US firm PTC earmarks $5 million for R&D center at the Technion

Boston’s PTC, a computer and software services firm, has entered into a long-term, NIS 15 million ($5 million) strategic collaboration agreement with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology to set up a  research and development center at the campus in Haifa to boost the study of advanced manufacturing technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, PTC’s Haifa development center will relocate to the Technion under the leadership of Dr. Michael Reitman.

The funds will be channeled toward setting up the new center and promoting joint research in industrial IoT, augmented reality, simulation, and generative design software. Generative design software autonomously creates optimal designs from a set of design requirements.

It will also provide Technion faculty with software products; fund scholarships and incentives to students and researchers; initiate hackathons and contests; and sponsor educational programs, the university said in a statement.

“Today, scientific and technological breakthroughs need both multidisciplinary research and close collaboration between academia and industry,” said Technion president Prof. Uri Sivan in the statement. “Industry is at the forefront of active implementation and is well-acquainted with market needs, whereas academia brings basic scientific knowledge and research depth.”

In the past few years, the Technion has emphasized tightening its connections with industry, and the present agreement is the culmination of a longstanding relationship between the Technion and PTC, he said.

“We believe the agreement enables both parties to gain ground, grow, and reap the benefits of each other’s strengths,” Sivan added.

PTC and the Technion have been collaborating since 2014, and an initial agreement jumpstarted a robotics and digital content program for the Science and Technology department, including a teaching laboratory for industrial IoT, computer-aided design, manufacturing, and augmented reality.

As a result of the long-standing collaboration, Technion alumni have joined PTC’s development center in Haifa, which is the US firm’s second largest center outside the US.

“The importance of collaboration between academia and industry is recognized worldwide,” said Ziv Belfer, divisional vice president of Global Research and Development and general manager, PTC. “PTC has enjoyed fifteen years of successful collaboration with Aachen University in Germany, including the construction of a separate campus that also houses R&D laboratories for companies that collaborate with academic staff. Several projects subsequently became success markers for commercial companies, and we look forward to replicating these efforts with Technion in Israel.”

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