Forging relations: Josep Samitier accompanies president of Catalonia on Israel mission

IBEC director Josep Samitier is one of 20 scientists who have accompanied President Artur Mas on his official visit to Israel.

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The delegates, who also include researchers from CRG and ICFO, are taking part in the visit to forge research alliances between Catalunya and Israel, which are almost neck-and-neck when it comes to research output in Science and Nature, with over 30 publications per million inhabitants as compared to Germany which has only 22. Both countries have also attracted similar levels of funding under FP7.

The delegation will visit the Israel government and four major universities in the country: the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the Technion and the Weizmann Institute of Science, not only to discuss possible collaborations but also to do some ‘fact-finding’. They’ll be trying to identify why Israel, at the same size, has been so much more successful when it comes to start-ups and employment rate, and to learn about the country’s effective technology transfer protocols.

The visit will culminate in the signing of a colaboration agreement between Catalonia and Israel to invest in research exchange programmes and training, including as entrepreneurship, business creation and innovation programmes for postdocs.

“I’ve been very impressed by the organization and management of knowledge transfer at Weitzmann and the Hebrew University,” said Josep yesterday. “At IBEC, transforming our cutting-edge research into new services and medical products will be one of our main challenges in the next few years.”

>> IBEC in the Media: this story was covered in Ara this weekend.