Ben-Gurion University signs research deals with Arizona, Mexico counterparts

Framework will aim to develop joint projects, cooperation in technology transfers and applied research

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Ben-Gurion University campus, August 2014. (Dani Machlis)
Ben-Gurion University campus, August 2014. (Dani Machlis)

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

The agreement was signed during a visit earlier this month by delegations from the two universities to BGU. The accord includes knowledge-sharing and collaboration between BGU’s Advanced Technologies Park (ATP), UA Tech Parks Arizona in Tucson and UNAM’s high-tech initiatives, the Israeli university said in a statement on Sunday.

The framework is meant to encourage innovation in five main areas: developing joint projects, cooperation between the three technology transfer companies of the universities, joint development of applied research, ties to industry, and developing ties between the universities’ high-tech parks and high-tech initiatives.

The three institutions have similar research interests and climates that demand meeting similar challenges, the statement said. The UA Arizona Tech Park is similar to the Advanced Technologies Park in Beersheba, which BGU helped found in partnership with the city.

“This trilateral agreement leverages regional assets and international outposts providing a complementary package of resources to innovators worldwide,” said Bruce Wright, associate vice president at Tech Parks Arizona. “It is part of our Arizona Global Advantage (GA), a strategic business development program designed to attract fast growth technology companies to the Arizona-Sonora Region and was created to foster an economy that is borderless and unconstrained, and dependent upon innovation and the ability to move product to global markets rapidly.”

UNAM was founded in 1910 as the basis of Mexico’s national university, which opened in 1552 and is ranked 122nd in the world on the QS Ranking and among the top 50 in the fields of the arts, soil engineering and geology and archaeology.

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona has two medical schools. The university invests more than $606 million in research each year and ranks 21st among all public universities.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is spearheading Beersheba’s push to become Israel’s cyber capital, where leading multi-national corporations have set up R&D centers. A third of Israel’s engineers graduate from BGU, with that number set to rise as the Israeli army moves to the south of the country and sends its recruits to swell the ranks of BGU’s student body. To accommodate that growth, BGU plans to double the size of its main campus.

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