September 10, 2017

Mayor Emanuel Signs Agreement to Establish Innovative Partnership Between Chicago's Current and Israel's Technion

New Collaboration Will Develop Solutions to Global Water Challenges and Drive Economic Development in Both Chicago and Israel

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today signed an agreement to drive collaboration and research between Chicago’s Current and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.  The Memorandum of Understanding will bring together Chicago academic and research institutions with Israel’s top public research university to develop solutions to global water challenges.
“This agreement helps us write the next chapter in the story of Israel and Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Working together to develop solutions to water challenges will strengthen economic development and protect public health in both Israel and the U.S. and far beyond.”
“Today Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrived at Technion with an important and significant vision: the establishment of international cooperation as a platform for solving the global water shortage.,” Technion’s Executive Vice President for Research Prof. Wayne D. Kaplan said. “This collaboration brings together leading academic bodies and key organizations in Chicago, including Current, and I have no doubt that we are laying the foundation for a long-term cooperation that will benefit not only the Technion and Chicago, and even not only Israel and the United States, but all of humanity.”
The agreement establishes academic partnerships in areas of fundamental science and applied water research between Technion and Current’s Research Consortium, which is comprised of Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois (Urban/Champaign), the University of Illinois (Chicago), the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the Chicago Department of Water Management.
The partnership will create a broad collaborative research platform between Current and the Technion, linking water research, technology development, commercialization, and deployment in industry and infrastructure.
“This effort brings together world-class scientists to tackle the critical challenge of ensuring that people worldwide have the water they need,” Steve Frenkel, Executive Director of Current said. “Leveraging the global reach of Current’s new research consortium will accelerate the science needed to deliver the water technology innovations society desperately needs.”
The agreement is designed to increase research outcomes that result in deployed solutions and aligned water research efforts between the Technion and Current’s Research Consortium. It will also generate solutions to water challenges with the potential to increase economic development and protect public health in both Israel and the U.S. through developing globally-exportable products.
Current is a joint effort that brings together public and private partners from across the Chicago area, to solve the toughest water challenges facing the nation and the globe. The effort is led by an unprecedented partnership between the City of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and World Business Chicago and is designed to leverage the strength of the Chicago region’s water industry to drive critical research forward and generate greater economic impact.
The agreement was signed during Mayor’s Emanuel’s trip to Israel to promote investment and innovation in Chicago. From Sept. 9 to 13 the Mayor is traveling with a delegation composed of academic and business leaders from across the Chicago area.
A key focus of the trip is to highlight Chicago's leading role in advancing water technology innovation and conservation through Current while showcasing new collaborations leveraging Israeli water expertise.
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize laureates exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. Learn more at