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BGU Partners With Universities in Arizona and Mexico

BGU Partners With Universities in Arizona and Mexico

October 30, 2017

Leadership, Awards & Events

Jewish News (AZ) – Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), the University of Arizona (UA) and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) have signed a trilateral agreement to cooperate on research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

According to Bruce Wright, associate vice president of UA’s Tech Park Arizona at the Bridges in Tucson, the joint research projects will focus on six technology sectors: arid lands agriculture and water; alternative energy; defense and cyber security; intelligent transportation systems; health care information technologies; and sustainable mining.

Representatives from BGU, the University of Arizona and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México sign the trilateral agreement in Beer-Sheva.

“Israel is among the leaders in the world in bringing that kind of technology to the marketplace,” Wright says.

“As we began to really think about how we could attract these fast-growth technology companies in these areas, we decided to do a concentrated outreach effort to Israel and see if we could offer the UA Tech Park in Tucson as a location for Israeli companies looking to enter the U.S. market.

“We have a similar effort to attract Mexican technology companies and that was the basis for putting the three universities and their research parks together in this effort,” he says.

The partnership includes knowledge sharing and collaboration between Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park, UA’s Tech Park Arizona and UNAM’s high-tech initiatives.

While visiting Israel, UA and UNAM representatives met with BGU researchers and the heads of its major research centers, including the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research.

The trilateral collaboration is made even easier because of regional similarities and cultural connections. Forty percent of Tucson residents are Hispanic, and 25 percent have family ties to Mexico.

As for Israel and Arizona, Wright says, “We’re very similar in terms of climate and topography and all those kinds of things. There is a very large and active Jewish community in Tucson, so there are very strong ties between Israel and Tucson. We actually first got started in this effort in partnership with the America-Israel Friendship League here in Tucson, and we’ve gotten great support from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona in Tucson.”

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