Higher Ed

NJ Institute for Future Technologies Launched

Gov. Phil Murphy, President Daniel Chamovitz of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and President Joel S. Bloom of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have unveiled a partnership that will create a world-class Institute for Future Technologies in New Jersey. Two powerhouse universities in the fields of cyber technologies and environmental engineering will come together to offer dual degrees and exciting new research opportunities. The Institute looks forward to receiving support and seed funding from the State of New Jersey.

“NJIT is one of the state’s premier STEM-focused universities, and BGU is one of the driving forces behind the success of Israel’s technology economy,” said Governor Murphy. “By joining together in this groundbreaking venture, NJIT and BGU will combine their expertise and track records in technological research and development to help strengthen the economic opportunity and tech leadership that I have long envisioned for our state.”

Acting Consul General of Israel in New York Israel Nitzan added, “This exciting partnership is another expression to the vibrant and fruitful relations of Israel and New Jersey. We share many commonalities, among them our spirit of innovation and creativity. We are proud of this collaboration between two top-notch academic institutions that will conquer the future of cybersecurity and environmental engineering.”

The Institute for Future Technologies will combine the academic and research capacities of two global institutions, creating the region’s next hub of technological innovation. The partnership by NJIT and BGU aims to provide bespoke cyber technologies, civil and environmental engineering education, will conduct applied research and development, and will support innovation and entrepreneurship through technological commercialization efforts. The Institute’s mission is to deliver:

1. Education – Offerings from dual NJIT-BGU graduate (Ph.D. and M.S./M.Sc.) degrees for local students, to corporate training programs

2. Applied Research – Opportunities for Ph.D. students and research staff, based on corporate, government, and defense R&D projects and funding

3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Promoting technology transfer and commercialization of R&D and other intellectual property from NJIT, BGU and other sources, including launching ventures and spinoffs

Operating out of both NJIT’s satellite location in the waterfront section of Jersey City as well as its main campus in Newark, the Institute will be easily accessible from the World Trade Center and the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. As companies move and expand operations across the Hudson River into Jersey City and Newark, the Institute is positioned to serve the entire metropolitan region.

One main component of the NJIT-BGU agreement is collaboration in civil and environmental engineering, including research in structures, buildings, materials, infrastructures, energy and environmentally conscious construction, water resources and air quality. Both BGU and NJIT have considerable interest and expertise in the development of systems and materials with minimal environmental impact, as well as the development, use, and regulation of natural or engineered systems for the remediation of contaminated environments (water, air, soil). This is in addition to design and preparation against earthquakes and other extreme events, including man-made and natural catastrophes. These civil engineering and infrastructure/water efforts intersect with the cybersecurity effort in protecting aquatic environments and other infrastructure systems from malicious actors and cyber attacks.

The Institute represents BGU’s first foray into the U.S. higher education system and signals its determination to offer the valuable research and insights it produces for the benefit of students outside of Israel.

“Over the past five decades, our expertise and approaches developed in the Negev Desert have become increasingly relevant globally,” said BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz. “BGU and NJIT tackle the world’s greatest challenges through our problem-oriented approaches. We are excited to offer students in the U.S. the opportunity to get a BGU-NJIT education in New Jersey and to welcome new faculty to the Institute.”

As the tristate region’s largest generator of tech talent, NJIT has an annual economic impact of more than $2.8 billion on the State of New Jersey. The Institute for Future Technologies will be NJIT’s next contribution to the region’s rapidly expanding tech sector.

“NJIT continuously is evolving to preserve and improve New Jersey’s leadership in technological innovation,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “International partnerships, especially with world-renowned and tech-driven universities, are a natural step in this direction and represent a major opportunity for NJIT and New Jersey. We look forward to importing some Israeli ‘chutzpah’ and Startup Nation culture to the region as we build our joint Institute together.”

BGU has an impressive international reputation in the fields of cybersecurity and data science.

“I am excited about this new collaboration. It is wonderful to be able to share the academic excellence and unique characteristics of BGU and NJIT to create new synergy and partnerships. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration leading to many scientific breakthroughs and to the success of our graduates who will gain a dual international degree,” said BGU’s Vice President for Global Engagement, Prof. Limor Aharonson-Daniel.

Craig Gotsman, distinguished professor and dean of NJIT’s Ying Wu College of Computing, added, “The last year of COVID-driven reality has proven that computing, digital and cyber technologies are now more important than ever before. Leadership and innovation in this

field can be the key to significant economic development, and NJIT is uniquely positioned to make it happen in New Jersey. We are fortunate to have a strong partner in BGU to help us achieve this goal as we learn from their achievements in Israel.”

“The launch of the Institute for Future Technologies solidifies New Jersey’s status as a technology hub,” said Jose Lozano, president & CEO, Choose New Jersey. “Our thriving ecosystem is leading the way in offering world-class education, developing top talent, and advancing research. The State of Innovation and the Startup Nation have always enjoyed a close relationship, and this collaboration will only strengthen our economic and cultural ties.”

Andrew H. Gross, executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission, added, “Today’s partnership stands as a major achievement and opens a new chapter in New Jersey’s growing and strategic relationship with Israel. This announcement between two premier and global academic institutions charts us even further on a common course towards innovation and academic leadership that will shape the future and bring significant benefits to both New Jersey and Israel.”

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