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HIT organizes its first First Bio-convergence Triple Helix Conference

Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering launches M.Sc. specialization track in Bio-convergence.


תמונה ללא תיאור 

From left:Dr.Yishai Falick, Prof. Yosef Ben Ezra, Prof. Edo Perlman, Prof. Eduard YakubovDr. Yuval Dorfan Poto:Doron Masrano


In response to the announcement by the Israel Innovation Authority to prioritize the field of Bio-Convergence, HIT organized a conference to discuss potential applications to industry, and possible collaborative ventures which could position Israel as a global leader.  Participating were senior staff from academia, defense industries and the business arena.

Prof. Eduard Yakubov, HIT President: "For several years, HIT has made multidisciplinary approaches to studies of science and technology its hallmark, encouraging the cross-fertilization of ideas between different faculties and departments.  After reading the Innovation Authority’s national plan of action, we quickly concluded that we must hold the first conference in Israel on the subject here at HIT, where a multidisciplinary approach, central to the study of bio-convergence, is an integral part of our eco-system, and we have much to contribute.  To this end, we opened a unique graduate degree specialization track in bio-convergence within the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and we are proud to launch it on the occasion of this special conference."

The initiator and planner of the conference is Dr. Yuval Dorfan, the leader of the bio-convergence specialization in the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, HIT.
According to Dr. Dorfan, the new program will make a significant contribution to advancing Israel’s leadership in the bio-convergence field in general, and in the areas of sustainability, public health, and other relevant industrial field in particular.
"The purpose of the conference is to put HIT on the global bio-convergence map and to increase the interest of potential master's degree students," said Dr. Yuval Dorfan. "There is not a single institution in Israel that has established a specialization that focuses on bio-convergence, and this makes us pioneers."

Dr. Barkan Poto:Doron Masrano

Dr. Refael Barkan Poto:Doron Masrano


"We are steadily building a unique ecosystem in Israeli academia which collaborates with industry and healthcare organizations," said Dr. Refael Barkan, VP for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Internationalization.  HIT has already received 4 competitive grants in bio-convergence from the Innovation Authority, and it is only natural that the launch of the specialization track today joins the overall effort in research and study,” said Dr.Barkan.

Dean of the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, the home of the new bio-convergence track, noted that this is a mega-trend and a field that will determine the future of engineering. Prof. Yosef Ben Ezra continued his remarks:  "This is a field that combines life sciences, exact sciences, AI, machine learning, industrial design, among many others, and there is no doubt that HIT is the most appropriate place for its academic development."

Dr. Dana Gourevich, CTO of the Israel Innovation Authority, said that bio-convergence is believed to be Israel's next growth engine. ‘The field has a global impact in a market that turns over 4 trillion dollars in developing biologically based consumer products, finding solutions to diseases and epidemics, and in research and development that focuses on the biological industries. The Israeli Innovation Authority has announced a national program in bio-convergence and is investing $350 million in it, thus making Israel the only country in the world to announce bio-convergence as a national program. We determined that Israel can be a leader in the field and the decision to turn bio- convergence into an economic growth engine parallel to the high-tech industry demonstrates this assumption".

"The purpose of the conference is to put HIT on the global bio-convergence map and to attract potential graduate students," said Dr. Yuval Dorfan.  "There is no other institution in the country that has established an internship??? focused on bio-convergence, thus making us pioneers". 

Panel member Dr. Maggie Mualem, a Syn-Bio leader at the Shamir Institute’s Science and Technology Center, said that meeting Dr. Yuval Dorfan and HIT in general marks the establishment of the first real connection between the academy and the general education system in Israel. “This year, we intend to open a teachers’ training program in synthetic biology at the Golan Science and Technology Center, which will combine biotechnology and software engineering, and will eventually forge a new generation of secondary school teachers in bio-convergence. “  

The conference ended with a panel hosted by Dr. Heftsi Ragones, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering who specializes in bio-convergence.
The conference was held in the presence of Prof. Eduard Yakubov, President of HIT; Prof. Yosef Ben Ezra, Dean of the Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering; and Dr. Refael Barkan - Vice President of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Internationalization.

Also participating in the conference were: Dr. Shani Peled, a leader of the field of bio convergence at Elbit Systems; Dr. Neta Agmon, synthetic biology expert at Alagene; Prof. Ron Milo, leader of synthetic biology and sustainability at the Technion, Dr. Dana Gourevich, CTO of the Israel Innovation Authority.