Newly-inaugurated UK Ambassador for Israel, H.E. David Quarrey, this week announced three new water research programmes between UK and Israeli scientists, in one of his first initiatives as Ambassador.
Among the new plans is a £200,000 British Council Trilateral Water Scheme to promote joint water research among UK, Israeli, and other Middle Eastern scholars. Another new opportunity is the UK-Israel Researcher Links Fellowships in water science, while the third is the UK-Israel Science and Innovation Lectureship Grants in water science and agriscience, among other fields.
The Ambassador launched the new collaborative science programmes just nine days after assuming his post, conducting visits to both Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute the same day.
Ambassador Quarrey said: “I’m delighted that UK scientists will now be able to deepen their cooperation in water research with Israeli counterparts”.
He added: “The work of Israeli research institutions like Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute, both of which I visited today, continues to improve the lives of those in water-poor countries. The UK, with its cutting-edge research facilities and vibrant scientific community, is determined to contribute to this effort with the cluster of new research initiatives we announced today”.
The British Embassy stated that the first programme, the New British Fund to Support Innovative Water Research in the Middle East and North Africa, will enable scientists from Britain, Israel, and the region to work together to tackle water challenges. The UK’s Department for Business and innovation and Skills (BIS) has awarded the initial £200,000 funding to the British Council to develop a pilot research programme for the project.
Through the project, researchers can apply for trilateral bids for 10- to-12-month research initiatives in the water sector, with the aim of providing “opportunities for world-class researchers in water science, technology, and policy from the UK and the Middle East to work together”.
The second programme, the British Council’s UK-Israel Researcher Links Fellowships, allows early career water sciences researchers in the UK and Israel to form international partnerships through fully funded fellowships.
The final programme, the 2015 UK-Israel Science and Innovation Lectureship Grants, will provide for established researchers in the UK and Israel to visit their colleagues, catalyse partnerships and strengthen research collaborations, the Embassy said.
Grants are potentially available to researchers working in the fields of water science, agriscience, nanoscience, neuroscience, and regenerative medicine.
The announcement comes as Israel was this month ranked as the third most innovative country in the world by the World Economic Forum in their annual Global Competitiveness Report.