January 20, 2022

A Rosh Hashanah Message from Technion President Uri Sivan

Read a special message from Professor Uri Sivan, President of the Technion.

Dear Members of the Technion Family,

The end of the Jewish year is a time to reflect on the past; the beginning of a new year is a time of hope, of new beginnings and new opportunities. The passing year has been challenging, as it became apparent that the coronavirus was here to stay for the foreseeable future. At the same time, it was also a year of hope in which we learned that wide spread vaccination of the population allows near normal life.

The way we used to go about our daily lives – studying, researching, and socializing was disrupted by social distancing. Some of the changes brought about by this constraint were already experienced – such as online learning – but the pandemic accelerated them. Time will tell what will remain from this experience when the pandemic subsides, and how it will impact and shape the future of academic institutions.

For the Technion, the passing year has been a good one, with record numbers of student enrollment, industry research agreements, startup companies established, and the number of new faculty that joined the Technion. Two years of diligent work have produced a strategic plan for the coming decade – a blueprint for an agile Technion, ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st Century.

Several initiatives have come to fruition. A generous donation has been raised to establish the André Deloro Building for Transformative Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, a multidisciplinary center to be populated by medical doctors, scientists, and engineers working on selected aspects of human health. A Technion research center in MRI has been established and we are now at an advanced stage of launching a research center for innovative food technologies. The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering has received a generous donation and will be named after Stephen B. Klein.

Around campus, we have upgraded our high-performance computing capabilities, a multi-year process that will culminate with the construction of an advanced complex to house the Technion’s computing infrastructure. We are grateful to all our supporters who have made these developments possible.

Over the year, several vital committees have submitted their reports. The discussions of the Committee for the Advancement of Teaching and its Adaptation to the 21st Century Challenges has resulted in a series of recommendations to be implemented in the coming years. One of the Committee’s recommendations led to the launching of the Schulich Leaders Entrepreneurship Program for outstanding students. The program provides its participants with an entrepreneurial toolbox and guidance, in addition to academic studies.

The recommendations of the committee that examined gender representation among senior faculty were adopted by the Senate and the Technion’s management and are now being implemented. We have formulated a code of ethics for our faculty, which was ratified by the Senate. This code will be extended next year to include students and administrative staff. A leadership training program for faculty and staff members has been established and will be launched in the upcoming academic year. Finally, a six-faculty think tank recently convened. Forty nine researchers in four working groups sit together for the first time, planning a joint future including faculty recruitment, teaching programs, and scientific development directions that capitalize on the breadth and depth of research carried out at our two Haifa campuses.

Additional research opportunities will open up next year with the launching of new initiatives in the fields of Sustainability and Smart Industry.

As the year ends, I would like to thank you all for your support throughout the passing year. I sincerely hope to meet you all in person, in one of our campuses.

I wish you and your families a happy new year, a year of health and peace.

Hag Sameach,

Professor Uri Sivan
President of the Technion