The Technion – Israel’s Hard Drive

The Technion – Israel’s Hard Drive

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The most ambitious project in the sphere of technology studies, and perhaps in all of higher education, in the world is being planned, and Israel's leading technology institute, the Technion, is playing a major role in it.

Cornell and the Technion together won the prize in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s contest to create a new science school.  According to the Technion,The Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (TCII) is a joint venture of Technion and Cornell University, and will be a key component of the new Cornell NYC Tech campus, a unique high-tech graduate school to be established on Roosevelt Island in New York City. As conceived by Mayor Bloomberg, the goal of the entire NYC Tech campus - and the TCII within it - is to turn NYC into the high-tech capital of the world.Even though the sprawling Cornell NYC Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is still 25 years away, the New York Times recently reported that the first program is already up and running. Eight students enrolled in January in what is being called the beta class, a one-year master’s program in computer science.

Perhaps in light of this exciting project on the horizon in New York, the Times recently covered the Technion and tried to understand what is the "magic formula" which makes the Technion such a phenomenon:

“I can say without exaggeration that Israel could not have been built without the Technion,” says Yossi Vardi, who has founded or helped build more than 60 companies in Israel and has five degrees from the Technion. “There is a Technion graduate behind practically every highway, desalinization plant, new missile technology and start-up company in the country.”

This is not mere school spirit talking. According to Shlomo Maital, senior research fellow at the Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology, a fourth of the university’s 60,000 alumni who are of working age have, at one time or another, initiated a business, and a fourth are C.E.O.’s or vice presidents. The annual output of graduates in high-tech industries is estimated to be at least $21 billion. Among inventions from Technion research labs: the memory stick, drip irrigation, the Parkinson’s drug rasagiline, the iron dome air defense system and instant messaging.

What stand behind the success is being debated, it could be the fact that Israeli students come out of their military service, making them more mature, it could be the "Jewish Mother" effect, or simply excellence in education.  Whatever it is, New York's Bloomberg hopes that the Cornell NYC Tech will do for the city what the Technion has done for Haifa, and for Israel's hi-tech industry as a whole.

For the full New York Times article click here.

Israel Trade & Economic Office, Embassy of Israel

2013-04-22T09:41:10+02:00April 22nd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Technion – Israel’s Hard Drive

Where is Facebook going for new games? Israel

Where is Facebook going for new games? Israel

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Five of the developers of Facebook's ten largest social games in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) come from srael, and the company is now in Israel looking for more. Roy Goldenberg of Globes covered Facebook's growing interest in Israeli gaming companies: Facebook is building on the Israeli gaming market: five of the developers of Facebook's ten largest social games in the EMEA come from Israel. Herzliya-based Plarium  is one of the ten fastest growing games companies on Facebook worldwide. These achievements today brought Facebook to Israel for the second time in six months to find the next game hit, and to send a clear message to Israeli gaming developers: We want you. "Israel is a very advanced country for gaming on Facebook, Facebook head of European platform partnerships Julien Codorniou, who is heading the company's gaming developers conference, Game On. "The last time we held this conference in Israel, 500 programmers came, making it our biggest event outside the US."Plarium logo Codorniou looks beyond gaming on Facebook, and points to Plarium as a company which symbolizes the industry's future. "Casual games are a big hit, but we'll see that the next thing will be hard core games, such as Plarium's 'Total Domination' and 'Stormfall'," he says, adding that a game like "Stormfall", which did not exist six months ago, is now one of the 20 fastest-growing games on Facebook worldwide. Until one or two years ago, Zynga , the developer of Farmville and other games, was a byword for games of Facebook, but Codorniou says that it is now just one of the companies in the field. "The situation has changed. Today, 70% of growing gaming companies on Facebook come from Europe," he says. Facebook is definitely a gaming powerhouse, with more than 250 million players a month, 11% more than in 2012, making it a larger gaming platform than all games consoles combined. 130 Facebook games have more than one million active players a month, with the average gamer playing more than three games a month. In view of the website's success, Facebook current target is mobile. Codorniou says that for a social game to succeed it must first go through Facebook's online platform, and then to its mobile platform, and only afterwards to Apple and Google app stores. But what might be perceived as competition against Apple and Google is actually cooperation. "We want to be one of the biggest traffic creators for the app stores," admits Codorniou in commenting on the possibility that mobile games developers should promote their wares on the Facebook app by a direct download key. "23% of the time people in world spend on mobile is on Facebook. There is no doubt that gaming companies want to be part of this share," he says, adding that 80% of the top ten Android and iOS apps interface with Facebook accounts. For the full Globes article click here.

Israel Trade & Economic Office, Embassy of Israel

2013-03-13T15:56:54+02:00March 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Where is Facebook going for new games? Israel
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