Dan Shechtman

Dan Shechtman

Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University, USA, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

BREAKING THE WALL TO A START-UP NATION. How Technological Entrepreneurship Saves Economies With Limited Natural Resources

When Dan Shechtman became a full professor at Technion in 1986 and initiated a new class on technological entrepreneurship, the word “start up” – which became a mantra after the dot-com boom – was not that fashionable yet. Even today, entrepreneurship education is not fully explored in business schools, where students rather learn about maintaining a company than about bringing a good idea to a profitable realisation. From today’s perspective, it is not surprising that Shechtman’s unique programme became one of the most attended courses at Technion and that by now, the class was visited by more than 10,000 engineers and scientists. Shechtman’s research as a chemist, which was led mostly during his sabbatical years, opened the new science of quasiperiodic crystals and explored several other subjects, earning him recognitions such as the Wolf Prize in Physics, the Gregori Aminoff Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the EMRS Award and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011. To Dan Shechtman, technological entrepreneurship is more relevant than ever, having turned Israel from a country with scarce natural resources to a powerhouse of innovation. At Falling Walls, Shechtman, a pioneer of an entrepreneurial revolution that changed the face of a country, explains how the fostering of strong national start up cultures, science education and supportive policies can help developing countries to economic growth and prosperity.