April 18, 2016 — The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, arrived in Israel on the first prime ministerial visit since Singapore’s independence 51 years ago and establishing diplomatic relations in 1969.

The Prime Minister’s first official stop was at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he witnessed the signing of three agreements with Hebrew University, and where the university conferred upon him an honorary doctorate.

The President of The Hebrew University, Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson, and the Rector, Professor Asher Cohen, presented the Prime Minister with an honorary doctorate, Hebrew University’s highest honor. The award recognizes the Prime Minister’s longstanding leadership as a champion of economic and civil reform, notably through his commitment to create a competitive economy and inclusive society; his investment in education, infrastructure, research and development; his encouragement of the longstanding friendship between Israel and Singapore, which is based upon shared values and ongoing cooperation  in areas such as biomedicine and trade; and his warm support for the Jewish community in Singapore.

hu160418_singapore1The agreements that were signed call for The Hebrew University and the Government of the Republic of Singapore, represented by the National Research Foundation, to continue existing collaborations on joint research and development and educational activities of mutual interest, together with Singapore’s universities and research institutions; and for The Hebrew University, together with National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), to pursue and promote collaboration on joint research and development and educational activities of mutual interest.

As part of the first agreement, Hebrew University and Singapore’s National Research Foundation committed to establish a Hebrew University research and innovation center in Singapore. The Singapore-Hebrew University Alliance for Research and Enterprise (SHARE) will advance and strengthen research collaborations between the countries, and serve as an intellectual hub for research, scholarship, entrepreneurship and postgraduate/postdoctoral training. As a transcontinental research center, it will foster a scientific, cultural and economic background with unique opportunities for students, staff and faculty from both countries.

“The SHARE alliance will strengthen scientific cooperation between Hebrew University and the Republic of Singapore. This will position Hebrew University among the select few universities cooperating with Singapore at this level, and pave the way for a collaboration that delivers dramatic scientific results and a dramatic increase in scientific output,” said Professor Isaiah (Shy) Arkin, Vice President for Research and Development at Hebrew University.

The Hebrew University is already engaged in successful scientific cooperation with partners in Singapore, such as the “Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms for Inflammation” program the National University of Singapore and the “Nanomaterials for Energy and Water Management” program with Nanyang Technological University, both of which are funded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation under NRF’s Campus for Research, Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) program.