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March 21, 2013 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-03-21

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March 21 • 2013

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-

he University of Michigan
and Ben-Gurion University of
the Negev in Israel will forge
a research partnership to collaborate
on developing renewable technologies.
A memorandum of understanding
to establish the partnership was signed
March 7 by Stephen Forrest, U-M
vice president for research, and Moti
Herskowitz, BGU vice president and
dean for research and development.
Each university has pledged half of
the $1 million that will jumpstart the
three-year program. At U-M, the fund-
ing is provided by the Office of the
Vice President for Research and the
U-M Energy Institute.
The partnership aims to bring diverse
minds together to solve major chal-
lenges in the areas of advanced vehicle
fuels, solar energy and thermoelectric
materials, which convert heat to elec-
tricity. Beginning this month, collabora-
tive faculty teams can apply for grants
to start projects in one of these three
areas.
"We live in a global economy:'
Forrest said. "Universities need to glo-
balize their activities because we need
to solve problems that are larger than
one country can manage alone. When
faculty at universities from across the
world come together, they bring differ-
ent cultures and different objectives,
and when you mix them, you get a lot
more than just the sum of the parts:'
BGU has been at the forefront of

energy research for more than 30
years, Herskowitz said. The university
has previously hosted a joint workshop
with U-M on renewable energy with
an emphasis on solar energy, liquid
fuels and thermoelectricity.
"We look forward to collaborating
with U-M researchers on the challeng-
ing issues related to renewable energy
and trust that the agreed model of col-
laboration has the potential of generat-
ing novel scientific and technological
information with potential applica-
tions:' Herskowitz said.
The program grew out of Forrest's
visits to Israel over the past five years.
One of his objectives was to examine
the country's well-known entrepre-
neurial culture.
"There's an enormous number of
startups that come out of Israel," he
said. "We have a lot to learn to from
them:'
Forrest expects that solar energy
researchers from Israel, for example,
might approach the problem with
more applied perspective than some
American researchers, and together,
these cultures could make break-
throughs.
Up to six projects will be funded
during the first year. An annual tech-
nical workshop will showcase the
research outcomes.
Globalization of research is a prior-
ity at U-M, which also holds research
agreements with several Chinese insti-
tutions, most notably the Shanghai
Jiao Tong University.



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