A Half-Billion Dollars Worth of Innovation for the World
October 29, 2012
By: Kevin Hattori
The American Technion Society (ATS) has announced a six-year, half-billion dollar fundraising campaign titled “Innovation for a Better World,” to support the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in its quest to build academic excellence and create a smarter, healthier and safer world. Nearly $240 million of the fundraising goal has already been raised during the campaign’s three-year “quiet” phase. The campaign is scheduled to end October 1, 2015.
“’Innovation for a Better World’ is an especially fitting name for this campaign, since it will help the Technion do what it has always done with the support of the ATS, namely to better the world by pushing the limits of science and technology,” said incoming ATS President Scott Leemaster. “Technion brainpower is responsible for much of the growth and development of the State of Israel, and ATS supporters, through their support of the Technion, have had a direct impact on the country’s leadership in science and technology.”
The Technion’s transformation from a little known university in Haifa to a world-class center of global science and technology research is well documented, and the American Technion Society has played a key part in its growth and achievements. Founded in 1940, the ATS is the leading U.S. fundraising organization supporting higher education in Israel. ATS Donors have found that support for the Technion is the best way to realize a return on their investment, and have given more than $1.7 billion – the majority within the last decade.
The generosity of ATS donors has literally changed the face of Technion campus, and helped make possible recent achievements, including the university’s third Nobel winner in seven years, and the selection last year of a Technion-Cornell University partnership to transform New York City into a leading global technology center.
“The ATS mission continues to appeal to philanthropists throughout the United States,” said ATS Executive Vice President Melvyn H. Bloom. “This new campaign builds on our impressive track record, which is well-illustrated by our inclusion on the Chronicle of Philanthropy ‘Philanthropy 400’ every year since it was established. This track record provides us and our donors with confidence that we can achieve our individual and collective goals.”
During the campaign’s three-year quiet period, the ATS received a number of major gifts that will establish and fund transformative projects in areas identified by the Technion as being critical to fulfilling its mission. Those priorities are: recruiting and retaining topnotch faculty; attracting students who excel; on-campus housing; and investment in interdisciplinary research and in new state-of-the-art facilities. Among those gifts were:
- A $30 million commitment from the estate of the late Henry Taub and The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. $25 million is for the “Leaders in Science and Technology” faculty recruitment program, and $5 million for the Faculty of Computer Science
- Two grants from the Helmsley Trust for energy research. $7.5 million for the Solar Energy Conversion to Electricity and Biofuels – New Directions (a $15 million collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science); and $5 million to establish the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Energy Storage Complex and Leaders in Energy Science Program
- $5 million for the Arlene and Arnold Goldstein SAMSON Satellite
- $3.7 million for the Norman Seiden Multidisciplinary Graduate Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
- $3.5 million for the Isaac and Yvette Louria Fellowship Fund
- $3 million for the Barbara and Jack Kay Endowed Doctoral Fellowship Fund
- $3 million for Viterbi Fellowship Programs in the Center for Computer Engineering
Funding in our priority areas is critical if the Technion is to continue to lead by innovation,” said Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie. “The Technion continues to view our contributions to Israel’s economy and security as important priorities, and in addition we are ready to share our expertise to help people advance all over the world. And we are able to do that, thanks to the ongoing and major support of the American Technion Society.”
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology.
American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion—more than $1.74 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.