Israel’s Council for Higher Education recently granted the Technion $2.7 million to establish t-hub — the Technion Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. The Technion was the only academic institution to win the competition individually.

Two years ago, the Technion initiated a comprehensive initiative aimed at developing and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation activities on the Technion’s Haifa campus, as well as connecting the Haifa campus to the new branches of the Technion in New York and China.

This grant will allow the Technion to expand these entrepreneurial activities and establish t-hub, bringing the entrepreneurial culture on the Haifa campus to new heights.

The Technion has always championed the integration of science and applied research, striving to advance scientific knowledge while also seeking to better humanity. And the Technion has long nurtured entrepreneurial thinking: The first entrepreneurship course at the Technion was founded 30 years ago by Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman, a Nobel Laureate in chemistry.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are embedded in the Technion’s DNA. Research conducted by Technion faculty members has led to applications benefitting Israel and the world. Take Mazor Robotics, which started out in the robotics laboratory of Professor Moshe Shoham of the Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The company was recently sold to Medtronic for $1.6 billion.

It’s no wonder the university has developed a global reputation as an entrepreneurial incubator. It’s ranked 39th in the world for the number of patents registered in the United States in 2017. And Technion alumni are largely responsible for Israel’s status as the “Startup Nation.” Since 1995, alumni have established more than 1,600 companies that have generated $30 billion and created nearly 100,000 jobs.

T-hub will turn the Technion into a leading center for scientific-technological initiatives that will serve the university and its surrounding environment. Led by Professor Eyal Zussman and Dr. Dana Sheffer, it will encourage entrepreneurial thinking through teaching, research and practical experience — integrating the values of entrepreneurship and creativity into campus culture, in study programs, and in applying and commercializing research results.

Establishing an entrepreneurship center at the Technion is a necessary and important step for the northern region that will lead to positive socioeconomic impacts. Soon, t-hub will train Israel’s next technology leaders and strengthen its economy through research, development, and technology that will benefit Israel and the world.

The center has many partners among Israel’s leading industrial and high-tech companies including Teva, Rafael, and Alpha Omega. These partnerships strengthen and support the Technion’s innovation goals but also allow some of the world’s best industrial and tech companies to train and develop the next generation of industrial leadership in Israel.

Whether in startup companies, in industrial, civilian, or security companies, in companies that benefit the public, or in academia, the Technion is committed to providing the tools for creative and entrepreneurial thinking. T-hub is a tremendous step forward in integrating such thinking and activity in all aspects of campus culture.