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Green peace: Israeli, Moroccan companies collaborating to fight climate change through local universities

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Peace between Israel and Morocco going to new heights as manufacturing companies in the two countries are joining forces to support sustainability programs at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

By ILANIT CHERNICK

Peace between Israel and Morocco is going to new heights as manufacturing companies in the two countries are joining forces to support sustainability programs at Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P).

This week, Morocco’s Chemical manufacturing company, the OCP Group and Israel’s ICL Group, which focuses on developing solutions “for sustainability challenges” in global food, agriculture, and industrial markets, signed a memorandum of understanding.

The two groups will offer scholarships to promote research and academic excellence through supporting sustainability at the two universities in Israel and Morocco.

“This support will enable both universities to formalize scientific collaboration through the promotion of exchange opportunities for academic and professional staff and students,” BGU said in a statement.

“This partnership revolves around numerous fields of cooperation that impact the future of the world and its inhabitants: Food Security, Ecological Restoration, Climate Smart Agriculture, Water, Climate Change, Remote Sensing, Renewable Energies, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and Hospitality sector,” BGU explained. 

Explaining the importance of this partnership BGU president Daniel Chamovitz emphasized that the two universities “have much in common.” 

“From their desert settings to their focus on applied research and innovative teaching methods, the two universities are well suited to collaborate on projects in sustainability and climate change,” he said. “Both universities are committed to thriving in the desert in a ‘green’ environment, and both look outward – focused on helping our regions, countries and the world.”

Adding to this, UM6P president Hicham El Habti said that they are “very confident that our partnership with Ben-Gurion University, one of Israel’s leading research universities and among the world leaders in sustainability and many other fields of great interest to UM6P, will make major, actionable contributions to our research agenda.” 

“There are many synergies between our two institutions and a shared vision that innovation at the forefront of science and technology is vital to the future of the planet,” El Habti emphasized. 

According to the chairman and CEO of OCP, Mostafa Terrab, the group believes that “the best way to support sustainability and to move from research to impact, is to sponsor world-class research collaboration at institutions such as the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and Ben-Gurion University.” 

“Investing in this research with strategic partners such as the ICL Group is key to ensuring that the concrete, science-based solutions that emerge from this research program will go to scale, and help feed the world, sustainably,” he added.

ICL president and CEO Raviv Zoller stressed that the “positive developments in Israel’s foreign relations have opened up possibilities for us to build new relationships and create new collaborations.”
“ICL is thrilled to be taking this historic step forward with OCP to advance sustainability research and support our local universities in their efforts to make a difference in their communities and beyond,” he explained. “Joining forces – to share decades of experience and knowledge – is key to developing innovative research and development solutions to address the world’s sustainability challenges.”

BGU made it clear that “this partnership will enable scientific and technical experts from the two institutions to consult and collaborate on Sustainability initiatives, and to construct together an agenda of joint lectures, seminars, workshops and symposia.”

Concluding, Chamovitz said that they “are grateful that ICL and OCP have joined our vision of tackling the world’s greatest crisis through supporting scholarships for graduate students who will carry out critical research for the future of our world.”

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