Britain and Israel will establish a new, joint fellowship exchange scheme to enhance collaboration between the countries in the area of regenerative medicine.
The announcement was made two weeks ago at a meeting between Britain’s Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts and Israel’s Minister for Science and Technology Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz.
Britain’s Medical Research Council and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology will provide matching funding of up to £50,000 each for the new fellowship exchange scheme, which will come under the umbrella of BIRAX – the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership in Regenerative Medicine.
Minister David Willetts commented “Israel and Britain are both world leaders in regenerative medicine. Both our governments are keen to support closer cooperation. This new fellowship scheme demonstrates our commitment to doing so. It will help build a lasting bond between British and Israeli researchers. We want to see it lead to collaboration in research between our scientists.”
Minister for Science and Technology Prof. Daniel Herkowitz said today, “Regenerative medicine is one of the most important fields of research in which mankind is still feeling its way. The goal of the joint fellowshiop programme is to encourage talented researchers to concentrate on this field in order to find a breakthrough in treating severe diseases. The program is another important milestone in the relations between the UK and Israel in the field of science, and we are grateful for Ambassador Matthew Gould’s work in promoting this matter.”
The announcement comes just a few weeks before the first major UK-Israel Regenerative Medicine conference, which will be held at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The conference will bring together leading researchers from both countries from various fields of regenerative medicine, including cell therapy, stem cell biology, gene therapy and more to learn about each other’s work and develop collaborations.
Dr Mark Palmer, head of international strategy at the British Medical Research Council, said: “Building and maintaining a cadre of highly-skilled researchers is essential for driving innovative research worldwide. Israel and the UK are trailblazers for regenerative medicine and, through our collaboration, we will be re-enforcing the MRC’s commitment to improving treatments for patients and identifying areas where new technologies demand new skills and learning. As regenerative medicine becomes an increasingly prevalent aspect of modern medicine, there has never been a more exciting time to work in this field.”