April 24, 2013

The goal to turn New York into the next Silicon Valley by leveraging Israeli expertise is well on its way, thanks to a $133 million donation from Irwin Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, and his wife Joan Klein Jacobs. The generous gift will help fund the planned Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, set to open on Roosevelt Island in 2017.

The state-of-the-art applied science and technology academy — to be jointly run by Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology – will now be called the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII).

The gift was announced at New York City Hall with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cornell President David J. Skorton and Technion President Peretz Lavie.

“Joan and Irwin’s magnificent gift will play a major and decisive role in fulfilling Mayor Bloomberg’s vision of creating a leading global center of innovation in the heart of New York, enabling the city to become the technology capital of the world,” said Technion President Lavie. “The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute will also serve as a bridge between Israel and the USA and Haifa and New York. We are also very grateful to the American Technion Society for their continued support and help in securing this gift.”

The Jacobses are both Cornell alumni who have a long history of supporting both Cornell and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, among many other philanthropic causes.

“This transformative gift will support the distinctive international partnership between Cornell and the Technion that is already creating a new model of graduate tech education in New York City,” said Cornell President Skorton. “We are overwhelmed by the continuing generosity of Joan and Irwin Jacobs, whose commitment to Cornell and to innovation in engineering and related disciplines is deeply appreciated.”

“We are delighted to partner with Cornell and the Technion on this unique educational initiative,” said Joan and Irwin Jacobs. “We believe strongly in the mission of this international collaboration to drive innovation and to foster economic development. We are proud of our long association with both of these distinguished institutions and share their dedication to inspire and train a next generation of entrepreneurs, forming new companies and strengthening existing ones including, of course, Qualcomm.”

The Jacobses’ contribution will also help support curriculum initiatives, faculty and graduate students, and industry interactions in a two-year graduate program.

“Cornell Tech will bring a sharp increase in science and engineering teaching, attract students from around the world, and spin off new local companies and thousands of new jobs, and inject billions of dollars into our economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Irwin and Joan Jacobs have helped pave the way for innovations that improve our world, and the endowment they’re creating at Cornell Tech will do the same. We’re grateful for their investment in the future of New York City.”

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