(photo credit: Courtesy)
Africa will benefit from the launching on Wednesday of a prize by Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Mauerberger Foundation Fund in South Africa.
Each year, Israeli scientists will compete for a $500,000 prize for suggesting ways of addressing a major development priority in the continent – and in doing so, also advance the role of women in science.
An experienced Israeli and African panel chaired by the Technion will select the specific development topic from areas as water, health and healthcare, agriculture and the environment.
The Mauerberger Foundation Fund Prize for Transformative Technologies for Africa was announced by Dianna Yach, chairwoman of the Mauerberger Foundation Fund, and Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie at the annual meeting of the Technion Board of Governors.
Yach called on scientists to collaborate in tackling impediments to the full development of people and societies, while Lavie committed the Technion to fostering Israel-African partnerships “with purpose and impact.”
The new prize builds on 80 years of Fund support for these areas in Israel and South Africa; they include initial support for the Technion’s Soil Engineering Building in 1955; chairs in nursing, preventive cardiology and neurosurgery at the University of Cape Town; and the advancement of public health at the University of the Western Cape.
The Mauerberger Foundation Fund’s founder, industrialist Morris Mauerberger, believed in making dreams become a reality through his philanthropic and business leadership. He first visited the Technion in 1955. Mauerberger died in 1974. Dianna Yach is his daughter.
Today, the Helen and Morris Mauerberger Soil Engineering Building is home to Engineers without Borders, a program that the fund continues to support and that enables Technion students to initiate community projects in Israel and abroad and promote goodwill toward the Technion and Israel, as well as in Africa.