September 8, 2022—The Technion and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) signed a partnership agreement with IBM Research to advance artificial intelligence capabilities and applications in Israel. The collaboration was announced this week at a conference held by IBM in Tel Aviv to mark 50 years since the establishment of the IBM Research Lab in Israel.

Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a role in all our daily lives and is now a central growth engine in the business sector. The rapidly growing quantities of data that need to be handled demand that organizations develop advanced technological capabilities and apply AI on a large scale—a challenge that requires significant investment in R&D. In light of the fact that Israel has a severe shortage of people with advanced degrees in computer science, and given higher education’s need for funding and skills from the business world, IBM Research decided to launch a collaboration with the Technion and the Hebrew University.

Under the terms of the 3-year agreement, research will be conducted to search for new solutions in AI in the following three areas: natural language processing, accelerating discoveries for new drugs, and multi-cloud computing to support decentralized AI computation. IBM will fund these studies, which will be carried out by doctoral students at the Technion and Hebrew University, totaling several million NIS.

Prof. Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: “The combination of IBM, one of the world’s leading technological companies, and our top-notch researchers offers an optimal edge to the knowledge- and computing- revolutions. With a growing demand for experts who specialize in machine learning, algorithms, and computer science, the relationship with IBM, even from the earliest stages of research, will lead to outstanding breakthroughs in both science and medicine.”

Prof. Koby Rubinstein, Executive Vice President for Research at the Technion: “The Technion and the IBM Research Lab in Israel have had a very close relationship for years, ever since the lab was founded. In recent years, the Technion has been home to a wide range of intensive research activities in AI. This partnership with IBM, which will be led by researchers in the field, will have a multiplier effect on AI research and development. We are delighted by this research collaboration, which will contribute much to both organizations.”

Dr. Aya Soffer, Vice President, AI Technologies and Director of IBM Research: “The Israeli hi-tech industry is receiving a significant boost to its continued success. The collaboration with the Technion and Hebrew University will give rise to groundbreaking research aimed at leveraging artificial intelligence and improving our lives. I am proud that IBM Research has decided to invest in this important undertaking that we have initiated here in Israel.”

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