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Innovation in education and research is the future of Indo-Israel relations

When you think of Israel, you think of innovation and technology. Israel is a hotbed of hi-tech activity, and an entrepreneurial powerhouse with an unparalleled startup ecosystem of over 6000 active startups backed by profitable business opportunities, and high investment returns.

This culture of innovation is driven by Israel’s higher-education system. Similarly, Indians contribute greatly to innovation and research on home ground and the world over, backed by their strong theoretical knowledge. Both India and Israel are countries that are growth-oriented and hold an exceptional spirit of hard work and perseverance that makes them beacons of innovation.

Growing Indo-Israel partnership
As India and Israel celebrate 30-years of diplomatic ties, the two young, startup-oriented economies, present several challenges. While for Israel the challenges stem from its unique yet challenging geographical position, for India they stem out of the vast geographical diversity. Over the years, the countries have developed robust strategic and technological partnerships such as the comprehensive cooperation agreement for the agriculture sector, which enters its fifth phase, multi-level collaborations between Israeli universities and Indian Institutes of Eminence (IoEs), the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, and the $40m India-Israel Industrial R&D and Innovation Fund (i4F). Between 2020 and 2021, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $4.14bn – showcasing the positive impact that Indo-Israel bilateral relations have on the growth of both countries.

Research ties
Both India and Israel, have their research-intensive universities at their heart - where innovation takes place and exemplary minds are at work. This research is fundamental to community and global welfare across all sectors, and in meeting tomorrow’s challenges in medicine, healthcare, cyber security, AI and machine learning, and sustainable development.

Today, the two countries support education, skill-enhancement, and R&D in multiple formats. The MoU on Operational Collaboration on Cyber Security encourages skill development and simulator-based hands-on training, while the MoU for cooperation across space exploration between the ‘Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology’ and ‘The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology’ seeks to form a joint working group for research, education, and training in Space-tech. India and Israel will work even closer to combat environmental challenges as Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is set to launch an agricultural research institute in Chennai, India, in partnership with the Indian company Aban Offshore.

These are some examples of the extensive cooperation in research education between India and Israel, a cooperation that keeps expanding as more HEIs identify global problems that could be successfully addressed and mitigated through joint research.

Theroad ahead
While government, industry, innovation, and technological collaborations have made the Indo-Israel relationship an economic success, it is the partnership in the education sector that will set the tone for all future advancements. Israeli academia has an abundance of capabilities to offer India, and there is a lot more left to explore through cooperation and collaboration.

Yoseph Mekori