The biggest and most ambitious fundraising campaign ever by an Israeli university has kicked off in Haifa on Monday.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology announced the launch of a main part of a global £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion), ten-year fundraising campaign to support “world-changing, life-saving innovation” and better prepare for the digital revolution.

It follows the “soft launch” of the fund in October 2014, during which time the institution has surprised itself by raising 40 percent of the $1.8 billion.

The university said the “unprecedented” fundraising effort would conclude in 2024, the centennial of the first Technion class, and would be put to use in sectors such as the environment, alternative energy, water conservation, health and medicine, artificial intelligence, quantum science, engineering and “advancing Israeli security”.

Describing the campaign as “truly global,” Technion president Professor Peretz Lavie said the Haifa-based university would work with partners in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and France.

“It will result in global benefits, such as better quality in soil, water, and air, sources for clean and renewable energy, engineering aid to developing countries, advancing breakthroughs in fighting cancer, and more,” he said.

Donors have given more than $2.5 billion for Technion since 1940 and Jeffrey Richard of the American Technion Society said: “It is important they understand just how far their money goes.”

The money will in part pay for fellowships and other student support, faculty recruitment and retention, research infrastructure, and capital projects.