Tel Aviv – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed eight historic Memoranda of Understanding between Florida institutions of higher learning and Tel Aviv University on Monday, May 27th. The agreements were signed by representatives of Florida universities in the presence of TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat, Coller School of Management Dean Prof. Moshe Zviran, TAU VP Prof. Raanan Rein, TAU VP Prof. Yoav Henis, Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, TAU faculty and members of Governor DeSantis’s 90-member delegation in Israel.
At the meeting, Governor DeSantis announced research collaborations between TAU and Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, UCF, Miami Dade College, Florida Institute of Technology, St. Leo University, Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Gulf Coast University. The subjects of the collaborations will include emergency management and disaster relief, neuroscience, blockchain technology and its applications, cybersecurity, information technology and entrepreneurship.
Governor DeSantis is on a four-day trade mission to Israel, his first official visit abroad since taking office in January, to boost Florida’s economy. Governor DeSantis is traveling with a 90-member delegation of elected officials, state workers, businessmen and senior academics.
At the event, held in TAU’s Raya and Josef Jaglom Auditorium, Prof. Porat said: “It’s a great pleasure to have the Governor of Florida, the third largest state in the U.S., as a guest of Tel Aviv University. Gov. DeSantis has set the goal of building a world-class education system in his state, and it is precisely in this area that Tel Aviv University can enhance its presence in Florida and establish closer collaborations with various universities in Florida.
“I would also like to highlight Governor DeSantis’s strong position against any boycott against Israel in general and Israeli universities in particular. His priorities include water quality and environment; natural disaster recovery and protecting Florida’s most vulnerable populations. In these, as well as other areas, TAU can be a partner of Florida and its universities.”
Prof. Porat subsequently presented DeSantis with a Friendship Award from Tel Aviv University, “in recognition of his continued friendship with the State of Israel and his efforts to forge deeper ties between Tel Aviv University and Florida institutions of higher education.”
Governor DeSantis told the audience: “Thank you for that introduction, you really did your homework. I am happy to be here and really appreciate your hospitality. We are signing eight agreements today between Tel Aviv University and Florida universities. From business development to student exchanges and faculty collaboration, we are increasing the partnership between TAU, which has a very strong reputation globally, and the State of Florida. We are proud of our higher education system, which was ranked no.1 in the U.S., and there are a lot of different areas of shared interest with TAU. Water is something Israel and Florida both deal with; how to respond to emergency situations, natural disasters, we both deal with these issues. The State of Florida is very pro-Israel – from Miami beach to Pensacola, Florida, the people of Florida feel a strong bond with the State of Israel. Thank you for being willing to work on our common issues. We will look back on this in several years and say it all started back in 2019 at TAU.”
Governor DeSantis and his delegation will continue to meet with Israeli business and academic leaders over the coming days.
Featured image: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis presented with a Friendship Award by TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat (Photography: Yehonatan Zur Duvdevani)
The beginning of a Beautiful Partnership. Right to left: Prof. Raanan Rein, Governor Ron DeSantis, Prof. Ariel Porat and Prof. Moshe Zviran (Photography: Yehonatan Zur Duvdevani)