The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will see the two higher education institutes work together across a range of fields, with the aim to advance the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool for progress.
The MoU, which is the first of its kind to be signed between two higher education institutes from the UAE and Israel, covers a range of opportunities for collaboration, including student and postdoctoral fellows 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.
This follows the historic Peace Accord agreement, which establishes full normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel. The diplomatic breakthrough deal will lead to cooperation between the two countries on investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.
The MoU was signed virtually by His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, and Weizmann Institute President Professor Alon Chen, and was attended by officials from Weizmann Institute and MBZUAI.
The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, established in 2019, is the world’s first graduate-level, research-based AI university. Based in Abu Dhabi, the University offers MSc and PhD programs in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing. MBZUAI, expecting its first cohort of students to start in January 2021, is introducing a new model of academia and research to the field of AI, providing students and faculty access to some of the world’s most advanced AI systems to unleash the technology’s full potential for economic and societal development.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and offers masters’ and doctoral-level degrees across five faculties. It is noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences. Institute scientists are advancing research on the human brain, artificial intelligence, computer science and encryption, astrophysics and particle physics. In addition, they are tackling diseases such as cancer, and helping reverse climate change through environmental, ocean, and plant sciences, and more.
The collaboration will advance Weizmann’s flagship project, the Artificial Intelligence Enterprise for Scientific Discovery, which will build on the Institute’s prominence in mathematics and computer science, and activate the potential of AI to speed knowledge acquisition in data-heavy endeavors like biomedicine, environmental research, chemistry, astrophysics, education, and more.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: “As a pioneering university, MBZUAI seeks out 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.”
Professor Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, commented: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this unique, pioneering institution and to advance the field of artificial intelligence together. As a neuroscientist, I believe that AI is the extension of the power and intricacy of the human brain into the digital realm, and the implications will be vast, affecting our lives and 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.”