BIRAX – Leading UK-Israel Science Research Collaboration

BIRAX – Leading UK-Israel Science Research Collaboration
13th September 2023 Moriah Aharon

The Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange marks a decade of research collaboration between what have been called two science ‘superpowers’, UK and Israel.

BIRAX is an initiative of former Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould CMG MBE, in which the British-Council led programme partners with a range of funders to support world-class research into some of the most intractable medical challenges of today, focusing on neurodegenerative and age-related diseases. BIRAX exemplifies the remarkable synergy of UK-Israel collaboration in the realm of science, laying the foundation for expanded partnerships.

The Hebrew University continues to be a major partner in these efforts, and has been very successful in winning major bilateral research grants grants over the course of 3 competitive ‘calls for papers’ with the added benefit of building research collaborations and visits between Jerusalem and the most distinguished universities in the UK. These include Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College, Edinburgh, and Manchester.

Since the outset, the British Friends have been actively engaged including funding travel grants for Hebrew University faculty.

“That programme produces fantastic basic scientific research, which could really change lives,” says Neil Wigan (OBE), British Ambassador to Israel 2019-2023. “But it also demonstrates the value of UK – Israel’s science collaboration. That’s something that we hope to do in an even more domain by building on the work of BIRAX”.

“People talk about Israel and the UK, I think quite directly as science superpowers. There is a lot of good work going on, but clearly there’s plenty of scope to expand. That’s what I’m going to be focusing on once I’ve started the job” added Simon Walters (HMA) Designate, British Ambassador to Israel.

Watch insights from both current and former UK Ambassadors to Israel, HMA Designate Simon Walters and Neil Wigan (OBE), as they share their insights on the future and the profound impact they envision for BIRAX. Explore its potential legacy, a foundation to build upon and further develop across various domains.


Learn more about BIRAX at this 5 minute video: