Ministers Saar (left), Steinitz with Kapil Si
Ministers Saar (left), Steinitz with Kapil SiMuki Schwartz

India and Israel announced Friday a joint academic cooperation program that will invest up to $10 million in research annually, and is to be funded equally by both countries. The program was announced by India's Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, Kapil Sibal, as well as Israel's Education Minister Gideon Saar and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Prof. Emanuel Trajtenberg, who heads the Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee, co-signed the agreement. The program has no time limit attached to it. It includes the establishment of a joint steering committee that will determine policy, instructions and common channels of action, choose the subjects for research and deal with budgetary aspects.

Minister Saar, who also heads the Council for Higher Education, said: "Academic research  oriented cooperation with India is of strategic value for the state of Israel. This kind of cooperation is a meaningful contribution to strengthening economic and bilateral relations between the countries. The new program, which we agreed upon today, is part of a move that anticipates the future, recognizing India's central place in the new world and working to upgrade ties between the countries. This program joins the cooperation we declared a short time ago, for exchange of excellent doctoral students between Israel, India and China."

Minister Steinitz said that economic cooperation with India has been declared as a strategic national goal by the Finance Ministry. "The fund we are inaugurating today will make a meaningful contribution to our economic ties with India, which is supposed to turn into one of the largest economies in the world in the next few years."

Among the subjects identified for research cooperation are renewable energy; climate and environment sciences; plant sciences and agricultural technologies; computer science, algorithms, robotics, artificial intelligence; marine biology; biomedical research; cyber security; brain research and cognitive science; photonics; communication technology, nanotechnology and more.