Created with a government mandate to use science and technology to develop Israels southernmost region, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has become an internationally-recognized powerhouse of innovation that is changing the landscape of Israels hi-tech industry.
New hi-tech park
BGU has been educating talented engineers and computer scientists for more than 40 years, most of whom left the Negev as soon as they graduated, in search of job opportunities in Israels booming hi-tech industries. To attract and retain this workforce while capitalizing on the Universitys strengths, BGU partnered with the City of Beersheva, KUD International and Gav-Yam Negev to build an Advanced Technologies Park (ATP), which inaugurated its first building this September in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Covering an area of 23 acres (93 dunams) adjacent to the University, the Soroka University Medical Center and the future base of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) elite technology units, the ATP is slated to become Israels most exciting new center for business and innovation.
The first tenants include international telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, which has maintained an R&D center at BGU since 2006, and EMC-RSA, which opened a center of excellence in the capital of the Negev where over half of their workforce is comprised of BGU graduates, and they are looking for more!
Planned to include some 16 buildings, including a conference center and a hotel, the ATP is only part of the story. The Israel Defense Forces Information Technologies Branch, including 5,000 top officers, will be moving to an adjacent campus over the next two years. Shortly thereafter, military intelligence, one of the largest and brightest units in the IDF, will relocate to a nearby base. Over the next decade, the army plans to move a total of 30,000 positions from elite technological and intelligence units to the Beersheva area.
At the forefront
The engines of innovation and growth ultimately rely on two basic strengths – smart, talented, educated people and the laboratories and offices that enable them to be creative, asserts Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi. Just such an engine is being created to propel Israel to the forefront of hi-tech realms such as cyber security and big data in one location adjacent to the University.
BGU is already at the forefront of research and education in these hi-tech fields. These are the fields that have become increasingly important. The University has been teaching Israel Air Force pilots for ten years already – every pilot must complete an undergraduate degree as part of their pilots course. This synergy of excellence and need-based knowledge is transforming the face of hi-tech in Israel, Carmi believes.
The ATP has already become a center for Big Data and Cyber research. Recognizing BGUs prominence in the field, the government of Israel recently announced the creation of a Cyber Event Response Team (CERT) that will be based in Beersheva. The CERT is part of the National Cyber Bureau created by the Prime Ministers Office to advance research in this critical field. JVP, one of Israels most successful venture capital firms, is creating a cyber-incubator in conjunction with the University. Elbit Systems, one of the premier Israeli electro-optics companies, has also taken advantage of the opportunity to create its own incubator to encourage development of related startups.
Within just a few years, Beersheva will become a booming hi-tech node with BGU at its center, the animating innovative spirit transforming the desert.
Commitment to excellence
Repeatedly voted the most popular choice of Israeli undergraduate students, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is known for its dynamic atmosphere and commitment to excellence in teaching and research. With close to 20,000 students enrolled in the Faculties of Engineering Sciences, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management and the Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies, BGU is growing, with campuses in Beersheva, Sde Boqer and Eilat.
Part of the global community, researchers share their expertise in such fields as hi-tech, bio-tech, medicine, arid zone agriculture, solar energy, water resource management, nanotechnology and more through international collaborations with some of the worlds leading universities and industrial companies.
Home to the historical archives of Israels first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and a number of Israels most important authors, BGU has become a center for the study of Israels varied cultures and cultural legacy.
Major research institutes include the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research with the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism.
The Universitys world-famous Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School has become a model for community-oriented and global medicine, while social work and education degree programs supply Beersheva and the region with the majority of its social service personnel.
International academic programs
- Intensive Hebrew Language Ulpan
- Intensive Spoken Arabic Ulpan
- German Summer University
- Semester/Year Programs (OSP): Global Health, Sustainable Development, Israel Studies and more
- Internship program
- BA in Literature and Linguistics
- MSc in Information Systems Engineering with focus on Data Mining & Business Intelligence (BI)
- The Medical School for International Health in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center
- MSc/MA/PhD Program in Desert Studies: Agriculture and Biotechnology for Sustainable Development, Ecology of Drylands, Solar Energy and Environmental Physics, Irrigation and Plant Environmental and Aquatic Microbiology, Environmental Studies
- MSc in Hydrology & Water Quality: Water Resources, Desalination and Water Treatment, Microbiology and Water Quality
- MSc/PhD in Mathematics
- PhD in Computer Sciences
- MSc/PhD in Physics
- MSc/PhD in Chemistry
- MSc/PhD in Life Sciences
- MSc/PhD in Geological and Environmental Sciences
- MA in Israel Studies
- MA in Linguistics
- MA in Literature
For more information about Ben-Gurion Universitys programs: www.bgu.ac.il/international, firstname.lastname@example.org.