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“… only with a unified effort… will we accomplish

the great mission of populating the

wilderness and bringing it to flourish. This effort will determine the fate of the State of Israel.”

—David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of Israel


60% Israeli territory that comprises the Negev, Israel’s most important strategic land reserve

Negev home 10%

Israeli population that calls the


A VISION IN SIGHT In 1963, David Ben-Gurion set forth his vision for an “Oxford in the Negev.” Sixty years later, the university that bears his name is about to undertake its most ambitious capital project yet. 4 196 202

As the university founded to advance David Ben-Gurion’s vision for the Negev, Ben Gurion University (BGU) has a larger mission beyond outstanding research and education. An inherently entrepreneurial institution, we strive to create a vibrant knowledge-based economy in Beer-Sheva, on which the success of the Negev depends. In our first 50 years, we’ve made remarkable strides. Nonetheless, we are still far from maximizing the Negev’s potential, and from turning its capital into a mecca for exceptional researchers, top students, new companies, and a young professional community. Until now. With the construction of our new North Campus, we are poised to accelerate the transformation of Beer-Sheva into a technological, economic, and even cultural engine for Israel. With the support of entrepreneurial philanthropists who recognize an opportunity for strong returns, we can leverage our assets into the fulfillment of a pioneering vision: a blooming desert for a thriving Israel, which will make for a better world.

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A DRIVER OF STRUCTURAL CHANGE Most university buildings are inherently leveraged. By convening and then unleashing the forces of human inquiry, they deliver benefits that flow into society over the course of many decades. But for especially powerful and strategically placed universities, buildings can do much more: They can elevate them to still higher levels of impact, causing ripples of investment across sectors that result in wide-scale, sustainable change.


The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Building

Student Village

Ernest Scheller Jr. Gate of Innovation

The Innovation Corridor: Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation Future Technologies Building, the Drahi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Building, and the Helmsley Computer Science Building

Convention and Cultural Center

Greenhouses and Zoological and Ecological Laboratories

The Forum


CAPACITY In 2003, professor of physics Ron Folman turned the shell of an old primary school into the Negev’s first nano-fabrication facility. In so doing, he set BGU on a path to joining the ranks of the world’s top research universities. A network of cleanrooms with specialized machines for production at the nanoscale, fabrication facilities enable breakthrough research in every area of the exact, engineering, and medical sciences today. Lab-on-chips that run massive numbers of samples for diagnostics and drug therapies. Atom chips that further the foundation for quantum computing technologies. And novel materials for use in sustainable construction, medical devices, and electrical engineering: All these innovations are possible only by means of the most advanced equipment and laboratories. Over the last two decades, our Center for Nano-Fabrication has enabled groundbreaking discoveries and innovations. Yet its aging infrastructure can no longer keep pace with new developments in chip fabrication technology. By building a new facility on the North Campus, BGU will build a bridge to science’s next century. Yet in the case of BGU, the benefits of advanced infrastructure will extend far beyond research. They will also be felt by the city of Beer-Sheva, where smaller tech companies will move to avail themselves of BGU’s research facilities. This makes a capital investment in the North Campus’ research buildings an investment in Beer-Sheva’s ecosystem, too, and a key to closing the distance between Israel’s Center and southern periphery.

Prof. Ron Folman and a vacuum chamber for creating conditions similar to those in deep space. Inside, single atoms are forced into highly exotic quantum states; by observing their behavior, researchers help build the

scientific foundation for quantum technologies.


“Today, physical infrastructure is the single biggest game-changer for a university after researchers. The right infrastructure will enable us to compete not just with other universities in Israel, but also with the best universities everywhere.”

— Prof. Ron Folman, founder, BGU Center for Quantum Science and Technology and the Center for Nano-Fabrication



The cascading effects of advanced research infrastructure for Beer-Sheva’s high-tech ecosystem.



Allows current BGU researchers to compete with top colleagues in their areas of specialty.

Enables BGU to attract outstanding young researchers who will establish labs in cutting-edge fields.



Draws fabless high-tech companies to Beer-Sheva that need BGU research facilities, as well as its expertise and graduates for their R&D.



Dr. Shimrit Maman of BGU’s Earth and Planetary Imaging Facility, where she is studying the application of satellite technologies to climate change. A more advanced facility for remote sensing is slated for the rooftop of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Future Technologies Building.


COMMUNITY As in real estate, as in college campuses: It all comes down to location. Specifically, the location of the student body. “Unlike Israel’s other universities, the area around BGU is affordable, so students can and want to live there. The new dorms enable still more students to be part of the campus social life,” explains Barak Dvir, the head of BGU’s Student Union. “With everyone so close, there’s a real sense of community.” Now, the North Campus is set to raise that community to a higher level, offering more flexible and diverse spaces for interaction and bringing opportunities into closer proximity. Beyond the commercial center planned for its Student Village complex, the North Campus will include a convention and cultural center for major events—such as concerts and performances in the winter, currently an impossibility. It will also include a central artery: With green spaces, outdoor amphitheaters, seating areas, and cafes, the Forum will be a layered, informal meeting place for people and ideas, both across BGU departments and between the campus and the wider city. Like the famous yards and quadrangles that play a key part in American college life, the Forum will enhance the BGU’s sense of identity and make it a place where top students from Israel and abroad want to live and learn. For students in the technology fields, however, the North Campus offers yet another key advantage: unparalleled access to the city’s growing high-tech industry. While the city’s Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) is already just a short walk away, the North Campus will now bring ATP companies directly to campus through dedicated spaces for academic-industry collaboration. In this way, it will add yet another dimension to the concept of location: It will position students for success after graduation.

The North Campus’ Student Village


“The fact that a BGU student can be at a meeting at the high tech park within five minutes of his last class, then be back at his dorm for dinner five minutes after the meeting is over, can be the deciding factor when choosing between Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv.”

—Barak Dvir ’22, G’24, chair, BGU Student Union


Known for offering one of the most vibrant and active college experiences in Israel, BGU aims to make the desert bloom with student life, energy, and diversity.



COLLABORATION To the founder of BGU’s Computer Science Department, the logic is simple: If the soldiers in the IDF’s elite technology units drive Israel’s military and scientific breakthroughs, the university where they do their research will develop the innovations that change the world. When Prof. Shlomi Dolev established the department in 2000, he emphasized recruiting researchers who had studied at Israel’s other top universities. He also—in a departure from common practice—urged researchers not to hire their former students as faculty. The resulting diversity of approaches and freedom for independent thinking has helped BGU become the leading academic source for top-level jobs in innovative companies.* It has also made BGU one of the top five universities in the world to produce talent for next generation tech startups.** Now, with the construction in Beer-Sheva of the new IDF C4i Campus for its elite technological units, BGU can leverage this core strength into game-changing impact. Currently prevented by available space from educating more undergraduates, the Computer Science Department will soon take up residence in the new Helmsley Building on the North Campus. Together with the advanced classrooms in the Drahi Innovation Building, the department can absorb the influx of new students the IDF’s move south will bring. As a result, BGU won a bid from among all of Israel’s universities to provide several branches of the IDF’s elite technology soldiers with their undergraduate degrees. Many of these soldiers will naturally remain at BGU for their master’s and PhDs; this combination of Israel’s top computer-science researchers and most outstanding graduate students will result in lucrative IP, groundbreaking technologies, and companies working to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Prof. Shlomi Dolev (far right) and his photonics-computing research group. By replacing electrons with photons (or light), researchers hope to achieve millions of times the current computing efficiency. The group included then doctoral student Nati Shaked, current chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tel Aviv University, and then-master’s student Hen Fitoussi, who is currently product manager at Israel’s Google AI.

* According to the 2022-2023 Global Employability University Ranking and Survey. **According to Lightspeed Venture Partners, June 2023.


“If you combine the best computer-science research students in Israel with BGU’s computer science faculty, the result won’t be just a great computer-science department. It will be a department so great it can rival MIT.”

— Prof. Shlomi Dolev, founding department head, Computer Science Department



Prof. Ohad Ben-Shahar (left) of the Computer Science Department and his doctoral student Boaz Arad display the testing platform they built for their hyperspectral camera, which extracts information from surfaces and objects invisible to the human eye. As part of his research on the brain’s neural representations of space, Prof. Ben-Shahar demonstrated that a goldfish could drive a robotic car. While completing his Ph.D., Arad developed the core technology used by wellness giant Oddity to bring hyperspectral-imaging to every smartphone.


THE BIRTH OF NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGY How proximity and an emphasis on entrepreneurship can pave the path to real-world tech solutions.

TRAIN BGU will grant elite IDF technology soldiers their undergraduate degrees.

LEVERAGE Graduates who remain at BGU for their master’s and PhDs will join BGU labs for groundbreaking research.


TRANSFORM With the help of BGU’s center for entrepreneurship, based in the North

LAUNCH Graduate students will go on to found and advance companies that provide solutions to the world.

Campus’ Drahi Building, faculty labs will turn their research into commercial technologies.



From sand pit to stimulant for an ecosystem’s social and economic growth: The North Campus construction site, with (from left to right) the completed Student Village; the Beer-Sheva North train station; the Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park (ATP); the “DNA” high-tech park footbridge, connecting the ATP and the train station; and the site of the future IDF C4i Campus (currently under construction).



MAJOR FUNDING PARTNERS The Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation

Nano-Fabrication Facility PURPOSE: Enable BGU researchers’ miniaturization of quantum technology to chip-scale devices, and the production of quantum chips for R&D centers in Beer Sheva, throughout Israel, and around the world. Also, support basic and applied research in such fields as medical diagnostics and interfaces, environmental sensing, water desalination, and solar energy.

The Helmsley Computer Science Building PURPOSE: Increase research capacity in fields in which BGU is a national and international leader, including AI and intelligent systems, cybersecurity, cryptography, machine learning, and visual computing. SPECIAL FEATURES: 70 research laboratories, a 180-seat auditorium, an R&D center for industry collaboration, and a Computer Science Student Center.

The Drahi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Building PURPOSE: Provide a dedicated space for BGU students and faculty to engage in entrepreneurial activities, including hackathons, conferences, demonstrations, and networking. Also, serve as the physical point of intersection between BGU and Beer-Sheva’s startup companies. SPECIAL FEATURES: More than 50 entrepreneurship workrooms and technology enhanced classrooms for active learning.


Government of Israel Prof. Jeffrey Ullman

The Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation Future Technologies Building PURPOSE: Bring together under one roof BGU researchers developing cutting-edge defense technologies. Also, enhance researchers’ outputs through specialized infrastructure and equipment, including cleanrooms for nano-fabrication and electro-optics, robotics, and quantum science laboratories. SPECIAL FEATURES: A rooftop facility with optical instrumentation and antennas for remote sensing, used for precision agriculture, water and land conservation, and defense technologies.

MAJOR FUNDING PARTNERS Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation The Government of Israel

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Building PURPOSE: Enable the training of double the current number of students—from 150 to 300 undergraduate, master’s, and PhD candidates—to help Israel keep pace with the projected demand for infrastructure and housing. Also, equip the department with state-of-the-art teaching and research capabilities through laboratories for geomechanics, structural dynamics, hydraulics, heavy structures, green construction, and more.


Student Village PURPOSE: Create a vibrant and holistic communal experience that attracts more top students to BGU. Also, integrate student life with the Beer-Sheva ecosystem, through proximity to the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) and the forthcoming Convention and Cultural Center. SPECIAL FEATURES: The 14-building complex includes the Beit Mark and Ellen Marcus House Dormitories; a 1,500 square-meter commercial center, whose stores and cafes can be enjoyed by Beer-Sheva residents; and a dedicated dormitory for soldier-students from the IDF’s elite technology units.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A model of green construction, the building will use novel, sustainable materials; feature a green roof and wall for the study of air purification, rainwater collection, and energy efficiency; and include a wastewater-recycling system. There will also be a visitor’s center for outreach on sustainability.

MAJOR FUNDING PARTNERS Private Donations The Government of Israel

The Forum PURPOSE: Provide a space for interaction across disciplines; increase student, faculty, and staff engagement; and bind the University together in a sense of shared enterprise. SPECIAL FEATURES: Green spaces, outdoor amphitheaters, and seating spaces between buildings, whose ground-floor lounges act as extensions of the shared environment. Also, a commercial center with cafes and shops next to the Student Village.

Convention and Cultural Center PURPOSE: Bring renowned performers and prestigious academic conferences to Beer-Sheva, which currently lacks a large enough venue to host major events. Also, provide BGU with sufficient space for cultural and academic events, and the Beer-Sheva ecosystem with a venue for tech conferences. SPECIAL FEATURES: A subdividable, multi-use conference venue for up to 600 people, and a concert hall with seating for up to 850 guests. The Ernest Scheller Jr. Gate of Innovation PURPOSE: Provide an iconic and inspiring main entrance that announces the North Campus’ goal of innovation. SPECIAL FEATURES: A state-of-the-art, aesthetically impressive security checkpoint for vehicles and pedestrians.

The Greenhouses and Zoological and Ecological Laboratories PURPOSE: Use fields such as plant biology, marine biology, and biochemistry to enhance life in the Negev and other arid climates, as well as to advance sustainability. SPECIAL FEATURES: A greenhouse for transgenic plants, a gene bank for exotic fauna, and breeding facilities for aquatic life.




As the heart of the Beer-Sheva ecosystem, BGU both powers and is empowered by the developments around it—in the Soroka University Medical Center, in the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP), and in the forthcoming IDF C4i campus. The North Campus will leverage all its partners’ progress to draw more talent and resources into the community.

The Student Village opens to 1,000 students at the start of the academic year





The Sylvan Adams Sports Center is completed, enhancing the student experience through enlarged and renovated swimming pools, a PowerWatts cycling studio, deluxe locker rooms, and upgraded grounds and facilities.

The School for Software and Cyber Security becomes the first of the IDF’s Communications Branch units to move to Building 4 of the ATP, adjacent to the forthcoming IDF C4i Campus

Completion of the Andre Deloro Medical Research Institute , a joint project of BGU and Soroka University Medical Center and a key component of the forthcoming Beer-Sheva Innovation District. The institute will bring BGU, Soroka, and the ATP together to create a hub for medical innovation, with an emphasis on digital health.


The Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation Future Technologies Building is completed

The Ernest Scheller, Jr. Gate of Innovation is completed, providing a landscaped entrance for both vehicles and pedestrians to the North Campus.

The Drahi Innovation and Entrepreneurship Building is completed.

The Helmsley Computer Science

Commencement of the North Campus ’ second phase.

Building is completed.


Completion of the Underground Tunnel Infrastructure to centralize the North Campus utilities and the Energy Center , which supplies all its energy needs.

Completion of the fifth of 20 planned buildings in the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) , home to more than 80 high-tech companies, including DELL, IBM, Oracle, WIX, Deutsche Telecom, and Incubit.

Completion of the IDFs C4i Campus — the new home for its logistics, cyber defense, air force technology, and Ofek units—next to the ATP.

All dates are estimates and are subject to change. The construction of additional buildings and campus features, including the Civil and Environmental Engineering Building, the Nano-Fabrication Facility, the Forum, and the Convention and Cultural Center, will commence when BGU secures the required funds.



BGU seeks a visionary investor to name the North Campus and help us lay the foundation for structural change. By enabling us to build the physical infrastructure that leverages our core strengths and strategic partnerships, this investor can realize large-scale impact for Beer-Sheva, the Negev, and the future of Israel. We also seek partners for the following capital investments, which are critical to the North Campus vision:


The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Building Research wing of the CEE Building Teaching wing of the CEE Building CEE Building Visitor’s Center CEE Building Auditorium CEE Building Green Roof CEE Building Green Wall Convention Center Convention Center Concert Hall Convention Center Visitor’s Center Student Village Single dormitory building The Forum Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology Center for Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles Research

Future-Technologies Cleanroom Complex Electro-Optics Research Center Remote-Sensing Facility Future-Technologies Microscopy Unit Future-Technologies Auditorium Future-Technologies Dry Laboratory Complex Future-Technologies Wet Laboratory Complex Nano-Fabrication Facility Computer Science Student Center Computer Science Auditorium Computer Science Industry Collaboration Center Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Food Court Greenhouses Zoological and Ecological Gardens



By allowing for funds to be deployed where and when we see the most need, unrestricted gifts provide the most flexibility and have the potential for enormous impact. Gifts in the following amounts provided to support overall North Campus construction will be recognized on the relevant stone pillars or walls on the Marcus Family Campus. They will also be listed on the BGU website and in associated print media.

President’s Pillars

$5 million + $1 million +

Ben-Gurion Society

Negev Society

$100,000 +


$50,000 +

In addition, supporters who wish to make BGU a part of their legacy through planned giving can become members of the Living Legacy Society, whose names are inscribed on a wall in the Marcus Campus’ Living Legacy Garden.

Note: There are also opportunities for the naming of individual classrooms, laboratories, and cleanrooms; apartments and shared balconies in the Student Village; and lobby plaques for general recognition of the support for specific buildings. Interested donors should contact the Resource Development Department or their local BGU association for more information.



$500 million* Total budget for construction

62 Acres (25 hectares) Size of the North Campus, which will double BGU’s footprint in Beer-Sheva

+16 projects , including three buildings dedicated to advanced technology, a center for student entrepreneurship, and the largest conference hall in the Negev

˜385,000 sq. feet (35,767 sq. meters) Additional space for research and education


+ 1000 Number of short-term construction jobs created by the North Campus project

1,500-4,500 IDF students studying in BGU’s advanced technology programs within the next 8 years

˜60 New faculty recruited to BGU’s advanced technology programs, each of whom creates his or her own research group and applies for research funding

50% Increase in number of student employees in Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park

$7-10 million Additional annual investment in BGU research from the Government of Israel

$25-30 million Additional annual income for the university**

* This and all following amounts are provided in U.S. dollars. ** Based on an estimate of an additional 3,000 students within the next 8 years. All monetary figures are estimates based on current sums and growth projections.



Pres. Daniel Chamovitz , the first American-born president of an Israeli university, decided to pursue an academic career in biology while on a trip to the Negev’s Kibbutz Ketura after high school. As president of BGU, he has set three main goals, outlined in BGU’s Strategic Plan: the recruitment of top-notch researchers; the reimagination of the University into interdisciplinary entities that promote goal-oriented research; and the fulfillment of David Ben-Gurion’s vision for Beer-Sheva, of which the North Campus is a critical part. He invites you to join him in helping that vision take shape.



“We are committed to being a university that provides a world-class education while having a social conscience, and we remain dedicated to developing the ecosystems of Beer Sheva and the Negev.”

—Prof. Daniel Chamovitz, president of BGU


2023 Design, Jen Klor | Printing, Maor Wallach, Jerusalem Photographer: Dani Machlis


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