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Helping Transform Beer-Sheva into Israel’s High-Tech Center

Helping Transform Beer-Sheva into Israel’s High-Tech Center

July 2, 2013

Business & Management, Negev Development & Community Programs, Robotics & High-Tech

BGU recently hosted Innovation 2013, Israel’s largest high-tech event to date, on the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva.

This is the fourth year that the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and High-Tech Management at BGU’s Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management has organized this “unconference.”

Called an unconference because of its informality, the event is a combination of a science fair, learning event and TED-style idea session.

The event showcased some 550 technology projects including working models, papers, devices, development and business plans, and more. This included the final projects of many students from Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management and BGU’s Department of Engineering Sciences.

Over 1,000 students presented projects as diverse as a scuba-diving robot controlled from dry land, a drone that gives information to infantry troops in real time, a lip-reading system for tracheotomy patients, a system for computers to analyze faces and a robot that solves puzzles.

The event also featured dozens of speakers, including Dr. Yossi Vardi, Israel’s original tech entrepreneur, who kicked off Israel’s string of tech successes when he and his partners sold ICQ to AOL in 1998.

Also in attendance were Google Israel CEO Meir Brand, Orna Berry, head of EMC Israel, John Medved of OurCrowd, and representatives from IBM, Microsoft, AT&T and other multinationals.

“Whoever wants to know what innovation is, doesn’t need to search for it in Google, they just need to come here, to BGU,” says Brand.

Another development that’s bringing the technology revolution to the Negev is Beer-Sheva’s new Advanced Technologies Park (ATP), being built adjacent to BGU’s Marcus Family Campus.

The first building in the ATP opened this week with the offices of EMC moving in.

In collaboration with the Israeli government and the Beer-Sheva municipality, Ben-Gurion University was the founding force behind the ATP, seeking to encourage development and jobs in the Negev.

“It’s inevitable that Beer-Sheva will become the country’s new technology center, considering how many companies will be opening R&D facilities here, and how many engineers we turn out each year,” says BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.

Read more on The Times of Israel website >>