The mission of the Grand Water Research Institute (GWRI) is to advance by research and development the science, technology, engineering, and management of water, through inter-disciplinary research and development and dissemination of information, with emphasis on the issues and problems facing Israel's water sector.
Located at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, the GWRI operates with a broad national perspective and remains Israel's leading institute of water research. It fosters interdisciplinary work, and encourages collaboration of Israeli researchers from all universities and agencies. The GWRI also seeks to establish collaborative projects with other countries, particularly with Israel's neighbors in the Middle East.
The GWRI was established in 1993. It has currently 70 members: 61 professors in 7 academic departments of the Technion and 9 professors from other Israeli universities. The Institute is managed by a Director Prof. Avi (Abraham) Shaviv, under the guidance of a Management Committee, whose members are the Vice President for Research of the Technion, the Deans of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Food Engineering & Biotechnology, two elected researchers, and the Director. An International Science Advisory Committee (ISAC) advises the GWRI on its research policy and programs. Its members are prominent water experts, from Israel and from abroad. The GWRI also has a Research Committee and a Committee for Equipment.
The GWRI is supported by funds from the American Technion Society, and a philanthropic foundation located in Israel. An agreement was reached in May 2001 with Stephen and Nancy Grand from Detroit through the ATS for a major naming gift and the Water Research Institute (WRI) was named The Stephen and Nancy Grand Water Research Institute (GWRI). The Technion carries the GWRI's indirect costs, including salaries of staff for that part of the time they devote to the research projects, some support staff, and the infrastructure provided for the research projects. The Technion also provides the GWRI with a special allocation for scholarships, post-docs, visiting scholars and for workshops and meetings.
The national perspective of the GWRI expresses itself in the participation of investigators from various disciplines, in different institutions, in its projects. The GWRI admits a certain number of professors from other Israeli universities as members, and among the Research Committee's five members there are two from outside the Technion.
Another national dimension of the GWRI is its contacts with the Water Commission, Mekorot Water Company, and other national agencies, to consider the research needs as perceived by the managers and planners of Israel's water sector and to cooperate in meeting these needs.