Welcome to the 2017 President’s Report which is offered under the theme: Technion of Things.
Many of you will have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT): it’s the term used to refer to systems of interconnected computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Today’s rule for future technology is that anything that can be connected, will be connected. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices.
At Technion, the template for this evolution of technology is deeper than electronics. It’s about the nature of evolution, and the wisdom of connectivity behind all scientific and technological progress. It was Isaac Newton who enshrined this insight when he famously said: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Our position as a world-class center of education and innovation depends on the great scientists and visionaries that went before us; it depends on our colleagues and collaborations around the world; and it depends on the promise of tomorrow as embodied in each unique Technion student.
Connectivity is the prerequisite of progress. No scientist is an island. No researcher will progress far without drawing on the vast, connected wellsprings of knowledge, concurrent research and connected disciplines. Every mind needs to open to the known and the unknown in order for genius to flow. This openness means that we can both send and receive data, without compromising the treasure of individual perspective. It’s what makes Technion part of the global whole. Whether through our global partnerships from New York to China, through to a myriad of academic institutions across the world, through our outreach programs, through the ability to unite under the torch of progress, Technion is evolving rapidly with multidisciplinary structures that support the connectivity needed to co-create our future.
In 2016, Technion became the only Israeli representative in the Nature Index of Rising Stars. This prestigious ranking affirmed a 40 percent increase in Technion publications in leading scientific journals. Putting Technion in 26th place worldwide, the list includes 100 institutions – virtually all of them universities – around the world. The index is further evidence of Technion’s academic excellence, the incessant improvement in the achievements of its researchers and our constant progress in realizing Technion’s vision: to be one of the world’s ten leading science and technology research universities.
To this end, we are working on recruiting dozens of outstanding new faculty members every year and expanding our academic and international research activities. A recent example is the launch of a groundbreaking partnership between Technion and the New York Genome Center. Through this structure we will intensify medical research, advance genomics and accelerate clinical application. It is through powerful global alliances such as these that global impact flows, and the Technion of Things – the global network of connected expertise and resources is expanding rapidly for the benefit of the whole.
In this report we will open some windows into the tremendously exciting ‘things’ which are happening at Technion. These are snapshots into the world of tomorrow, into the Technion daily endeavor, and above all into the connectedness that is empowering all progress. Within this unfolding, connected map, our readers, friends, colleagues and supporters are an indispensable part of the whole, and as such, let’s take some time together to celebrate and enjoy today’s Technion of Things.
Prof. Peretz Lavie