Gov. Bruce Rauner will lead a delegation to Israel next week to explore opportunities for expanded business and research ties to the “Start-Up Nation,” the moniker used to describe Israel’s remarkable economic advances through technological innovation.
The trip builds out of the governor’s announcement last week that the University of Illinois System will launch the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in Chicago and the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN) by creating research partnerships with world-class universities here and abroad. U of I President Tim Killeen is joining the Israeli trade mission. He and the governor will meet with officials at four Israeli universities: Technion, Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv and Hebrew.
“We hope to establish research partnerships that augment the work U of I System universities will do at the Discovery Partners Institute,” the governor said. “We also want to make our plans known to companies in Israel so they consider investments in our initiatives and in our state.”
“Our meetings in Israel are a critical first step toward creating new relationships for DPI, and for the U of I System’s three best-in-class universities,” Killeen said. “The discussions will build bridges for research collaborations that lead the way to progress, and exchange programs that prepare students to succeed in the increasingly global workplace that awaits them.”
Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Aviv Ezra, who was instrumental in setting the itinerary for the mission, will travel with the delegation.
“We look forward to sharing our expertise as the startup nation with Illinois,” he said. “The future partnerships between the world-renowned universities in Israel and Illinois are sure to produce groundbreaking solutions to world challenges. The projects that emanate from this win-win collaboration will be acknowledged on the world map as revolutionary.”
The delegation from the governor’s office will include the governor, Deputy Gov. Leslie Munger and a staff member. From the University of Illinois, traveling are: Edward Seidel, vice president for Economic Development and Innovation; Andreas Cangellaris, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jeffrey Brown, dean of the College of Business in Urbana-Champaign; Mark Rosenblatt, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Pradeep Khanna, Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate Relations and Economic Development.
The delegation departs for Israel Sunday, Oct. 29, with the state of Illinois group returning on Friday Nov. 3, and the university group returning Saturday, Nov. 4.