The day began when Gov. DeSantis participated in a historic eight Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signings between Tel Aviv University and six Florida universities and one Florida college. The Governor was joined by representatives from Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Florida Institute of Technology, Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, St. Leo University and the University of Central Florida as they signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Tel Aviv University.
The event also saw Gov. DeSantis receive the Tel Aviv University’s Friendship Award in recognition of his strong relationship with Israel and commitment to strengthening academic collaboration between Florida and Israeli institutions. Florida Cabinet Members Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried were also in attendance.
“Thank you, Tel Aviv University, for your hospitality in hosting today’s event and presenting me with the Friendship Award,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am proud that seven Florida academic institutions are initiating some very exciting opportunities and research collaborations with Tel Aviv University, ranging from emergency management and neuroscience to cultural and student exchanges. Tel Aviv University enjoys a global reputation and I can think of no better way for the best minds in Florida and Israel to come together.”
“It’s a great pleasure to have the Governor of Florida, the third largest state in the United States, as a guest of Tel Aviv University,” said Ariel Porat, President of Tel Aviv University. “Governor DeSantis has set the goal of building a world-class education system in his state, and it is precisely in this area that Tel Aviv University can enhance its presence in Florida and establish closer collaborations with various universities in Florida. I would also like to highlight Governor DeSantis’ strong position against any boycott against Israel in general and Israeli universities in particular. His priorities include water quality and environment; natural disaster recovery and protecting Florida’s most vulnerable populations. In these, as well as other areas, TAU can be a partner of Florida and its universities.”
“We very much appreciate Governor Ron DeSantis’ commitment toward enhancing research and education in Florida and his determined opposition to any boycott of Israeli Universities,” said Professor Raanan Rein, Vice President of Tel Aviv University. “His efforts create an opportunity for a broader and more substantial collaboration between Tel Aviv University and various universities in the State of Florida, in areas such as neuroscience, disaster management, psychology, business and innovation.”
Below is a list of the universities and the college involved in today's signing.
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Tel Aviv University will collaborate on neuroscience research between Florida Atlantic University and Tel Aviv University. This MOU will allow the schools to begin exploring the development of neuroscience research and training activities from molecular genetics studies to behavioral analyses and disease states.
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Tel Aviv University will develop an institution-to-institution relationship to include exchange of scholarship plans of mutual interest, faculty and student exchange, collaboration on research.
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University will pursue faculty and student exchanges, cultural and artistic activities and will seek to collaborate on cooperative research and joint academic seminars.
Florida International University
Florida International University (FIU) and Tel Aviv University will collaborate on two MOUs. The first is a collaborative teaching and research agreement in the field of Emergency and Disaster Management through the Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at FIU.
The second agreement between FIU and Tel Aviv University will include a mental health solutions symposium focused initially on adults with autism through FIU Embrace. FIU Embrace is a comprehensive, integrated care model to provide medical and behavioral healthcare to adults with Autism Spectrum disorder and neurodevelopment disorders.
Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College and Tel Aviv University are signing this MOU to broaden opportunities, enhance mutual academic exchanges and maintain close relationships between the two institutions. Given common academic interests in the areas of business and information technology, the two institutions will develop faculty and student exchange programs, as well as collaborative research and academic seminars.
St. Leo University
St. Leo University and Tel Aviv University will develop a collaborative relationship between both institutions. This includes an exchange of scholarship plans of mutual interest, faculty and student exchange, collaboration on research and potential joint academic seminars.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida and Tel Aviv University will formalize and advance mutual research collaborations regarding blockchain technology applications and to facilitate approaches to accelerate blockchain startups and its application for economic and social benefit in Central Florida, Israel and worldwide.
Gov. DeSantis also announced on Tuesday a collaboration between Florida International University and Tel Aviv University to test child anxiety disorders.
FIU was awarded a $5.2 million research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to test a novel treatment for Child Social Anxiety Disorder. A portion of this amount will be awarded to Yale University, a secondary site in this study. The study is expected to provide a new, effective treatment for an impacted population, addressing a critical unmet mental health need.
“A major goal of this business development mission is to bring academic institutions together to find innovative solutions to issues facing both Florida and Israel,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am proud to announce this collaboration between Florida International University and Tel Aviv University to address child anxiety. This partnership will hopefully lead to the development of additional treatment options for our children.”
“This trip to Israel headed by Governor DeSantis promises to be key in helping us at FIU create and deepen important partnerships in a number of strategic areas,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “For example, FIU researchers are working with colleagues at Tel Aviv University, and in collaboration with researchers at Yale University, to develop innovative ways to treat children and adolescents with anxiety disorders.”