Rutgers University and Tel Aviv University (TAU) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in mid-November 2021 that will further the collaboration between the two research universities and establish a presence by TAU at the NJ Innovation & Technology Hub, a 550,000-square-foot, $665 million project in New Brunswick, N.J. The Hub will be home to a new Rutgers Translational Research facility and the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
The MOU was signed in Tel Aviv, Israel, by Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and Ariel Porat, president of TAU. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joined the ceremony virtually.
“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.
Rutgers and TAU have previously collaborated on projects, including a monthly series of joint scientific symposia exploring research topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, drug discovery, cybersecurity, gene therapy, nanomaterials and ancient and modern identities in Yemen. The MOU 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.
“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,” added Holloway.
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. The selection committee will consist of members from each institution, including Rutgers Senior Vice President for Research Michael E. Zwick and TAU Vice President for Research and Development Dan Peer.
According to Porat, “TAU and Rutgers share the strategic goals of enhancing research through global collaboration and of strengthening the ties between academia and industry.” He added that the new agreement “will also help expand the cooperation between TAU and the New Jersey innovation ecosystem.”
“Over the years, New Jersey and Israel have enjoyed close cultural, academic and economic ties, and this new collaboration between two of our leading institutions – Rutgers University and Tel Aviv University – will help strengthen that connection,” said Murphy. “We look forward to seeing how students and faculty from both institutions will advance research and collaboration through this exciting partnership, as well as welcoming Tel Aviv University to the NJ Innovation & Technology Hub.”
The partnership between the universities began in 2020 with a trip by a New Jersey business delegation to Israel, organized by Choose New Jersey – a nonprofit organization that helps companies and corporations expand their business into the United States and New Jersey – to strengthen economic ties and deepen connections between the two nations. The MOU signing was a part of this year’s mission sponsored by Choose New Jersey.
“We are thrilled that TAU will have a presence in New Jersey at The Hub in New Brunswick,” said Jose Lozano, president and CEO of Choose New Jersey. “The Hub is an extraordinary facility that will serve as New Jersey’s epicenter for discovery with Rutgers University at the helm. This partnership to advance research showcases global interest in our state’s thriving innovation ecosystem and strengthens academic and economic ties between New Jersey and Israel.”
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766, the university is the eighth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 66,000 students and 23,600 faculty and staff learn, work and serve the public at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers University-Newark, Rutgers University-Camden, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
Tel Aviv University, Israel’s largest and most comprehensive institution of higher learning, is home to more than 30,000 students studying in nine faculties and over 125 schools and departments across the spectrum of sciences, humanities, and the arts.