Technion, Carasso Family & Carasso Motors to Establish the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center

September 14, 2021

Forty-five years after the family’s first contribution to the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and now as part of a multigenerational initiative, the Carasso Family and Carasso Motors are contributing toward a new initiative, promoting cutting-edge food technologies, teaching and R&D in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering. The building that until now has housed the Food Industries Center will be renamed the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center. The donation will be used to renovate the building, as well as expand and upgrade the Center’s research infrastructure. Alongside this activity, a scholarship fund will be established for advanced research.

The gift, which will enhance Israel’s research presence in the global food industry, is part of the family’s legacy – which emphasizes Zionism, excellence in science education, closing gaps in the Israeli society, and investment in infrastructure.

The expanded and upgraded building will be one of its kind in Israel and one of the most advanced in the world; it will feature an R&D center for industrial production, a packaging laboratory, an industrial kitchen, as well as tasting and evaluation units that will be used for teaching and research in the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering. The Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center will be housed in an existing, dedicated structure alongside the faculty, and will include a visitor area that will expose high-school students to the world of FoodTech, and serve as a hub for startups, where they can benefit from R&D services.

“Eradicating world hunger and improving food security are among the main challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, as defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan. “The Technion has the only faculty in Israel for research in food engineering, a faculty that leads the Israeli FoodTech industry. We are grateful to the Carasso Family for their generous contribution, which will establish the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center, and will help us promote groundbreaking scientific research in the field, train the next generation of the Israeli FoodTech industry, and maintain the faculty’s position at the global forefront of research and development.”

Yoel Carasso, Chairman of Carasso Motors, said: “In 1924, our Grandfather Moshe immigrated with his family to Israel from Thessaloniki, where he was one of the leaders of the Jewish community. In Israel, he cofounded Discount Bank, Ophir Cinema (one of the first movie theaters in Tel Aviv), and of course Carasso Motors Company. For me and for my uncle Shlomo and my cousins – Ioni, Orli, Sarah, Tzipa and Arik – this is coming full circle from a century ago. We chose to support the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center since the Technion is synonymous with excellence. The Technion is an engine for combining basic and applied science in the Galilee and in Israel as a whole. We believe the Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center will contribute to the industry, and to collaborative work in this field, and thus strengthen the Israeli economy and society. Our family has a history of supporting the Technion, and when the opportunity to establish this center sprang, we knew it was our calling to lead.”

Prof. Marcelle Machluf, Dean of the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering at the Technion, said “the faculty is one of the only ones in the world that combines the disciplines of bioengineering, technology, food sciences and life sciences. Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasized the importance of food and biotechnology in maintaining our existence and meeting future existential challenges. To address the many challenges in this field, including access to healthy, affordable food and innovative medical treatments, we need advanced infrastructure that will enable the integration of new engineering and scientific tools; these will enable us to develop the necessary technologies, as well as the infrastructure and equipment that will support the development and assimilation of the knowledge required to tackle tomorrow’s food challenges. I would like to thank the Carasso Family for their generous contribution, which will allow the faculty to upgrade the infrastructure and equipment needed for the development and integration of the knowledge required to tackle future food challenges.”

Izaac Weitz, CEO of Carasso Motors: “Carasso Motors, with its various brands – Renault, Nissan, Infinity, and Dacia – is committed to innovation and connection with our diverse customer base in Israel. Food technology is an evolving field that brings value in many ways to our stakeholders. Food research tackles environmental and global warming challenges, providing food security and a balanced diet, accelerating paramedical developments that combine medicine and food, and of course contributing to the development of innovative solutions that will put Israel at the forefront of science globally. At Carasso Motors, we jumped at the opportunity to make such a significant contribution to the establishment of this advanced research center, which will also improve and advance Israel’s education and society.”

For more than a century, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has pioneered in science and technology education and delivered world-changing impact. Proudly a global university, the Technion has long leveraged boundary-crossing collaborations to advance breakthrough research and technologies. Now with a presence in three countries, the Technion will prepare the next generation of global innovators. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world, innovating in fields from cancer research and sustainable energy to quantum computing and computer science to do good around the world.

The American Technion Society supports visionary education and world-changing impact through the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Based in New York City, we represent thousands of US donors, alumni and stakeholders who invest in the Technion’s growth and innovation to advance critical research and technologies that serve the State of Israel and the global good. Since 1940, our nationwide supporter network has funded new Technion scholarships, research, labs, and facilities that have helped deliver world-changing contributions and extend Technion education to campuses in three countries.