page hero
lead icon

Advancing Technology

Science for the Future of Technology

In 1954, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers built Israel’s first computer—one of the first in the world. In the ‘70s, a Weizmann cryptographer co-developed the algorithm that makes today’s online transactions secure. Recently, an Institute scientist created a DNA-based biological computer so tiny that a trillion can fit in a drop of water. These milestones are more than Institute achievements; they’re a time line of technology’s evolution. Weizmann scientists also developed the technology behind light-sensitive eyeglasses and windshields; are working toward next-generation computers via quantum electronics; creating artificial vision and image-recognition systems; and are using technology to improve security, such as a program that safety-checks complex systems ranging from nuclear reactors to spacecraft.

Weizmann by the Numbers

  • In 1954, we built the first computer in Israel – one of the first in the world
  • We used DNA to create the world’s smallest computer: one trillion fit in one drop of water
  • Shafi Goldwasser: second woman in history and third Weizmann scientist to win the Turing Award

Selected Achievements

Imagine a microscopic biological computer able to find, diagnose, and treat disease in the human body.

A Weizmann scientist invented the world’s smallest computer. Built from DNA, about a trillion can fit in a single drop of water. The device has successfully identified signs of cancer, even releasing a cancer-fighting treatment.

Imagine science that guarantees privacy online.

A Weizmann mathematician and MIT colleagues invented ways to encrypt and decrypt information, creating the RSA algorithm. In addition to laying the foundation of Internet privacy, RSA is used worldwide for financial and governmental online security.

Imagine science that uses AI to diagnose heart disease.

Weizmann and NYU scientists collaborated on a technology that interprets echocardiogram (EKG) images of the heart as accurately as trained personnel. This method, based on artificial intelligence (AI), means that EKGs can be used more widely—such as in developing countries—thus saving lives.

Imagine science that builds computers out of atoms.

The quantum computers of tomorrow will be exponentially faster than today's electronic models. Our pioneering breakthroughs include the world's first quantum logic gates and photonic router–major building blocks for next-generation computers.

Imagine science that helps space shuttles and nuclear power stations operate safely.

A Weizmann scientist invented a computer language that aids in the development of sophisticated, complex systems such as those used in aircraft, space shuttles, and nuclear power stations.

Imagine science that gives computers vision.

Working with partners like Microsoft, our scientists are blending technology and biology to help computers “see,” with applications in medical imaging, robotics, healthcare, tracking seismic activity, and security.

Imagine science that transforms materials between states.

Eyeglasses, sunglasses, and vehicle windshields that darken when bright light falls on them are now-common products that were developed following the discovery of photochromism in a Weizmann lab.

Imagine science so productive that it produces around two new patents every week.

For the past five years, the Institute’s technology transfer arm, Yeda Research and Development Company, Ltd., has been ranked among the top five university license income earners in the world and holds Israel’s largest portfolio of patents.

Imagine science inventing a computer that would power the high-tech economy of a nation.

In 1954, Weizmann Institute scientists designed and built WEIZAC–the first computer in Israel and one of the first in the world.

Imagine science that wins three Turing Awards, the world’s highest distinction in computer science.

Three Weizmann scientists have received the A.M. Turing Award, regarded as the “Nobel Prize of computer science”: Prof. Amir Pnueli in 1996; Prof. Adi Shamir in 2003; and Prof. Shafrira Goldwasser in 2013. She is only the third woman in history to win.