit Chelouche
Photo Credit: Raphael Delouya

A great honor for the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning: Two students at the Faculty have won first and second place in the David Azrieli Prize competition for projects by architecture students.

Liz Leibowitz won first place (NIS 60,000) for her work, Musha Musha: A new look at Tel Aviv’s “Hatikva” Neighborhood and a proposal to encourage private initiatives by the neighborhood’s residents. Noa Gantz won second place (NIS 25,000) for her work, Minus 400: Rethinking the meeting between man and the environment at the Dead Sea. Third place (NIS 15,000) went to Amit Chelouche of Bezalel for his work, Total Stage.

The award ceremony was held earlier this week at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, with the participation of leading figures in the world of architecture. This year, the Azrieli Foundation in Israel, headed by Chairman Danna Azrieli, rebranded the award in memory of David Azrieli and increased the value of prizes to NIS 100,000. Fifteen projects by students at schools of architecture throughout Israel participated in the competition.

The event was attended by a special guest, who also served on the panel of judges: Odile Decq, one of the most prominent architects in France. Decq planned and designed major projects around the world, including the new wing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, a unique restaurant in the historic building of the Opera Garnier in Paris, and a series of projects in China and North Africa. Decq was highly impressed by the thought, initiative and creativity expressed in the work of the young architects.

The David Azrieli Prize is the highlight of the work of all students of architecture in Israel, and provides an incentive for their excellence.

Danna Azrieli, Chairman of the Israel Azrieli Foundation and the Azrieli Group, said: “This is the 12th year that we have awarded the Azrieli Prize for projects by architecture students, which aims to recognize and strengthen creativity, originality and quality of architecture among architecture students in Israel. This award reflects the values that accompanied my father over the years: commitment to promote quality education, striving to develop the field of architecture, and love of Israel. I congratulate the winners and I have no doubt that the work, wisdom and creativity shared by all the students will shape the future of architecture in Israel.”

“Excellence in education is the main goal of the Technion Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning,” said Faculty Dean Prof. Yehuda Kalay. “The Faculty is committed to train skilled and responsible architects, urban planners, landscape architects and industrial designers, who will be at the forefront of the processes and changes in Israeli society in particular, and humanity in general.

“The David Azrieli Prize is the highlight of the work of all students of architecture in Israel, and provides an incentive for their excellence. We are proud of the accomplishments of Liz Leibowitz and Noa Gantz, and congratulate their teachers – Gabi Schwarz, Fatina Abreek-Zubiedat and Ronen Ben Arieh (Liz Leibowitz’s advisors), and Shmaya Serfaty and Yonatan Natanian (Noa Gantz’s advisors).”