JERUSALEM (Oct. 31, 2017) — The president of the University of Illinois System today signed a new research partnership agreement with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, one of Israel’s oldest and most prestigious universities. The Memorandum of Understanding is the second signed this week during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s trade and education mission to the State of Israel.
“The arrangement with Hebrew University heralds a new era of potential science and tech gains that will help build our innovation ecosystem and fuel the Illinois economy,” Rauner said following the MOU signing ceremony with U of I System President Tim Killeen and Hebrew University President Asher Cohen.
Hebrew University boasts more than 100 research centers and has 7,000 patents to its credit. Like U of I, Hebrew is consistently ranked among the top universities worldwide, particularly in the arenas of health science, technology and agriculture.
“By fostering cooperation and bringing together the brightest minds from these two accomplished research universities, this collaboration promises economic benefits for Illinois, Israel and elsewhere,” Rauner said.
“Hebrew University is a global leader in producing the workforce and innovation of tomorrow through world-class programs that match many of ours in the University of Illinois System,” Killeen said. “This agreement is an important first step that will build on exchange programs that enhance the student experience and foster the groundbreaking discovery that drives progress and economic growth.”
Hebrew University’s Cohen also noted his enthusiasm for the new agreement, as well as his desire to build greater ties between industry and community.
“We are trying to establish internationalization more than in the past,” Cohen said. “We aim to dramatically increase student exchange programs and advance large-scale research at the university level. Today is one of our first steps to expand these international relationships and hopefully we can build on this partnership.”
Rauner is traveling through Israel this week with Deputy Gov. Leslie Munger, Killeen and several other U of I system officials. The trip builds on the establishment earlier this month of the Illinois Innovation Network and the announced plans for the Discovery Partners Institute, a U of I-led enterprise intent on making Illinois the next major technological innovation hub of the U.S.