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UMBC and Tel Aviv University meet to sign academic collaboration agreement

UMBC and Tel Aviv University recently signed an academic agreement to formalize a collaboration between the two institutions for the next five years. The memorandum of understanding establishes the framework for joint research and academic exchange opportunities for the students, faculty and staff at each location. It will also allow the two universities to exchange academic information and publications.

The agreement was inked during a trip to Israel, the place where Tel Aviv is stationed, by Antonio Moreira, the vice provost for academic affairs at UMBC and the vice president at Tel Aviv University, Raanan Rein. Also in attendance at the signing, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was present during the signing of the memorandum as part of a week-long trade mission intended to promote economic development.

According to Hogan, “Expanding our global footprint is an integral part of our state’s future success… Maryland has a great deal to offer and Israel is the perfect partner.” In addition to his statement concerning the overall trade mission, Hogan had nothing but praise for the signing of the agreement. “I am proud to join UMBC and Tel Aviv University for the signing of this historic agreement, which will ensure that Maryland remains at the forefront of the research community and will further strengthen Maryland’s academic bond with Israel.”

This is not the first time UMBC and Tel Aviv University joined academic powers before; UMBC faculty members have collaborated with Tel Aviv University in the past for individual projects and exchanges. Yoni Zohar, professor and chair of the department of marine biotechnology at UMBC, is currently spending time at Tel Aviv University as part of his sabbatical, according to Maryland state officials.

“UMBC is excited to sign this memorandum of understanding with Tel Aviv University, a top research institution in the world,” said Moreira in one statement. According to him, “This partnership will advance research and provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students to participate in exchanges and important academic collaborations.”

In accordance with the high hopes and opportunistic attitude of the signing of the memorandum, Rein said in a statement that the two universities “have many similarities and mutual research interests” and that the two institutions also share the same values. Rein also claims that the academic agreement between Tel Aviv University and UMBC “should serve as a springboard for joint academic initiatives.”

Currently, UMBC leads the collaborative Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research, a six-year-old National Science Foundation center, which has [historically] included five other U.S. universities working to address computational challenges. Recently, the NSF approved Tel Aviv University as the first international research partner site for the Center, setting the stage for additional collaborative activities.

In one of Hogan’s statements concerning the signing of the memorandum, he said, “Like Maryland, Israel values the importance of investing in higher education and developing partnerships to accelerate the groundbreaking research coming out of our universities.”