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Technion Researchers Visit Chicago

Last month, Current hosted seven esteemed researchers from the Grand Water Research Institute, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology for a week of workshops, site visits, and planning for future cross-institutional collaboration. In September 2017, Current and the Technion envisioned a collaborative platform for water research, technology development, commercialization, and deployment. The March visit represented the next step in this exciting international partnership.

“We see great potential in this new partnership that builds on each other’s strengths to jointly investigate important scientific questions,” said Professor Alex Furman, Director of the Technion’s Grand Water Research Institute. “Together, Technion and Current’s research partners can accelerate the discovery of new solutions to help ensure water availability.”

Over four days, members from Current Research Consortium institutions met with Technion scholars to explore common research interests to address global water issues. Together, the group identified three themes around which discussions were structured: materials, chemistry and technologies; engineering systems; and water-informatics. Throughout the week, participants developed prospective projects within each theme that they could jointly support by leveraging their home institution’s research capacity.

"The Technion-Current workshops provided a great opportunity to explore water challenges that are important to both Chicago and Israel. I am very optimistic that we can work together to solve these challenges," said Aaron Packman, Director of the Northwestern Center for Water Research. “Current provides a unique platform for Technion and Chicago-area universities to work with the City of Chicago Department of Water Management, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and Mekorot to develop and deploy cutting-edge water solutions.”

In between workshops, Technion researchers experienced firsthand the Current Research Consortium’s capabilities. The delegation toured the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory on Tuesday and Chicago’s Jardine Water Purification Plant the following morning. The week culminated in a tour of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory and a planning session where participants charted the path forward to takeng this new Current-Technion collaboration to the next level.

“After our recent interaction with researchers from Technion, we feel that the timing for collaboration and synergy could not be better and we look forward to exploring research areas of common interest at the Energy-Water-Food nexus so that the best technological innovations can be brought to the forefront of water research in both countries,” said Marcelo Garcia, Professor and Director of the Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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