Canadian to Be Honored by Israeli and Canadian Governments

Paul Ivanier, a Canadian steel tycoon who founded the Center for Robotics Research and Management at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, will be honored by the Canadian and Israeli governments here on May 12.

An honorary degree will be conferred on Ivanier by Ben Gurion University president Chaim Elata, under the sponsorship of Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Premier Yitzhak Shamir of Israel, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Premier Robert Bourassa of Quebec.

The ceremony will be part of Ben Gurion University’s Centennial Academic Convocation, the first ever to be held outside Israel. It marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion.

Ivanier, son of Jewish immigrants to Canada, is president and chief executive officer of IVACO, an industrial giant of nearly 60 steel mills and metallurgical plants in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. It ranks sixth among steel-makers in the Western world.

Ivanier is a firm believer in the importance of the Negev for Israel’s future development. More than half of the subscribers to the project he launched at Ben Gurion University are non-Jewish. He maintains that with a small population and a dearth of natural resources, Israel must master the science and technology of robotics if it is to become economically self-sufficient and competitive on the world market.

“Ultimately, Israel will have to live by the ‘sweat of the brow’ of its trained manpower, constantly on the new frontiers of the galloping high-tech revolution,” Ivanier said.

He stressed that Negev industries in arid, sparsely populated surroundings must become the most modern, dynamic and competitive industries if they are to contribute to Israel’s national goals.

The Paul Ivanier Robotics Research and Management Center will include departments of electrical, computer, mechanical and industrial engineering and management. It is expected to attract top experts from all over the world. Through international conferences, symposia and the publication of learned papers in many languages, its influence will extend beyond Israel’s borders, Ivanier predicted.

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