Moshe Yanai, a hi-tech billionaire who studied at Haifa's Technion, has donated 40 million shekels (more than $10 million) to his alma mater, with the sole purpose of making studies there more interesting. Lecturers who are chosen by the students, based on criteria of excellence and good personal interaction with the students, will each receive personal prizes of 100,000 shekels and upward.
In a statement quoted on the Technion website, Yanai hinted that some of his memories of studies at the technological college were less than pleasant.
"The Technion gave me an entry ticket to the world of computers and I owe it much of my success,” he said. “However, I remember the period of studies as difficult and demanding. I agree that the Technion must not compromise on anything less than excellence, but I am certain that much can be demanded of the student without this detracting from a pleasant study atmosphere.”
Yanai's incentive program will last for 20 years, Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie said.
Yanai is considered a world leader in the field of information storage. His revolutionary innovations changed the ways in which companies store data, protect it and use it. In the past 35 years, Yanai's vision has been a leading one on the field known as enterprise data storage. He initiated the Symmetrix storage array in the 1980s and developed the first “truly scalable grid storage system” for a company called XIV, which was eventually bought by IBM.