BOG 2023: Prof. Amnon Shashua Awarded Ramniceanu Prize in Economics
Tel Aviv University awarded the presigious 2023 Hugo Ramniceanu Prize in Economics to entrepreneur and scientist Prof. Amnon Shashua in a lively ceremony during the University’s annual Board of Governors meeting. The Ramniceanu Prize, created by the late businessman and founder of the TAU French Friends Association Hugo Ramniceanu, recognizes economic achievements which benefit the State of Israel and its people. Ramniceanu had an ambitious vision for the Israeli economy, to which Prof. Shashua has contributed greatly through technological advancements and philanthropy.
The Prize was presented by Dr. Monique Barel, daughter of Hugo Ramniceanu, whose moving words on her father as well as her late husband highlighted the significance of Prof. Shashua's work.
Driving Israel’s Future
Prof. Shashua, a TAU alumnus, is the CEO and founder of Mobileye. The driver-assist and autonomous-driving technology company is known as one of Israel’s biggest high-tech successes, with its $15.3 billion acquisition by Intel in 2017 being the largest ever for an Israeli tech company. He also runs several other AI-based businesses and is a professor at Hebrew University, and has won the prestigious Israel Prize, the Dan David Prize, and a place in the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Prof. Shashua told the ceremony attendees, "It is a great honor to be a part of a special group of people who have received the Ramniceanu award. The artificial intelligence revolution will have a greater impact than any other development the human race has yet encountered. I believe that Israel has the ability to lead it".
Toward Social Equality in High-Tech
Prof. Shashua believes strongly in making a career in tech accessible to all. He, his wife Anat their and three children have given generously to causes that promote economic opportunity and movement toward high-tech among Israel’s underrepresented populations, including institutes and scholarships at Tel Aviv University. During the Covid-19 epidemic, they founded the Center for Social Solidarity which assisted startup businesses during lockdown.
In keeping with these values, Prof. Shashua pledged his winnings to Meduyakot (or ExactSHE), a TAU mentorship program for women in the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences. The Program aims to raise the number of women in all exact science fields and includes workshops on dealing with challenges facing women in a male-dominated environment, open communication between female students and professors, and a supportive network of academic peers and mentors.
Said the Prize Committee at Tel Aviv University, "Prof. Amnon Shashua, in parallel to his academic and business activity, makes sure to share his success with other communities in the State of Israel. The Committee found Prof. Shashua worthy of the Prize for his global impact on vehicle safety and applied artificial intelligence, his commitment to supporting Israeli entrepreneurship and small businesses, and his philanthropy toward social causes."
Two TAU students at the ceremony were also awarded the Hugo and Valerie Ramniceanu Scholarship in Economics to help support them during their studies.