$20M D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation gift expands collaboration of the Weizmann Institute of Science with the University of Michigan and the Technion



precision health

Consider a future in which robots work alongside humans to search for disaster survivors and seniors monitor their response to bacterial infections in real time.

A $20 million gift from the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation of Michigan will expand collaboration among researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the University of Michigan, and the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology to help enhance quality of life through advancements in robotics and precision health.

“We are grateful to The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation for this visionary gift,” says Prof. Israel Bar-Joseph, Vice President of Resource Development and Public Affairs at the Weizmann Institute. “We look forward to building an impactful research program that will deepen the relations between these three great institutions.”

Since 2011, researchers at the Weizmann Institute, U-M, and the ​Technion have collaborated on nearly 50 competitively funded research projects as part of the Michigan-Israel Partnership for Research and Education. The partnership, funded by philanthropic gifts, supports research, fosters innovation, and spurs collaboration among the three institutions in fields ranging from biomedical sciences to engineering. With this new gift, the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation has given a total of $25 million for the partnership.

The new gift will support two large interuniversity research projects, the annual D. Dan and Betty Kahn Symposium (which is held in alternate years in Michigan and Israel), and smaller-scale collaborative projects. Last Friday, researchers from all three institutions gathered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at U-M, as part of the seventh-annual Kahn Symposium, where the new gift was announced .

One project aims to advance the frontiers of autonomous robotic science by discovering new principles, creating new technology, and demonstrating innovations in autonomous systems. The second project, researchers from the three institutions plan to develop tools that enhance privacy and computational effectiveness in big-data analytics in precision health.

“Collaboration is critical when addressing important societal issues like precision health and robotics,” says Prof. S. Jack Hu, U-M Vice President for Research. “In partnering with our colleagues at two of the world’s leading research universities, we are able to accelerate the promising potential in these significant areas of research.”

“In this day and age, international and interdisciplinary collaborations are vital to the future of science and engineering,” says Prof. Boaz Golany, Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development at the Technion. “The support of The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation enables three leading universities to join hands in a partnership that will benefit people not only in the U.S. and Israel, but worldwide.”

“The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation is pleased to support this unique partnership as an outgrowth of the Kahn Symposium that began in 2011,” says Larry Wolfe, President of The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation. “We see the partnership as a natural extension of Dan Kahn’s vision and an opportunity for three of the world’s great universities to pursue transformative research advancements in health, science and education. We hope this gift will inspire others to support this incredible cause.”

In addition to collaborative research, the partnership supports the exchange of 15 early-career researchers between U-M, Technion and Weizmann.