TechNation

Cornell-Technion Technology Campus in Manhattan Is Inaugurated

Cornell-Technion technology campus in Manhattan is inaugurated ■ Fiber-optic venture IBC asks for relief from universal service requirement ■ Entera Bio raising $10 million for drug-delivery technology

A view of the campus and the main academic building (R), the Bloomberg Center, on the new campus of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island, September 13, 2017 in New York City
A view of the campus and the main academic building (R), the Bloomberg Center, on the new campus of Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island, September 13, 2017 in New York City Drew Angerer/AFP

Cornell-Technion technology college’s campus in Manhattan is inaugurated

Cornell Tech, the New York City engineering campus of Cornell University developed together with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, formally inaugurated its campus on Wednesday. “In partnership with Cornell, we’ve developed a model of graduate-level technology education that is unlike any other – one that’s tailor-made not only for New York City but for the challenges of the digital revolution,” said Technion President Peretz Lavie. The campus, located on Roosevelt Island, is already home to $700 million worth of facilities covering 700,000 square meters of floor space in the first phase of the project, which include an academic building, an open-floor-plan incubator and an environmentally friendly residential high-rise. The campus is now home to 30 faculty members and close to 300 students, including 35 Ph.D. students. More than two million square feet of building space will eventually be constructed on the 12-acre campus when it will be home to 2,000 students. (TheMarker Staff)

Rivlin says high-tech jobs go to privileged rather than most able

“Entry into Israeli high-tech is still a function of your family background, your socioeconomic situation and your place of residence and not due to your abilities, ambition or hard work. We have to change that,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Wednesday at an event marking the one-year anniversary of former President Shimon Peres’ death. The president was responding to a study by the Finance Ministry and the Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry released on Tuesday, showing that the industry is closed to large segments of the population, including Israeli Arabs, women, people over age 40 and those born to families without the advantages of education or money. The president cited a program approved by the government in January to step up training in tech-related fields, but implied it was not enough. “We need a clear and concrete plan and a courageous vision to put into effect without comprom ise,” Rivlin said. (Elihay Vidal)

Fiber-optic venture IBC asks for relief from universal service requirement

IBC, the troubled joint venture building a nationwide fiber-optic network to supply fast internet, is asking the government to relieve it of the requirement to provide universal service. In a letter to the Communications Ministry on Monday, IBC said it would not be able to recruit a new investor if the deployment requirement wasn’t reduced to just 40% of Israeli customers and that without an investor it would become insolvent. Formed in 2014 as a joint venture 60%-owned by Israel Electric Corporation, IBC has been building out the network on IEC but has had difficulty signing on subscribers and agreeing on strategy. Last year it began a search for a new investor for the 1 billion shekels ($280 million) it needs to compete the network and attracted the interest of Cellcom Israel. But Cellcom has come to the conclusion that a fully nationwide network would be financial unviable. (Amitai Ziv)

Entera Bio raising $10 million for drug-delivery technology

Entera Bio, which is developing a novel platform for oral delivery of large-molecule protein active pharmaceutical ingredients, is raising at least $10 million from private investors. DNA Biomedical Solutions said in a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange announcement Tuesday that it would put up half the total. That will reduce its stake in Entera to 30% from 33% after it transfers some of the shares to Capital Point as partial compensation for a loan the latter is providing to finance buying them. The placement assigns a $97 million after the money to Entera, which is conducting clinical trials of three drugs for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, osteoporosis and bone healing. A Phase II/III trial of a drug for treatment of hypoparathyroidism is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018. Other backers include the Pontifax fund and figures associated with Kite Pharma, the Israeli-founded U.S. startup sold last month to Gilead Biosciences. (Yoram Gabison)