India and Israel Launch Joint Academic Research Program
New Delhi, 2 August, 2012: In yet another academic boost to Indo-Israeli ties, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between the University Grants Commission of India (UGC) and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), launching the “India-Israel Joint Research Program”. This three year program aims to bring together Indian and Israeli scientists and researchers to carry forward together academic research in areas of mutual interest. The program was initiated during the recent visit of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to Israel, during his meeting with Israel's Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Israel's Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar and Israel's Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. Both sides perceive this program as one of the key components of the 20 years celebration of full diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The India-Israel Joint Research Program will support collaborative academic research projects between Indian and Israeli researchers, focusing on a broad disciplinary scope, including life sciences and medicine, technologies, social sciences, humanities and arts. The program will also advance joint scientific conventions on various fields. Israeli and Indian academic teams that wish to conduct joint research should submit a joint application to their respective funding agencies. Support would be up to USD 100,000 per research for a period of three years.
The signing of the MoU concluded a two day seminar that took place in New Delhi, in which delegations of senior academic leaders from India and Israel participated. UGC Chairman, Prof. Ved Prakash, headed the Indian Delegation, while ISF Chairman, Prof. Benjamin Geiger, led a 5 member delegation from Israel. The forum provided a platform for leading institutes from both countries to exhibit their academic skills and to forge new ties by entering into strategic partnership with their counterparts.
After the signing ceremony, Ambassador of Israel to India, Mr. Alon Ushpiz said: “Both Israel and India host some of the most cutting edge academic institutions in the world, and the linking of our researchers together comes only naturally. Joint academic research between Israeli and Indian scientists serves as the core platform of our intensive cooperation in agriculture technologies, high tech, clean tech and much more. This is an indispensable layer in keeping Israel and India at the forefront of the world’s scientific and technological R&D and innovation”.