The University of Toronto and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are celebrating a groundbreaking alliance in research and student entrepreneurship. An event on March 18, featuring Hebrew University President Asher Cohen, U of T President Meric Gertler, and other prominent leaders from both communities, kicked off a $15 million fundraising campaign for the Alliance across Canada, Israel and beyond.
The University of Toronto – Hebrew University of Jerusalem Research & Innovation Alliance is built around two programs. The first enables joint research efforts in the sciences or humanities with financial support for four-year studies and one-time seeded projects. The second program supports an “International Entrepreneurship Highway” in which students from Jerusalem travel to Toronto, and vice versa, to work as paid interns at startups while also studying and receiving mentorship at centres for entrepreneurship at both universities.
In their remarks, both university presidents expressed excitement for the Alliance and admiration for their partner institution. “This Alliance is an opportunity to advance excellence in our combined research and academia,” said President Cohen. “Key to this collaboration is our shared expertise and strength in innovation and entrepreneurship, represented at the Hebrew University by the Asper-HUJI Innovate Center, another example of Canadian support.
For his part, President Gertler said U of T is delighted to have such a distinguished partner that counts eight Nobel Prize winners among its many achievements and a list of founders that includes such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Martin Buber and Sigmund Freud. President Gertler also noted that the launch event came roughly one year after the official declaration of a worldwide pandemic. “The crisis has reminded us that our greatest challenges, from public health to climate change, are global in scope,” he said. “Responding to these challenges requires collaboration among our brightest minds, transcending disciplines and borders.”
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