Merage-Technion Institute for International Business to Open

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology President Yitzhak Apeloig has announced that the university has received a $12 million gift from the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation of Southern California. The gift will support the new Andre and Katherine Merage-Technion Institute for International Business. Scheduled to begin operations in 2010, the Institute will be comprised of a world-class, English-only International Executive MBA focused on educating Israel's future high-tech leaders and three Centers of Excellence that will help Israel's high-tech companies penetrate markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

The I-EMBA program is geared to and designed to strengthen the international business skills of high-tech executives. The 18-month program will recruit outstanding engineering and science graduates, as well as engineers and scientists already in leadership tracks in high-tech companies. Program graduates will receive an I-EMBA degree, and will become fellows of the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation.  They will be provided with ongoing mentoring and support throughout their careers.

“Considering Israel’s small population, the success of start-ups and the growth of existing companies will depend on efficient penetration of key markets,” said Paul Merage, President of the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation. “This entails building a trained and skilled business leadership. We see the Technion as the most fitting partner for training the next generation of high-tech leaders in Israel.”

Paul and Katherine Merage with Peres
(Left to Right) Paul Merage, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Katherine Merage

Students in the I-EMBA will be taught by outstanding visiting professors from the U.S., Asia and Europe and from top professors in Israel.  They will network with top CEOs in the Centers and in the classroom.  The I-EMBA will link theory and practice, with students learning effective strategies to market their companies’ products on a global scale.  An advisory board of top international scholars and CEOs will monitor the program.

The Institute will also be the home of three centers for international business development that will concentrate specifically on the U.S., Asian and European markets. At these centers, research on the impact of trade policies will be conducted by leading academics in economics and business administration in Israel. Conferences and forums will be initiated to assist business leadership and policy decision makers in the development of new international trade policies that facilitate Israeli high-tech exports.  The centers will train leading high-tech executives interested in broadening their companies’ export capabilities and intensifying their penetration into US, Asian and European markets.

According to President Apeloig, “the highly innovative I-EMBA program will quickly become a leading international program with high international standing. The program answers the need of the Israeli business community for a degree with an added value that is strategically focused.”

Of the total gift, $8 million is for the program over the first several years, and $4 million will be available when it is determined that the Institute needs its own building.  The Merage Foundation has been organizing successful leadership training seminars in California for Israeli high-tech company executives and entrepreneurs, as well as Israeli MBA students, for over five years. More than 225 Israeli business executives and students have participated in the seminars In California.

The Institute, I-EMBA program and Centers proposal was born following two years of study and discussion with Israeli and international business leaders and scholars.  A ceremony establishing the Institute took place on Wednesday, July 1, 2009.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university.  Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The Technion’s 18 academic departments and 42 research centers and institutes in Haifa are home to more than 12,000 students and more than 800 faculty members.   The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni.

The Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation is a California-based family foundation founded by Paul Merage in 2004. Its aim is to contribute towards strengthening Israel/US trade relations and improve the familiarity of Israeli business leaders with the American economy and its workings. The Board of Governors is headed by Ron Gutler, chair of Nice Systems, and includes leading Israeli economists and business executives.


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