Tag: Collaborations

TAU Launches Manufacturing Research Center in India

Initiative will promote cutting-edge research with applications in biomedicine, space, defense, and more.

Tel Aviv University and Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (TIET) in India have agreed to jointly build a collaborative research establishment to explore advanced production technologies.

The Future of Cutting-Edge Production

The new Thapar-Tel Aviv University Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing will draw knowledge from multidisciplinary teams from TAU and TIET with expertise in all fields of engineering and sciences. As such, it aims to promote cutting-edge research with industry applications in disciplines including biomedicine, automotives, space and defense.

TAU Vice President for International Collaboration Prof. Milette Shamir and Prof. Prakash Gopalan, Director of TIET, on April 4 signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding at TIET’s main campus in Patiala, India, in the presence of Mr R R Vederah, Chairman of TIET’s Board of Governors.

Speaking at the signing, Prof. Shamir said “TIET is an important partner for TAU in India and the new Center will bring cooperation between our two universities to a new level.” Noting that 2022 marks 30 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and India, she added that “academia plays a special role in the bilateral relationship. Through the advancement of knowledge, bridges are built between students and researchers that can generate substantial benefits for both countries.”

Expanding Existing Partnership

As part of the agreement, TIET has committed to establish a TAU Chair Professorship who will lead the Center. Prof. Noam Eliaz, the founding Chair of TAU’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering is due to serve as the new Center’s inaugural chair professor.

“I’m excited and proud to be chosen by Thapar University as TAU’s representative to serve as the new chair professor and take part in establishing one of six centers of excellence for advanced production technologies, including 3D printing and unprecedented resource investment,” he said. He added that he aims to turn the Center into a leader in its field in India and in the world.

The new Center expands the existing partnership between TAU and TIET, which includes initiatives such as the TAU-TIET Food Security Center of Excellence headed by Prof. Yossi Shacham, along with joint degree programs in life sciences and engineering, and other forms of academic cooperation.

Featured image: TAU Vice President of International Collaboration Prof. Milette Shamir (front left) and Prof. Prakash Gopalanat (front right), Director of the Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, at the April 4 signing ceremony in Patiala, India

First Israeli Research Book Published in Abu Dhabi

The work was issued by the UAE’s largest public research institute.

For the first time since the signing of the Abraham Accords, an Israeli research book was published in Abu Dhabi. The UAE’s largest public research institute, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, has published Zionism in Arab Discourse by TAU’s Prof. Uriya Shavit and Dr. Ofir Winter from the Institute for National Security Studies, INSS. Translated into Arabic at the initiative of Dr. Rami Abd el-Hai Kabil, a lecturer of modern Hebrew literature in Sohag University, Egypt, this is the first Israeli research book to be published in the UAE.

Prof. Uriya Shavit is Head of the Religious Studies Program and The Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, both at The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Ofir Winter is a researcher at the INSS. 

Models for Inspiration

Initially published in Hebrew in 2013 by HaKibbutz HaMeuchad Publishing House and in English in 2016 by the Manchester University Press, the book has aroused considerable interest. Its main thesis is that, alongside animosity towards Zionism and Israel, quite a number of Arab thinkers since the end of the 19th century, including members of the Muslim Brothers, have regarded various aspects of the Zionist enterprise as models which the Arab world should also adopt. 

Arab texts that are mentioned in the book value a range of Zionist qualities, such as Israeli democracy, the figures of Herzl and Ben Gurion, the status of women in Israeli society, the revival of the Hebrew language, relations between Israel and the Jewish diaspora, and the achievements of Israeli science and academia.

Prof. Shavit and Dr. Winter: “In the book’s final chapter we wrote that Israelis can and should note the strengths identified by Arab thinkers – for example, the widely accepted notion that Israel’s democracy and rule of law can serve as a commendable model. We are very glad and proud that readers of Arabic will now be exposed to our book. In one sense, the very fact that it has been translated, under the auspices of the Abraham Accords, confirms our thesis – that the Arab world’s stance toward Israel is more multidimensional than what is commonly assumed.” 


The book’s cover. Its webpage on the website of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research can be viewed here

First Anniversary of Morocco-USA-Israel Agreement

TAU hosted celebration one year after the signing of the Tripartite Agreement.

Tel Aviv University hosted a celebration of the first anniversary of the signing of the Tripartite Agreement between Morocco, USA and Israel. The event was attended by Mr. Abderrahim Beyyoudh, Head of the Liaison Office of the Kingdom of Morocco to the State of Israel; Amos Elad, Vice President for Resource Development, Tel Aviv University; Prof. Milette Shamir, Vice President for International Academic Collaboration, Tel Aviv University and representatives from the U.S. Embassy. The Israeli Andalusian Orchestra performed at the event.

Special Breakthrough in Ties with Northern Africa

Prof. Milette Shamir, Vice President for International Academic Collaboration, Tel Aviv University: “Exactly a year ago, Morocco and Israel opened a new chapter in their long and complex relations. This new chapter brings to the forefront diplomatic, economic, and technological cooperation, and it is one in which universities in Israel and Morocco can play a lead role. We at TAU see great potential in promoting academic collaboration with Moroccan universities including through students exchange. In fact, next month we will be inaugurating a new scholarship fund intended to support talented young Moroccans who want to come study at Tel Aviv University”.

Prof. Uzi Rabi, Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies: “Morocco is a very unique country in the African and Middle Eastern landscape. Morocco had non-formal relations with Israel throughout the years, but the tripartite agreements are a remarkable achievement, which mark a special breakthrough in the ties with Northern Africa. Morocco and Israel are single minded in the belief that there is a need for a change in the Middle East. This conference is an indication that a cooperation can be achieved in various fields.


Mr. Abderrahim Beyyoudh and the The Israeli Andalusian Orchestra

Mr. Abderrahim Beyyoudh, Head of the Liaison Office of the Kingdom of Morocco to the State of Israel: “The Morocco-Israel-USA agreement has indeed laid the foundations for the resumption of Moroccan-Israeli bilateral relations, and triggered an all-out development of cultural, socio-economic and human ties.  This dynamic, which is reflected in a myriad of cooperation agreements and initiatives of economic operators and civil society, draws its strength from secular relations and the attachment of the Jewish community of Moroccan origin to the Kingdom and to the person of HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful.

The tripartite agreement also reaffirmed the importance of promoting a more peaceful and prosperous future in the Middle East on the basis of a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis. This important component reflects the constant commitment of HM King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al Quds Committee, in favor of the Palestinian cause and for peace and stability in the region.” 

Featured image: From left to right: Abdel Allali, Amos Elad, Mr. Abderrahim Beyyoudh and Prof. Milette Shamir (Ofer Amram, Tel Aviv University)

TAU and Goethe University Establish Joint Center for Interfaith Studies

First-of-its-kind academic collaboration between Israel and Germany.

Academic collaboration between Israel and Germany is growing, and for the first time, Tel Aviv University in Israel and Goethe University in Frankfurt will establish a joint center. With a focus on interfaith studies, the center will promote research on religion, in particular the monotheistic faiths – a field in which both institutions specialize. The two universities will conduct joint research, hold academic conferences, and train students and researchers in this field.

The agreement for launching the new center was signed during a dedicated “Germany Week” organized at TAU by TAU International and the Student Union of Tel Aviv University, the first is a series of international events led by TAU International and the TAU Student Union, promoting internationality and a global campus by focusing on the cultures of different countries and bringing them to the TAU community.

The signing was attended by the German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat, and the President of Goethe University, Prof. Enrico Schleiff.

“Tel Aviv university has a wide network of collaboration with German universities, more than with any other country in Europe,” says Prof. Milette Shamir, TAU’s VP in charge of international academic collaboration. 

“This collaboration includes hundreds of joint research projects as well as hundreds of German students who come to our campus each year. The joint center expands this collaboration in an important new direction and tightens our existing partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt, one of the leading universities in Germany. We hope that in the near future the two universities will expand collaboration to several other areas of common strength.”


German TAU Students celebrating the International “Germany Week” on Tel Aviv University campus (Photo: Raphael Ben-Menashe)

The Start of an Even Closer Cooperation

Prof. Menachem Fisch, who heads the initiative at TAU says, “I am thrilled to be part of the establishment of a unique, first-of-its-kind center for the study of the monotheistic faiths and their mutual development. This is a worthy initiative, and one more building block in the academic collaboration between the two countries.”

Prof. Enrico Schleiff, President of Goethe University notes that, ”What we are agreeing upon today is, as far as I am aware, unprecedented – at least in the humanities in Germany.” 

“It is not merely a formal cooperation between a German and an Israeli university, but rather the development of a highly visible, joint institutionalized international research center. The center is cross-departmental on both sides and working in an area of study that is most relevant to the German and the Israeli society alike: the history of and the present challenges in religious diversity, difference and conflict in pluralistic societies. It will focus on questions regarding inter-religious dialogue, religious fundamentalism and conflict, but also on the rich cultural heritage and the potential inherent in religious traditions. This center is the start of an even closer cooperation.”

Susanne Wasum-Rainer, Germany’s Ambassador to Israel says, “Academic exchange and cooperation is not only a constitutive pillar of German-Israeli relations. It is also a contribution to strengthening research and scientific progress as a global endeavor, in science as well as in the humanities. By declaring their will to establish a joint Center for the Study of Religious and Interreligious Dynamics, the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and the Tel Aviv University address one of the urgent questions of our time, the role of religious communities in a changing and conflictual world.

“This MOU marks a new milestone in the special relationship between the two universities and is also another bridge of understanding between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv. The new center will for sure contribute to a better inter-religious dialogue from different angles and perspectives,” concludes Uwe Becker, President of the German Friends Association of Tel Aviv University

TAU Ventures Raises $50M to Boost Israeli Startups

Israel’s first university investment arm leverages academic power to enrich startup ecosystem.

Tel Aviv University’s own investment arm, TAU Ventures, recently announced that it has secured $50 million for a new fund to invest in startups, with the potential to top-up to $70 million. According to Prof. Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University, “TAU Ventures provide entrepreneurs with a platform for significant opportunities in innovation and extends the power of academia beyond the campus boundaries.”

TAU is consistently ranked as a top university producing entrepreneurs, its alumni ranked 5th globally and 8th in the world for entrepreneurship. The fund intends to invest in 15 to 25 companies founded by Israeli entrepreneurs, and – as part of TAU Ventures’ mandate – all the companies will be run by at least one TAU alumnus/a or TAU student.

Combining Forces between Academia and Industry

Housed in the Miles S. Nadal Home for Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship, TAU Ventures invest much more than money in their portfolio companies, creating value for entrepreneurs by offering unique TAU resources, including: 

  • A Global Network – High-quality and sizeable network across the globe
  • Expert Knowledge – Connecting entrepreneurs with relevant sources of knowledge across campus
  • Man Power – In shape of TAU students who are interested in either joining the startups as interns (for which they earn credits for their studies) or as full time workers
  • Free Office Space – In close proximity to the TAU Venture team, who are comfortably seated in a 1000m² offices near the campus.

“It enables students to integrate practical experience with leading startups during their studies, and at the same time, it enables entrepreneurs to enjoy the diverse qualities of the campus,” says Prof. Porat.

“I’m happy about the given trust of the investors in TAU Ventures and I’m sure that combining forces between academia and industry will provide in the near future significant technological achievements that will benefit the entrepreneurs, the university and society at large.” 

TAU Takes Leading Role in Early Stage Investments

TAU Ventures was established in 2018 by Managing Partner, Nimrod Cohen, together with Tel Aviv University, with the interest in taking a leading role in early stage investments across a wide range of sectors (fintech, foodtech, drones, etc.) in Israel. This is part of a successful trend in the United States of leading universities including MIT, Berkeley & Stanford establishing venture investment arms. 

“Many investors prefer to operate in A or post-seed stages, as they would rather see a product that has already reached the market. We are covering the critical early stage, enabling new companies to emerge,” says Cohen.

Israel’s first university investment arm has proven to be a huge success: TAU Ventures’ first fund of $20 million began in 2018 and made 18 investments including: SWIMM, Xtend, Gaviti, MyAir, Castor, Medorion and more. The first fund IRR is in the top 10% compared to all US funds from the same size and vintage.

All investors from the previous fund have now reinvested in the current fund. Both funds were led by Chartered Group, which brings together leading entities from Japan, plus new investors, including Family Offices in the US, Canada and Europe.

Featured image: TAU Ventures Team, clockwise: Inbal Perlman, Jennifer Schwartz, Ella Iwler and Nimrod Cohen

Tel Aviv University and Rutgers University Strengthen Ties

Latest move to boost TAU’s global presence includes US-Israel tech exchange.

Tel Aviv University and Rutgers University have inked a deal to enhance the existing partnership between the two universities and establish a TAU presence at the New Jersey Innovation & Technology Hub. The Hub— an over 50,000-m², $665 million project—will house a new Rutgers Translational Research facility for applying scholarly findings into practical applications, and the university’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Amplifying Existing Alliance

The agreement between the two universities comes amid a wave of new initiatives aimed at strengthening Tel Aviv University’s global ties. Other recent strides include a new dual master’s degree program with Johns Hopkins University and TAU’s launch of Israel’s first completely online MBA.

TAU and Rutgers University have previously collaborated on projects, including a monthly series of joint scientific symposia exploring research topics such as COVID-19, cybersecurity, gene therapy, nanomaterials, and ancient and modern identities in Yemen. The new agreement will amplify the universities’ alliance by establishing a research grant program to seed what are expected to be enduring collaborations across disciplines between Rutgers and TAU.

The grant program will provide seed funding for up to five collaborative research projects, each with two principal investigators—one from Rutgers and one from TAU—as determined by a selection committee.

No Limit to the Power of Partnerships

TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat and Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway signed the agreement in a ceremony last week at the Tel Aviv campus. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined the ceremony virtually.

The partnership between the two universities began in 2020 with a trip by a New Jersey business delegation to Israel to strengthen economic ties and deepen connections between the two nations. The latest agreement signing was a part of this year’s mission sponsored by Choose New Jersey, a nonprofit organization that helps companies and corporations expand their business into the US and New Jersey.

“I traveled to Tel Aviv to sign this memorandum of understanding in person because this is an important initiative that reflects Rutgers’ commitment to excellence and our recognition that there is no limit to the power of partnerships,” Holloway said. “Our growing partnership will advance educational and scientific exchanges that will not only benefit our students and faculty but our local economies and the people in our communities.”

Porat added, “TAU and Rutgers share the strategic goals of enhancing research through global collaboration and of strengthening the ties between academia and industry.”

Featured image: TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat and Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway at the signing ceremony on TAU campus 

Feeling at Home in Tanzania

Six TAU students who volunteer with Engineers Without Borders tell us about their project in Tanzania, where they are working to provide clean drinking water for local communities.

TAU students Yaeli Benovich, Shir Halevi, Sharon Berkovich, Dvir Ginzburg, Offir Inbar and Shir Aviram volunteer with the Engineers Without Borders – Tel Aviv (EWB-TA) chapter, and recently returned to Israel after a three-week delegation to Tanzania. The EWB team has been working for eight years at the Babati district in northern Tanzania, helping the locals develop sustainable solutions for making drinking water accessible to the local communities.

The students have installed unique low-cost rainwater harvesting systems in eight regional schools. The systems purify and conserve rain water during dry seasons and provide drinking water for thousands of students annually. During the recent trip, the group returned to two elementary schools and one high school to do maintenance and upgrades on existing systems. They also met with local authorities to discuss further development and expansion plans. 

– How did this specific project within the EWB organization come into existence?

“The Tanzania project started after an Israeli traveler was exposed to the medical problems and daily difficulties facing children and residents in the villages. In the Northern part of Tanzania, drinking water is scarce, and, when found, contains an extremely high concentration of fluoride. High fluoride concentration in drinking water causes severe medical issues, especially in children, such as skeletal deformities, dental problems, and more,” explains Dvir, a PhD student from Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Egineering and a long-time program volunteer.

– What solution(s) did you come up with?

“We developed a unique low-tech rainwater harvesting system that can be easily installed and implemented in regional schools, providing clean drinking water for more than 3,000 children. The solution is simple and sustainable. With proper use, the school’s roof can store enough water to meet the needs of the children and staff throughout the dry season. Filters and chlorine tablets ensure that the children drink clean water,” shares Dvir. 

The EWB team also partnered with the local Arusha Technical College engineering department to perform quarterly water quality testing and maintenance of the systems. During the last visit, the team returned to the College to discuss current collaborations, the College’s projects and further cooperation and directions for joint research.

In addition to developing the water purification systems, EWB students put a lot of effort into educating schoolchildren about the importance of consuming clean water. “We come to the schools and build the systems together with teachers and students. Our vision is that the principal and staff will be responsible for maintaining the system. For this purpose, we have written a system manual in English and Swahili and performed technical training for the staff,” says Sharon, a BSc student of TAU’s Faculty of  Exact Sciences and Faculty of Engineering.


The team builds the water systems together with the schools’ staff and students

The group also presented the schoolchildren with a colorful book that explains the importance of clean water and shows how to maintain the installed water systems. The students wrote the book themselves and had it translated into Swahili. At each school they visited, the team presented the teachers with the book, and organized an educational activity with the children, reading together and discussing the importance of clean drinking water in the tanks.

The team teaches local students about the importance of drinking clean water

What’s Next?

The team held dozens of meetings with village leaders, district heads, local water authorities and members of the parliament. “We want to cooperate with the water authorities to reach the areas with the most significant water challenges. The water engineers have told us which areas lack large water projects. We hope that we’ll have the resources and that’s where we’ll be heading next,” says Sharon.

“We’re determined to expand our activity, and are already preparing our next journey. Our recent trip to Tanzania highlighted the great impact that our projects have for the locals. In our upcoming delegation, we’ll upgrade the water systems in selected areas and execute additional projects in other areas where people are suffering from a lack of access to clean water,” concludes Dvir.

The students have warm feelings about the country and its people: “We feel at home in Tanzania. Over the past few years, we have built close friendships with the community. We stay in touch via phone calls and messages, even when we’re back in Israel,” says Sharon with a smile.


Meeting with the directors of the water authorities

Companies and people interested in contributing and partnering with the project are invited to contact the team: ewb.il.tanzania@gmail.com 

Website: www.ewbta.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/afria-engineers-without-borders-tel-aviv

Featured image: Dr. Musa Chacha, Rector of Arusha Technical College, visits the water projects

Britain and Israel Team Up on Challenge of Healthy Ageing

British-Israeli research partnership contributes £1.6 Million to research collaboration.

A new collaboration between Israel and the UK aims to promote joint research projects related to ageing. As part of this collaboration, Tel Aviv University recently held a hybrid conference on the multidisciplinary aspects of ageing research. Furthermore, a new £1.6 million (7 million) grant program was launched for funding collaborations between Israeli and British researchers in the field of ageing research and the call for proposals is now open. 

Israel and the UK are sharing knowledge in many fields, and according to Prof. Karen Avraham, Vice Dean for Pre-Clinical Affairs of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Chair of the conference from TAU, gerontology is one of the most important among them. The conference is the harbinger of collaboration between Israel and other progressive western countries around these topics, and Prof. Avraham believes we will see more such conferences in the future.

Quality of Life in Old Age

The conference, which dealt with the multidisciplinary aspects of ageing research, among them: molecular ageing, social ageing, age-dependent diseases and interventions and life quality, constitutes a fruitful joint initiative of the Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange (BIRAX) partnership, Tel Aviv University, the British Council in Israel and the UK Embassy. It is the 5th BIRAX conference since its launch 10 years ago.

“I am happy and excited for the unique opportunity given to us, leading researchers from Israel and the UK, to share our knowledge arm in arm. The pandemic has made it clear how old age can be precarious and forlorn, and I hope that gerontological and geriatric topics will gain more public awareness. In a world in which our lifespan is getting longer and longer, we shall make sure that life quality will be conserved also in old age, and we are here to discuss that,” said Prof. Karen Avraham. Prof. Avraham has, among else, developed an innovative treatment for deafness, a novel therapy that could lead to a breakthrough in treating children born with various mutations that eventually cause deafness.

One of the World’s Great Challenges

Among the participants of the conference were the British Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Neil Wigan OBE, Chairman of the British Council, Mrs. Stevie Spring CBE, and Lord Robert Winston of Hammersmith, along with leading researchers from Israeli and British universities.


Ambassador Neil Wigen and TAU’s Dr. Mira Marcus-Kalish


Ambassador Neil Wigan, said: “Scientific collaboration between the UK and Israel is one of our most important fields, and we are working to expand it dramatically in the future. It’s always exciting to see the groundbreaking research proposals coming out of BIRAX – in ageing research and other academic areas – that have real potential to impact the future of us all”.

“Over the decade of its existence, BIRAX has promoted UK-Israel scientific collaboration allowing both countries to complement each other’s strengths in research, science and medicine. The British Council is proud to be enabling both countries to join forces on one of the world’s great challenges – healthy ageing,” added Stevie Spring CBE.


Conference participants

Featured image: Photo (from left to right): TAU Governor and benefactor Mr. Sami Sagol, British Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Neil Wigan and Prof. Karen Avraham at the conference.

Meet the New Academic Power Couple

Johns Hopkins SAIS and Tel Aviv University launch cooperative degree program.

Tel-Aviv University (TAU), Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) have partnered to launch a cooperative degree program.

Two Master Degrees in Two Years

This two-year program will enable students to earn a Master of Arts in International Affairs at SAIS Europe, the school’s European campus located in Bologna, Italy, and a Master of Arts at Tel Aviv University International (TAUi) in one of the following English-led degree programs: Conflict Resolution and MediationCyber Politics and GovernmentDeveloping Countries, and Security and Diplomacy. All programs share a similar intent: To focus on current 21st century global challenges and offer ways of mitigating and solving them. Students in this two-year program spend one year at each campus and can choose to begin their studies in either Bologna or Tel Aviv.

SAIS Europe Director, Michael Plummer says “the new cooperative degree with Tel Aviv University provides students the opportunity to experience two distinct academic, social, and cultural environments, to develop a global perspective, and to better understand the challenges facing Europe and the Middle East. It is an excellent opportunity for students interested in a multidisciplinary, international tool-based graduate education in international affairs.”

“The Faculty holds an important role and duty of making current, updated and precise knowledge available to its students and researchers around the world. Our agenda is to train and equip the students with knowledge and experience to enable them to improve our society and help create a better world. We are proud and excited to launch a collaboration with the Bologna branch of Johns Hopkins University,” adds TAU Social Sciences Faculty Dean, Prof. Itai Sened.

An Experience of Growth and Non-stop Discovery

TAU International (TAUi) is host to nearly 3,000 international students from across the globe each year. Its 60 English-led academic programs are designed to empower its graduates through academic excellence, diverse experience, and non-stop discovery. 

“We offer our students at TAU International the chance to experience of growth and non-stop discovery on many levels. The collaboration between academic research and policy-making giants like TAU and Johns Hopkins, will surely be a leap for any student who seeks to reach new heights in search of today’s seemingly unsolvable global challenges,” says Orit Coty Marketing Director of Tel Aviv University International.

Make the most of your Master’s and become a true leader in policy making and world development by participating in the cooperative program between Johns Hopkins and Tel Aviv University. Applications for 2022-2023 will open soon and end in February 2022.

On Nov 17th, 2021 at 11am (Israel time) there will be a hybrid information session for prospective students with Prof. Itai Sened, along with Daniela Coleman, who is the Director of Admissions at SAIS Europe, and the program coordinators at TAU. They will be talking about the MA program, Daniela will describe the Bologna part of the experience, and all will answer questions. The in-person event will be held at the Faculty of Law Trobovich Building, Room 204, and there is also a Zoom registration link for those who won’t be able to attend live. 

For more information on registration to TAU’s international programs, visit international.tau.ac.il

Featured image: International students enjoying the beautiful Tel Aviv University campus

TAU Launches Cutting-Edge Center for Innovation Labs

Center to cooperate with industry veterans to develop innovative solutions to real-world issues.

Tel Aviv University is launching the Center for Innovation Laboratories. The center will join forces with industry along the goal of advancing groundbreaking research with potential applicability within a period of 3-7 years from the moment the research begins. At this stage, the center comprises six laboratories, with additional laboratories under construction. The goal of the labs is to adapt research to the needs of society, industry and public institutions.

Research in Consultation with Industry Experts

For the first time in Israeli academia, the choice of research topics will be made in consultation with industry and public bodies (e.g. hospitals) that will present the needs on the ground to the heads of the laboratories, who will try to provide a comprehensive scientific and innovative solution within a few years’ time. For example, if the industry describes a demand for the development of unique photographic technology for medical diagnosis purposes, or a need to monitor offensive content in information transmitted online, the researchers will try to provide an appropriate solution based on unique artificial intelligence methods.

The model of this applied research is different from traditional basic research, which focuses on the interests of the researcher, without necessarily thinking about immediate needs. At the same time, however, while the center will focus on the applicable aspect of the research, this will not detract from the outstanding basic research that is taking place at the university. This fundamental research has been and will remain the bulk of the university’s scientific research. Furthermore, faculty members at the new center will continue to be an integral part of their “mother” faculties.

A Multidisciplinary Endeavor

In its multi-year vision, Tel Aviv University has defined three main elements: strengthening its international component, encouraging multidisciplinarity, and bolstering its relationships with knowledge-intensive industry and society. In this context, the new center will promote the university’s vision and act as a channel through which these three tracks will flow.

Unlike basic research, which traditionally focuses on one discipline, research at the new center will bring together experts from a wide range of disciplines. The Automated Justice Laboratory, for instance, will deal with areas in which the market and academia rarely engage, such as systems for improving democracy – handling fake news and the relationship between the government and the citizens. This lab will house people from various disciplines, including legal scholars, psychologists, software engineers, media specialists, political scientists, smart cities researchers and designers. A multidisciplinary approach is required and the research will have potential applicability within a period of 3-7 years.

Unconventional Approach to IP Rights

The center’s financial approach is based on the industry taking on a significant part of the funding of the research, in a format that involves “club membership” that confers product development rights.

The center also applies unconventional thinking when it comes to property rights. According to the new model, all players, including the university, the researchers, and industry partners, will receive the rights to use the research products. These rights will be under a non-exclusive and non-transferable license. This unique model will accelerate the application of academic innovation to the sphere of action and will overcome one of the most significant obstacles in commercialization of worth academic innovations.

These six labs will be kicking off this exciting journey:

  • Genetic Reproduction: Biology, Medicine, Engineering (Prof. Noam Shomron)
  • The Human Robot: Animal, Man, Machine (Dr. Goren Gordon)
  • Urban Science: Sustainability, Environment, Food (Prof. Tali Hatuka)
  • Computational Economics: Information, Intelligence and Economics (Prof. Michal Feldman)
  • Mechanized Justice: Law, Information, Intelligence (Prof. Omri Yadlin)
  • Act-Play-Game (Dr. Sharon Aronson-Lehavi)

 “This unique center redefines the interface between academia and industry,” says Director of the Center, Prof. David Mendlovic of the Fleischman Faculty of Engineering

“The academic freedom to create and innovate on the one hand, and the desire for research that has practical applicability on the other, has led to a center that brings together innovation labs dealing with a variety of topics and actors such as industry, hospitals and government agencies. Our unique commercial and funding model and our selection of unconventional innovation labs is leading to the close engagement of the center’s partners that will relay the academic innovation to those who will implement it. I am proud to be part of a university that is responsible for such an initiative.” 

Featured image: Dr. Goren Gordon (right) with a student in the Human Robot: Animal, Man, Machine Lab.

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