BGNETWORK

Dr. ORNA BERRY AND YAEL BERRY-DAVID

Dr. Orna Berry, Israel’s Chief Scientist and Director of the Industrial Research and Development Administration (1996-2000) and most recently Vice-President, DELL-EMC Centres of Excellence and R&D, described in depth how Ben-Gurion University (BGU) has fueled the rapid growth of Israel’s Negev region. A nexus of outstanding faculty, highly-qualified students and motivated tech investors, BGU has become the backbone of progress in the South.

The facts are impressive – At Beer-sheva’s Advanced Technology Park, a venture that includes the most important names in cyber security, AI, datascience and machine learning, BGU graduates make up 60% of the current workforce. With the move of the Israel Defence Forces’ elite intelligence units into the Negev, BGU’s contributions will be more vital than ever – soldiers will be able to pursue their education while they serve and the University will provide invaluable expertise.

What are the underlying themes of this remarkable modern Zionism? According to Dr. Berry, Israel will gain its global market share through quality and collaboration.

Yael Berry-David, Orna Berry’s daughter, recounted how fourteen years ago, as a young mother new to Beer-sheva, she gradually noticed stirrings of cultural activity in the city. As she became involved in the art, music and theatre scene, she realized that participating in these areas made the prospect of remaining in Beer-sheva not only palatable but attractive. She has remained committed to nurturing culture in the region and is particularly proud that a play from Beer-sheva’s Fringe Festival was performed recently in Montreal.

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