As part of a larger effort to strengthen the economic relationship between New Jersey and Israel, New Jersey City University hosted a three-day forum with a delegation led by Israel’s Port of Ashdod.
The forum — titled Innovation and Security in Port Management in Israel and New Jersey — was organized by NJCU’s Guarini Institute for International Education and Economic Mobility and took place June 7-8, according to a June 13 announcement.
The event built upon an economic mission trip to Israel in November 2021, spearheaded by Choose New Jersey and the New Jersey-Israel Commission. During that trip, NJCU and the Port of Ashdod signed a letter of intent aimed at strengthening the economic relationship between the Garden State and Israel, as well as between the Port of Ashdod and NJCU.
Speakers at the forum included:
- U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. (who received an honorary doctorate during NJCU’s 2022 commencement ceremonies)
- Richard Sun, senior policy advisor on transportation to Gov. Phil Murphy
- Erica Brieterman, sector lead for transportation and logistics, NJEDA
- Eugene Shvartsman, vice president and head of government affairs, Cross River
- Sue Henderson, president, NJCU
- Amit Mokashi, associate professor, NJCU School of Business
- Bernard McSherry, founding dean, NJCU School of Business
- Adrian Franco, executive director, NJCU Guarini Institute
The LOI established, among other initiatives, further opportunities for project collaboration and will allow the Port of Ashdod to draw upon NJCU’s expertise in supply chain, logistics and maritime port management.
The most recent visit “strengthens the partnership between the Port of Ashdod and NJCU and creates opportunities for economic development and educational initiatives related to innovation and security in port management and logistics,” Adrian Franco, executive director of NJCU’s Guarini Institute, said in a statement.
Participants included representatives across private, public and academic sectors with a focus on port management, cybersecurity, logistics and supply chain.
The Israeli delegation was composed of senior level representatives of the Port of Ashdod, experts in port security, and executives of six startup companies and their guests. These representatives included Ashdod Port Co. Chief Innovation Officer Roy Avrahami and Tamir Goren, director of strategic program, Technology Unit, Israel National Cyber Directorate.
“The New Jersey-Israel Commission has been incredibly proud to partner with our friends at New Jersey City University and the Port of Ashdod and to think creatively about how we can connect our maritime ecosystems to meet today’s global logistics challenges,” said Andrew Gross, executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “While Ashdod and New Jersey are already connected as ports of call, the journey ahead of us will be to deepen this cooperation as we innovate for the future and create exciting opportunities here at home.”
NJCU’s partners in the forum included Choose New Jersey, New Jersey-Israel Commission, New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Sponsors included Cross River Bank and TechUnited.
“New Jersey is home to the largest seaport on the East Coast and several world-class academic institutions, while Israel is globally recognized for its cutting-edge technology and its top-notch security sector expertise,” said Erica Brieterman, NJEDA’s sector lead for transportation and logistics. “Bringing industry leaders together from the Startup Nation and the State of Innovation in this forum was a productive way to learn from one another and to begin collaborating as we strengthen our ports and our economies. I look forward to continuing conversations with my Israeli counterparts.”