University of Haifa
University of HaifaMatanya Tausig/FLASH90

The University of Haifa has received a $10 million donation from the Herta and Paul Amir Foundation for the development of the Herta and Paul Amir Technology Complex, which aims to expand the entrepreneurship and innovation movement in Israel’s northern region, increasing access to education and employment opportunities for its diverse student body in the process.

The newly established technology complex is situated in the heart of Haifa’s emerging downtown port district, an area that is home to the operations of various entrepreneurs, particularly in the field of digital medicine. In fact, Haifa’s Matam Park – a booming high-tech complex located nearby – houses multinational high-tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Phillips, and Intel. The donation will also seek to further enhance the diversity of the country's workforce with University of Haifa boasting the most diverse student population of any Israeli university, and with its students coming from all over Israel, from all religious backgrounds and all socioeconomic classes.

Ready for the start of the new academic year in October, the complex demonstrates both the multi-disciplinary approach of the University as well as its proactive approach for promoting human values using science and technology. The facility will serve as the site of the Computer Science and Information Systems Departments, providing hybrid classrooms and a 24-hour student center, serving as the center for an entrepreneurial community where students collaborate with local start-ups and develop their own ventures.

These state-of-the-art facilities, surrounded by some of the most respected and innovative high-tech companies in the world, are poised to not only transform the city of Haifa into a cutting-edge high-tech destination but also to ensure that those completing their studies at the University will have both the theoretical and hands-on experience they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive industry.

Additionally, the $10 million gift will support the new Herta and Paul Amir Health Sciences Building which sits atop the University’s main Mount Carmel campus. The 5,300-square-meter building is home to ten departments and schools — which include Public Health, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Human Resources, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Gerontology, Community Mental Health and Creative Art Therapies — and is the third largest Faculty at the University. The building’s spacious environment will enable students and faculty to collaborate, integrate laboratories, and execute the University’s vision of interdisciplinary research.

“It is my honor to support an institution with a transformative mission, which attracts outstanding professors as well as students who constitute the next generation of industry leaders in high-tech and other crucial fields,” said well-known philanthropist Herta Amir. “University of Haifa’s presence empowers the city of Haifa and the entire region of northern Israel with the security and stability to take its rightful place as a national hub of innovation with global impact.”

A longtime friend of the University, Amir is an accomplished economist who worked for more than a decade at the Economics Department of the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit and nonpartisan institution that guides policy and decision-making through research and analysis. Her late husband, Paul Amir, was a successful real-estate developer and philanthropist who went on to form real estate company Amir Development, together with Herta. Over the years their international foundation has supported educational and cultural institutions around the world, largely in Israel, and particularly in the city of Haifa.

The $10 million gift is part of the University’s ambitious $150 million fundraising campaign — coinciding with the University's 50th anniversary — to build infrastructure and expand research in the areas of equality, environment, health, and humanities, as well as the technology to maximize efforts to address 21st Century global challenges. Through this investment, the University will build upon the successes of the past 50 years and reach further than ever before to provide access and resources for its diverse student body, establish new areas of study, recruit and retain top faculty, and expand spaces for innovation.

“These state-of-the-art facilities will not only educate the best and the brightest of the next generation but give them the tools such as technological prowess that they need in order to make the world a more equitable and prosperous place for decades to come,” said University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin. “As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, University of Haifa is proactively charting the legacy that will lead the future.”