The University of Toronto and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are deepening their partnership in the fields of social work and bio-innovation, which will strengthen the exchange of students, faculty, and ideas between the academic and entrepreneurial environments of the two universities.
The University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering is joining forces with the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to support student research and study abroad, clinical and academic faculty travel, and research collaboration.
The Jerusalem-Toronto Bio-Innovation Partnership will provide support to students in engineering, biology, and computer science to conduct research in the partner country over a 12-week period. An intensive 8-week educational program – the Transdisciplinary Innovation Program – that weaves together computer vision, big data, and bioengineering will also be offered to students from the University of Toronto, enabling interaction with Nobel laureates, work under the mentorship of Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs, and the opportunity for students to pitch ideas to investors.
The partnership will also build on the strengths of the two institutions in the biomedical field by fostering exchange aimed at developing technological solutions to medical system needs. Faculty and student groups will travel between the two countries to advance the collaboration, with a joint BioDesign program bringing together engineers, clinicians, and business and engineering students to share and create knowledge with tangible impact.
The University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare are entering into a partnership facilitating student exchange and practicum placement. Under the agreement, full-time graduate students from each university will be eligible to study at the partner university and, in the case of University of Toronto students, also participate in experiential learning during their coursework in Israel.
The deepening of ties between the two universities builds on a rich history of institutional engagement and faculty-to-faculty collaboration. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the University of Toronto’s second largest university partner in medical sciences in Israel. The University of Toronto, in turn, is The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s second largest university partner internationally in medical sciences. The two institutions also share student mobility agreements – which, for students at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, include a long tradition of study at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School with the generous support of the Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
University of Toronto President Meric Gertler expressed strong support for the new partnerships. “The forthcoming projects with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are important to the University of Toronto,” said Gertler. “They underscore a commitment on the part of both universities to harness the power of Israel’s and Canada’s brightest minds to find solutions to the world’s pressing social and medical problems. They will provide exciting opportunities in the near-term and, I believe, stand to have meaningful long-run impact by virtue of the skills investment and advances they entail.”
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s President, Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, said: “The Hebrew University is very pleased to expand its partnership with the University of Toronto. This agreement will bring about new exchanges of people and ideas between two of the world’s leading centers of research and academia. Furthermore it will drive cooperation in medical, social and entrepreneurial studies and research that will benefit Canada, Israel and the entire world.”
The University of Toronto is actively engaged with Israeli partners and is among the top 5 research partners globally for many of Israel’s leading universities.