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Announcing Our Newest Global Research Seminar: The High Tech Nation (Israel)

August 12, 2021

GRS Fall 2021

We are pleased to announce an exciting new Global Research Seminar (GRS) taught by Professor Gideon Parchomovsky (Robert G. Fuller, Jr. Professor of Law) and Dr. Muhammad Sarahne (SJD’20). This course will meet weekly throughout the Fall 2021 semester. During the Spring break in March 2022, all members of the seminar will participate in a week-long research trip to Israel. The GRS offers students an engaging classroom experience, an opportunity to do field-based legal research on an issue of critical global importance, and the chance to forge meaningful relationships with their seminar cohort and faculty. Past GRS participants have developed publishable research papers, made valuable networking connections, and deepened their understanding of cutting-edge issues in the law. There are no prerequisites for this class. Questions? Contact international@law.upenn.edu

Course Description

Despite the fact that Israel’s population is only 0.12% of the world’s population, it is ranked 1st in the world in expenditures on research and development (R&D), has the 2nd largest number of companies on Nasdaq (after China), and it’s high tech economy is ranked 3rd in the world (after the U.S. and U.K.). In 2020, the high tech sector employed roughly 10% of Israel’s workforce, yet it was responsible for 25% of the country’s income. It is hard to overstate the importance of the high-tech industry on Israel’s economic growth. In 1984, Israel’s GDP per capita was $6870; In 2020, it was $43,688. In 2020, high tech export totaled $57 billion, representing 52% of the country’s export. In the seminar, we will try to understand the reasons behind the success of Israel’s high tech industry. We will discuss the economic and legal drivers of the high tech industry with a special emphasis on intellectual property law. We will also analyze how innovation affects the present and future of Israel, including its impact on different segments of Israeli society. The goal of the seminar will be to identify the characteristics of Israel’s high tech sector and analyze whether they can be transported to other countries. Participants will be required to write a paper about an innovation domain of their choice - software applications, agrotechnology, clean-tech, bio-med, etc. and explain how it can be implemented in their own country.

Schedule Commitments

The course will meet weekly on Thursdays (1:15-2:50) during the Fall 2021 semester. The class will spend the week of March 5-12, 2022 in Israel meeting with industry leaders, attorneys, scholars, and other experts in order to obtain in-depth and up-to-date understanding of the tech sector. Students must arrive by March 5/6 and depart on March 12/13. There will be no exceptions for late arrivals or early departures.

Transportation Costs, Trip Fees, and Financial Aid

Students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation to/from Israel. In addition to airfare, students will be charged a $900 program fee (for accommodations, in-country transportation and other programmatic expenses.) The trip fee assumes double occupancy accommodations. Some meals and cultural excursions will be covered by the program fees, but students will be expected to cover additional meals, sightseeing activities, and incidental expenses. Penn Law will provide partial or full financial aid to qualifying students. Students are also able to increase their loans to cover costs associated with this trip. After enrollment is determined, students seeking financial aid will be asked to provide a separate letter explaining the basis for their need. Financial aid decisions will be made before the end of the drop/add period.

How to Apply

This class is open to 2L, 3L, and LLM students; there are no pre-requisites for enrolling in the seminar. The application deadline is Wednesday, August 25. In order to be considered for the seminar, students must follow the instructions provided via the online form below. Applicants must submit a short personal statement (of no more than 350 words) describing their reasons for wanting to take this class and their interest in the topic together with a resume and unofficial transcript. As noted previously, only students who are able to be a part of the March research trip should apply.

Application Instructions