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Weizmann signs MoU with Mohamed bin Zayed University


Date: November 11, 2020

Amemorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in the United Arab Emirates was signed in mid-September, on the heels of the recent agreement for normalization in relations between Israel and the UAE signed in Washington, DC, on September 15.

An initial signing ceremony between the two institutions was held virtually on September 12, in the presence of Weizmann President Prof. Alon Chen and His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and member of the Federal Cabinet, and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees. Prof. Chen and other senior Weizmann management will travel to Abu Dhabi to finalize the details of the MoU and discuss its implementation.

The agreement covers a range of opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions, including student and postdoctoral fellow exchange programs, conferences and seminars, various forms of exchange between researchers, sharing of computing resources and the establishment of a joint virtual institute for artificial intelligence.

The partnership will advance the Weizmann Institute’s flagship project, the Artificial Intelligence Enterprise for Scientific Discovery, which will build on the Institute’s prominence in mathematics and computer science, and which is meant to activate the potential of AI to speed knowledge acquisition in data-heavy endeavors like biomedicine, environmental research, chemistry, and astrophysics.

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, established in 2019, is a graduate-level, research-based academic institution located in Abu Dhabi. Named for the UAE crown prince, the University is part of a broader national strategy to make the UAE a leader in artificial intelligence. It offers doctoral and master’s degree programs in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing.

Speaking about the agreement, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, says: “As a pioneering university, MBZUAI seeks partnerships with leaders in their respective fields to further our collective scientific understanding and push the boundaries of technological innovation. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with such a renowned establishment as the Weizmann Institute of Science. Through this MoU we can leverage the expertise of both our institutes towards using artificial intelligence to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change and beyond.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this unique, pioneering institution and to advance the field of artificial intelligence together,” says Prof. Chen. “As a neuroscientist, I believe that AI is an extension of the power and intricacy of the human brain into the digital realm; the implications will be vast, affecting our lives, our health, and the global economy. It is said that science knows no borders. I have every hope this collaboration between scientists in the same region will be a shining example of this expression, and will extend the boundaries of human knowledge.”