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Israel Universities Win World’s most prestigious awards for Academic Innovation

GCEC Baltimore- ASPER – HUJI Innovate Deputy Director, Ayelet Cohen accepted the prize together with Yotam Zach, Program manager at ASPER-HUJI Innovate

The Innovation Centers of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have been awarded two of the world’s most prestigious accolades for higher education entrepreneurship.

The Hebrew University Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, ASPER – HUJI Innovate, received the “Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center” award. The award was presented at the GCEC conference, which is hosted by leading academic innovation organizations from around the world.

The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) is made up of entrepreneurship centers from over 300 colleges, and it gives out awards to the best ones every year. The Hebrew University, together with Yale University and East Carolina University, won the “Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center” prize at this year’s awards.

“Perseverance pays off – we were honored to be a finalist in 2019 and happy to get the prize this year.” Dr. Amnon Dekel, Executive Director of ASPER-HUJI Innovate, stated, “We believe it gives crucial validation for the innovation center and the Hebrew University, and it will add greatly to our global brand.” It’s worth noting that this is the first time an institution from outside the United States has received this honor. The Hebrew University wasn’t the only Israeli institution to be honored this year: the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev took home the award for “Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership.”

The award winners were unveiled at the GCEC conference earlier this month in Baltimore, which was hosted by Loyola University Maryland and the University of Baltimore. The awards were given out in nine categories, including “specialty entrepreneurship education,” “excellence in entrepreneurship teaching and pedagogical innovation,” “exceptional contributions in entrepreneurship research,” and “outstanding contributions to venture creation.”

A total of 65 academic institutions were assessed, 20 received awards, two of which were in Israel.

Ayelet Cohen, ASPER – HUJI Innovate Deputy Director (photographed above accepting the medal with Yotam Zach, ASPER-HUJI Innovate Program Manager), represented the Hebrew University at the event. “We were honored to be invited to speak at the GCEC conference on behalf of Hebrew University and to offer our Innovation Leaders program, which educates students to lead innovation communities,” she said.

“We were ecstatic to learn that we had been named the world’s Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center during the award ceremony. I remembered our passion for education and working with children, as well as our amazing staff, which each year helps 6,000 students find and develop their entrepreneurial potential, which they then utilize to make the world a better place. Twelve entrepreneurial communities are supported by our initiative. Some encourage our students to link with many industries, such as cognitive sciences, electrical engineering, and space technology. Others, like the women-led innovation community or the Arabic language community, help to create a more inclusive entrepreneurial culture. Overall, our program collaborates with dozens of companies and social impact groups that have raised millions of dollars and continue to have a beneficial impact on society and the environment.”

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