May. 10, 2016
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The Third Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference (GEIC) will take place at BGU on May 16, 2016. It will be the first such conference to take place outside of China, and is a joint collaboration between BGU and Jilin University of China (JLU) 

The theme of this year's conference is “Entrepreneurship and Innovation, China-Israel – Challenges and Opportunities" and it marks the newly established partnership between BGU and Jilin University in China. The two formed a joint entrepreneurship and innovation center last month. The joint center is operated by the universities’ two innovation centers: the Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation of the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management at BGU and the China-Israel Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Faculty of Economics at JLU. The two centers are co-organizing the conference. 

“The conference will create a unique platform for strengthening both academic connections and providing opportunities for meetings between industry professionals, academic researchers, senior executives, entrepreneurs and investors from the Jilin province and their Israeli peers,” says Prof. Dafna Schwartz, chairperson and director the Bengis Center.   

The Chinese delegation will include approximately 130 participants. Among them will be leading academics from Jilin University and other Chinese universities, government officials from the Jilin province and leading entrepreneurs and business people. Jilin University, ranked among the top ten universities in China, is located in Changchun, the capital city of Jilin province.  

Hosting leading figures from Israel such as Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Dan Schechtman and Mr. Avi Hasson, the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy, and Mr. Cheng Long, Chairman of the Federation of Youth of Jilin Province from China, the conference will encourage the exchange of new ideas and trends in innovation, and will explore opportunities for international partnership and cooperation. 

A gala dinner will feature keynote speaker former foreign minister MK Tzipi Livni. 

During the conference, a number of networking breakout sessions will take place, allowing participants to gain in-depth understanding and providing an opportunity for them to make connections according to their field of interest – be it academic or business-oriented. In addition, throughout the conference, participants will be able to visit the exhibition hall, where booths set up by Israeli companies involved in innovation will be featured, as well as posters of Chinese organizations taking part in the event. 

“One of the unique things about this conference is the fact that the University is taking an active role in promoting business ties as part of its commitment to being an active player in the innovation ecosystem. The beginning of the collaboration between BGU and JLU began at a similar conference in China a number of years ago. We hope that this conference, which includes many opportunities for its participants to make new connections, will lead to additional significant collaborations between our two countries,” says Prof. Schwartz.  

There will be a number of parallel sessions taking place: 

* Two academic sessions led by Prof. Rafi Bar-El featuring presentations of research papers on the topic of innovation and entrepreneurship by researchers from China, Israel and other countries.  

* Three business sessions, featuring innovative business models relating to specific topics of interest to both the Chinese and Israeli participants: 

1. Innovation in Health Services, led by: Mr. Ziv Ofek, founder and CEO of CDI 

2. China-Israel Collaboration, Past Experience and Future Potential, led by Nir Dagan, Co Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of SkyFund 

3. Cleantech and Agrotech, led by Prof. Moti Herskowitz, Director, Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis & Process Development and Mr. Avi Feldman, CEO, Capital Nature Chairman, IATI Cleantech Committee