Forbes Technion Tour Highlights Economic Triangle Of China, Israel, NY by Rebecca Fannin

Technion Tour Highlights Economic Triangle Of China, Israel, NY
Rebecca Fannin

Anyone doubting the impact of the Tech Triangle as a new world order in technology leadership should have been at the Technion World Tour 2017 in New York City. At a four-day program highlighting science and technology innovations, the tech trio markets of Israel, China and New York were highlighted.

Technion president Peretz Lavie led a day-long visit to the newly opened Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute on Roosevelt Island and its three major facilities so far on a 12-acre campus: the Bloomberg Center academic hub, The Bridge startup and research center, and the environmentally advanced, student residential high-rise.

VIPs from corporate business, politics, VC and academia spoke and were honored during the program, among them Sanford Weill, Andrew Tisch, Ronald Lauder, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Benchmark venture partner Scott Belsky and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos (who coined the term Silicon Island for the new campus overlooking central Manhattan and Long Island City).

Now all it takes is critical mass for the new campus to take off and really become a Silicon Island!

At Cornell Tech (a joining of Cornell University and Technion in an initiative led by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to create the campus as a springboard by NYC tech), the focus was on how the institution's focus on research, entrepreneurship and intellectual rigor will have an economic impact on New York City. Participants that included Technion alumni and supporters also got to hear about the center's Runway Postdoc program, which offers a spinoff route to commercialize tech creations, and already has 16 success stories. One current Master's degree student, Roy Cohen, noted that the Israel military was less rigorous than a Technion semester.

The tour brought in a dinner gala at the iconic Rainbow Room and a stop at Carnegie Hall for a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and virtuosos Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. Meanwhile, several Technion innovators  had a chance to show off their inventions during the tour.  They included Assaf Glazer of baby sleep monitoring device Nanit, Dr. Amit Goffer of a new walkable wheelchair UPnRide, Moty Avisar of VR glasses for medical startup Surgical Theater and Hossam Haick, creator of  a breath sniffing device for detecting 17 specific diseases.

An outing to the Asia Society the following day brought in China to the equation. Panelists including Startup Nation author Dan Senor, Asia Society president and CEO Josette Sheeran, and philanthropist and entrepreneur Angelica Berrie explored the growing connections among the U.S., Israel and China, and increased investment by China into Israeli venture capital funds and R&D.

Not to be overlooked is Technion's launch of the first Israeli university in China, with a campus in Shantou, Guangdong province.

If the China connection was not pronounced enough already, a New York week also brought the launch of a new direct, non-stop flight by China's Hainan Airlines between New York City and both Chengdu and Chongqing in Southwestern China. A gala celebration at Alice Tully Hall, complete with a fashion show of flight attendants' uniforms over the years and an orchestral performance highlighted the launch of two weekly flights on each route for the airline, a part of China's real estate, financial and media/entertainment conglomerate HNA Group.

Rebecca A. Fannin is founder/editor of news, events and research group Silicon Dragon. She is an author of three books on innovation and venture trends, and is a public speaker.