A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in the United Arab Emirates was signed on September 12. The signing ceremony, which was held virtually, took place in the presence of Weizmann Institute President Prof. Alon Chen and His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, member of the Federal Cabinet, and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees. A delegation headed by President Chen is expected to travel to Abu Dhabi next week to finalize the details of the MoU and discuss its implementation.
The MoU was made possible by the recent agreement for normalization in relations between Israel and the UAE that will be signed in Washington, DC, later this week.
The MoU covers a range of opportunities for collaboration between Weizmann and MBZUAI, including student and postdoctoral fellow 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.
The collaboration will advance the Weizmann Institute’s flagship project, the Artificial Intelligence Enterprise for Scientific Discovery, which will build on the Institute’s prominence in mathematics and computer science, and which is meant to activate the potential of AI to speed knowledge acquisition in data-heavy endeavors like biomedicine, environmental research, chemistry, and astrophysics.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and is noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences. The Institute’s graduate school offers master’s and doctoral degrees across five faculties. Institute scientists are advancing research on the human brain, AI, computer science and encryption, astrophysics, and particle physics; investigating diseases such as cancer; addressing climate change through environmental, ocean, and plant sciences; and more.
The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, established in 2019, is a graduate-level, research-based academic institution located in Abu Dhabi. Named for the UAE crown prince, the University is part of a broader national strategy to make the UAE a leader in AI. MBZUAI offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing.
His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber says, “As a pioneering university, MBZUAI seeks 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.”
Prof. Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, states: “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 an extension of the power and intricacy of the human brain into the digital realm; the implications will be vast, affecting our lives, 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.”
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. The Institute’s 3,800-strong scientific community engages in research addressing crucial problems in medicine and health, energy, technology, agriculture, and the environment. Outstanding young scientists from around the world pursue advanced degrees at the Weizmann Institute’s Feinberg Graduate School. The discoveries and theories of Weizmann Institute scientists have had a major impact on the wider scientific community, as well as on the quality of life of millions of people worldwide.