BGU's Vice-President of Regional Development Prof. Dan Blumberg signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hanyang University and Konkuk University on Wednesday, capping a four-day visit to the South Korean capital as part of a delegation led by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
President Rivlin concluded the trip saying the visit had been a valuable opportunity to build connections on a common point of strength for both nations: Eduation.
“For both South Korea, and Israel learning, education, and excellence are the highest goal. For both people, education lies at the heart of every family's dream. For both people, education is the key for social and economic mobility. It is the power that drives forward not only individuals, but also the entire nation. Korean diligence and academic achievements have become a model for the entire world."
“The key to our global connections, in Israel and in Korea, lies in higher education. Higher education is the key to mutual understanding, to universal solidarity to prosperity and peace. That is because science is blind to color, to nationality, to gender or to race," the president added.
"BGU's MOU focuses on academic partnerships in various fields of research, student and staff exchange programs and prospects for technology transfer," commented Prof. Limor Aharonson-Daniel, BGU's VP for Global Engagement.
BGU's MOU focuses on academic partnerships and exchange programs in the fields of research education and tecnology transfer; informal discussions about future collaborative projects included a wide array of subjects including information technology research, agriculture, space travel, medicine and the humanities.
"It's a terrific honor to accompany President Rivlin on such an exciting trip, both in my role as VP of Regional Development and also representing BGNegev, our technology transfer company. Israel and South Korea share many qualities – both countries achieved independence in 1948, both countries place a premium on education, both countries are trying to 'punch above their weight' in terms of producing groundbreaking science research and innovation. All of which means the potential for collaboration between BGU and South Korea is virtually unlimited," Prof. Blumberg said. "We are developing personal and professional connections here that are the seeds of future discoveries and developments."
In addition to President Rivlin's state visit, Prof. Blumberg and Dr. Shimrit Maman, laboratory director at BGU's Earth and Planetary Image Facility (EPIF) , were also invited to deliver a series of lectures to South Korean government and academic groups as part of the UN-SPIDER delegation to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute's (KARI)space training program on the topic of The Use of Remote Sensing Technologies in Disaster Relief.
Dr. Maman added, "It is certainly gratifying that the president asked us to join the delegation, but I'm proud to say that it is only one aspect of our current visit here. In addition to the UN-SPIDER lectures, in the last week Prof. Blumberg and I have held meetings this week with senior officials from South Korean's Ministry of Science and Technology MSIT, the Ministry of Interior MOIST and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs MOFA, the National Space Information Center and the National Disaster Management Research Center.
“We were also invited by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to represent Israel's space research and the particular advances we have made at Ben-Gurion University. Their interest in our research and interest in working together is the best evidence we could hope for that our work is having an impact on the international stage. I'm confident this visit will be just the first stage in a productive working relationship with BGU."
The Jewish Voice