A high-level group of Ontario leaders visiting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv this week inked a number of agreements worth over $100 million.
The Ontario Business Mission to Israel, which arrived May 15, included Ontario’s premier, Kathleen Wynne, its minister of health, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and its minister of research and innovation, Reza Moridi. The group met with Israeli leaders in business and technology to encourage ties between Ontario and Israel, especially in the fields of cybersecurity, financial services, and information and communications technology.
At a ceremony at Tel Aviv University on May 16, Israeli and Ontario business leaders signed 18 new agreements and partnerships worth $87 million. Groups represented included incubators and accelerators, science education institutions, and green technology, medical technology, transportation and cybersecurity companies.
“Innovative Israeli companies are already capitalizing on Ontario’s research and development strengths by establishing operations in our province,” Wynne said.
Two Ontario universities – McMaster University and York University – signed memoranda of understanding with Tel Aviv University. McMaster and Tel Aviv University will conduct joint supervision of doctorate students and encourage internship opportunities between the two schools, and York University will renew a five-year agreement to collaborate on seminars, research projects and conferences.
Wynne attended a cybersecurity event in Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli technology experts, start-ups and venture capitalists. Canada is the third-largest international market for security start-ups. The US is by far the largest market, followed by Israel, Canada, the UK, Germany and China.
In Jerusalem, the delegation met with the Innovation Roundtable at the Hebrew University, which signed collaboration agreements with several Ontario institutions, including an agreement valued at $5 million with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
Premier Wynne met with Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson to sign new partnership agreements worth $20 million. The accords include $10 million in joint funding for a new industry-academic collaborations, and $10 million in joint funding for industry projects over the next five years through the Ontario-Israel Collaboration Program.
Wynne is also meeting former Israeli president Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ontario has the largest population of any province in Canada, with 13.8 million residents, and accounts for 37% of Canada’s GDP. IBM, Dell, Teva, DuPont, Honda and other major companies all have operations in Ontario.