Technion's Influence Seen, Heard at AIPAC Policy Conference 2013

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's ever-expanding prominence on the global stage was on full display at the 2013 AIPAC Policy Conference, March 3-5 in Washington, D.C. The conference is considered the pro-Israel community's preeminent annual gathering.

During the Plenary Session on the conference’s opening day, Dan Webb, a paraplegic from Pennsylvania, walked across the stage and spoke about how his life has been changed by ReWalk, the device created by Technion alumnus and Argo Medical Technologies founder Dr. Amit Goffer.  He also met — for the first time — Dr. Goffer, whom he called “his hero.”  Dr. Goffer expressed his gratitude to those who support Israel for “…keeping (his) country and home safe and strong,” and for “…helping keep scientists in Israel innovating and helping people around the world.”

Shechtman Aipac 1.jpg
Distinguished Professor and Nobel laureate Dan Shechtman


During an exclusive dinner program on Sunday evening, Nobel Laureate and Technion Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman was interviewed by former CNN Bureau Chief Frank Sesno. Prof. Shechtman stressed the need for STEM (science technology engineering and math) education beginning at a very young age, so that the leaders of tomorrow grow up with an interest in areas of knowledge so critical to maintaining a strong Israel.  The program also included a performance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and guests included former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.

In an address to the crowd of more than 10,000 attendees at the Monday Morning Plenary Session, Vice President Joe Biden lauded the success of Iron Dome — Israel’s wildly successful defensive anti-missile system developed largely by Technion graduates.  Mr. Biden pointed to U.S. support of the system, which he called a prime example of the Israel’s high-tech innovation and strength.  Some of the crowd’s most enthusiastic applause came when Mr. Biden said: “Not long ago, I would have had to describe to an audience what Iron Dome was, how it would work, why funding it mattered.  I don’t have to explain to anybody anymore.  Everybody gets it.  Everybody saw — the world saw firsthand why it was and remains so critical.” 

Shechtman AIPAC 2.jpg
Dan Shectman with Technion Guardians Ed and Cyma Satell


Prof. Shechtman also spoke at two events sponsored by the ATS Eastern Seaboard Region at the Renaissance Hotel located just across the street from the Washington Convention Center.  Forty-five people at the luncheon, and 60 at the reception, listened with rapt attention to Prof. Shechtman’s talk, titled “Technological Entrepreneurship: A Key to World Peace and Prosperity.” His course by the same name is the most popular at the Technion, with more than 10,000 graduates having completed it over the past 27 years.  Prof. Shechtman shared some of the principles of how entrepreneurship in technology has been a key factor in the success of Israel’s high-tech economy.  He also expressed his belief that it is critical to provide entrepreneurial training to the people who themselves create and develop technology, since they are the ones who create technology start-ups. 

“What a thrill and honor to have Professor Shechtman share with us his wisdom about technological entrepreneurship, and its vital importance to maintaining a strong and safe Israel,” said ATS Baltimore Chapter Board Member John Davison.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology.

American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion—more than $1.78 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its network of chapters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.


All active news articles