In October 2017, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), the University of Arizona (UA) and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) launched a program to engage in joint research projects focusing 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.
“Israel is among the leaders in the world in bringing that kind of technology to the marketplace,” observed Bruce Wright, associate vice president of UA’s Tech Park Arizona at the Bridges in Tucson. “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.”
UA and the state of Arizona might receive royalties for the technology produced, and the partnership could connect students with prospective employers, as well as bring a number of jobs to the state. The hope is that collaborative research will produce commercial products. “We can then help move those products and either license them to an existing company or to a start-up company and help that company through the business-development process,” Wright said.
Another aim of the partnership is to help Israeli companies access U.S. markets and talent without selling out to large U.S. firms. “A priority of the Israeli government is to retain their companies, but also give them market access,” Wright said. “So that’s really why our program has gotten some attention, some traction, because it’s speaking to the next generation of Israeli technology companies.”
Source: Jeff Kronenfeld, “University of Arizona partners with Israel, Mexico on technology research,” Jewish News, (October 25, 2017).