Ben Gurion University of the Negev has teamed up with a leading Canadian university to build a world-class ocean research center in Eilat.

The Oceans Studies Center, which will be operated in partnership with Dalhousie University of Canada, will provide cutting edge laboratories and research opportunities for students and scholars from both countries.

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“We see great opportunities stemming from this scientific partnership, both research and technology-wise, between these two universities,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said of the new Israeli-Canadian collaboration.

BGU President Rivka Carmi pointed out the new research center will provide critical scientific research that allows scientists to tap into the unexplored ocean expanse.

“The sea covers 70 percent of the earth’s surface and is essential for our survival. And yet, at the same time, most of it remains unexplored – filled with mystery and unfulfilled potential,” Carmi said. “We believe this partnership will strengthen the cutting edge science at both universities and place this unique initiative at the forefront of global research.”

In addition to exploring the regions of Eilat during the winter months, the Ocean Studies Center will also sponsor expeditions in the summer of Canadian’s ocean, giving Israeli students and scientists a chance to explore diverse oceanic eco-systems from Dalhousie University, which is situated along the North Atlantic Ocean.

The partnership has been made possible through the generosity of Seymour Schulich, who Dalhousie President Richard Florizone explained has long shown interest in ocean exploration.

“Seymour Schulich, with his masterful vision and generosity, has been the catalyst for what has the potential to become a world-class ocean research center for Dalhousie University and Ben-Gurion University,” Florizone said. Together with the Israeli and Canadian researchers, Florizone added, Schulich has “given us the critical momentum and credibility to advance our partnerships with those universities significantly.”

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