Technion, Israel Aerospace Industries Cooperate on Autonomous Systems Research

January 3, 2011
By: Kevin Hattori

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have signed a multiyear cooperation agreement for conducting research in the field of autonomous systems. IAI will invest $1 million over the next five years for research in the Technion’s Autonomous Systems Program (TASP).

“The long-lasting relationship between the Technion and IAI is expressed once again in the substantial grant Technion researchers will now receive,” said Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie. “We are confident that IAI – many of whose workers are Technion graduates – will enjoy the fruits of its investment in the recently-established Technion Autonomous Systems Program.”

Technion Autonomous Systems Program

The Technion Autonomous Systems Program is the only one of its kind in Israel, and the scientific home for dozens of advanced researchers from many faculties.

The aims of the program are two-fold: to establish a primary national center for autonomous systems, and to make it one of the top five leading centers in the world. The building blocks of the planned research are intended to develop advanced applications, create knowledge on the topic, and to use leading research methods.

IAI plans to implement the results of this research for various unmanned platforms, including aerial, ground or maritime – for machines, production lines and processes – and to assist operators in sensor data analysis.

“Both IAI and the Technion stand to gain from this cooperation,“ said IAI CEO Itzhak Nissan. “It is an excellent example of cooperation between industry and academia. Together, we can bring the field of autonomous systems to new and interesting heights while benefiting from each others’ capabilities and the experience we have gained over the years.”

Professor Daniel Weihs, the head of the TASP, said IAI’s participation is a positive step for promoting the autonomous systems agenda, and reflects IAI’s confidence in Technion research: “We hope to fill and exceed all of their expectations.”

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel’s leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s first winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel’s high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with offices around the country.