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February 16, 2017 1:15 pm

University of California, Israel Sign Agreement Aimed at Fostering Joint Technological Innovation

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Photo: UC Berkeley.

Photo: UC Berkeley.

The University of California system signed a new cooperation agreement with Israel aimed at fostering technological innovation, research and development.

In a statement on Thursday, UC President Janet Napolitano said she is “delighted” to be working with Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority (IIA) as an international partner to “propel the many discoveries and innovations from our campuses, labs and medical centers into world economies.”

IIA Chairman Avi Hasson said the memorandum of understanding with UC is a “great opportunity for bilateral research and developments projects that will combine state of the art technology from the UC system with the capability of Israeli companies.”

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The partnership between the IIA and UC, Hasson said, will bear “economic fruits…[and] will certainly play an instrumental role in helping these companies to increase their competitiveness and accelerate commercial success in global markets.”

Andy David, Israel’s consul general in San Francisco, commented that the agreement is a “yet another important step forward in the ongoing effort to bring Israel and California closer.” The collaboration is a “natural one that can enhance our mutual goal of creating a better world for everyone,” he added.

Israel, according to a recent study, is considered “a preferred collaboration partner for US researchers,” with an increasing number of top tier American universities partnering with Israeli institutions.

The UC-IIA memorandum comes three years after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a broad agreement  to jointly develop projects and conduct research beneficial both to the Jewish state and the state of California.

The agreement focused on boosting economic, cultural and academic ties, emphasizing research and development in the fields of water conservation, cyber-security, alternative energy, education, agricultural technology, health and biotechnology.

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