A 90-person strong delegation from the American Jewish Committee's Global Forum came to Ben-Gurion University on Tuesday to learn how the University is the catalyst behind the development of Beer-Sheva and the Negev.
The AJC Global Forum was meeting in Israel for the first time in honor of the country's 70th anniversary.
The delegation met with BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi, the first woman to head an Israeli research university, who gave them an overview of how remarkable change is flowing from BGU into the region. “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to welcome the members of AJC's Global Forum to Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva and the Negev. For many, it was their first time here and it was clear they were impressed with what they saw. Like our namesake, we are tirelessly striving for the betterment of the region and the world. Our special focus on the Negev has improved the lives of the residents of this region in countless ways over the University's 48-year history, and it was a pleasure to show them just a little bit of what we have accomplished," Prof. Rivka Carmi said.
Many expressed interest afterwards in getting more information about BGU and staying in touch. The AJC Global Forum split into groups for specialized visits around the country on Tuesday. The visit to Beer-Sheva was one of the first to fill up.
They also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of BGU's research – an autonomous submarine, an autonomous chauffeur, a Formula SAE racecar and more.
The group visited BGU's Advanced Technologies Park, a burgeoning hi-tech ecosystem, where they broke off into smaller groups to hear about some of the unique initiatives that the University is invested in such as Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs@BGU, the global telecommunications giant's only R&D facility outside of Germany. The Labs focus on cyber security, machine learning and big data. They visited CDI – The Center for Digital Innovation, a unique incubator and simulation lab for next generation health, education and smart city technology as well. They also visited Dell-EMC, one of the first to open a Center of Excellence in Beer-Sheva employing BGU graduates for the most part.
Above: AJC Global Forum members learn about the Hydro Camel, an autonomous submarine developed at BGU.
Above: AJC Global Forum members learn about IVO, an autonomous chauffeur developed at BGU.