Twelve researchers at Rutgers University and Tel Aviv University (TAU) will receive a combined $200,000 in seed grants to further collaborative projects.
Announced Sept. 21 by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), the awards will benefit six partnerships through the TAU – Rutgers University Research Collaboration Fund to support projects across a broad spectrum of areas, including genomics, agriculture, neurology, quantum computing and computer science.
The Fund was established in 2021 to foster international collaboration between the two institutions.
“Israel has always been a formidable partner in our efforts to reclaim New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation and harnessing the synergy between the Garden State and the Startup Nation brings us closer to that goal,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “The funding announced today will help us support academic researchers in high-wage, high-growth sectors as they bring their projects from infancy through commercialization.”
The funding can be used for research activities, travel expenses or per diem allowances for faculty or full-time enrolled students, and for scholarships for students.
The awardees include:
- Gophna–Severinov: Assessing the True Ecological Roles of CRISPR-Cas Systems to Advance Gene Editing
- Friedman-van der Wel: Understanding Slow and Smooth Movements in Parkinson’s Disease
- Fridman-Burlion: Development of Time Delay Software Technology to Power Systems
- Goldstein-Andrei: Kondo Systems and Quantum Computing
- Ohad-Lawton: Study of innate immunity of plant pathogens: implications for agriculture
- Zimmerman-Kovacs: Metaphysics of Personhood
The announcement builds on joint efforts between TAU and Rutgers. Last year, the universities signed an agreement to further their collaboration and to have TAU establish a presence at the forthcoming $665 million New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub. Based in New Brunswick, the space will be home to the new Rutgers Translational Research facility and the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
“From Selman Waksman’s development of streptomycin, that supercharged the global effort to combat tuberculosis in the 1940s, to the invention just two-and-a-half years ago of the saliva-based COVID-19 test that helped to guide the world through the pandemic, Rutgers has long been leveraging collaboration to spur technological progress with academic partners around the globe. These new projects follow in that academic research tradition,” said Rutgers University Senior Vice President for Research Michael Zwick.
“Fostering collaboration between our researchers and their American counterparts is key to furthering innovation and is a tremendous mechanism for driving economic activity,” said TAU President Ariel Porat. “These joint grants are another example of how Gov. Murphy and New Jersey continue to be steadfast allies as we seek to grow our presence in the United States.”
The awards also build on the already strong ties between New Jersey and Israel. According to data released earlier this year by the NJEDA, the annual New Jersey-Israel trade was valued at $1.55 billion in 2021.
“Increasing access to seed grant funding for researchers statewide is paramount to growing our innovation economy and has been a priority for Gov. Murphy since his very first days in office,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “New Jersey and Israel share a long history of collaboration and the awards announced today will spur new partnership opportunities between researchers at two of the world’s top universities. This, in turn, will lead to long-term economic growth.”