China Israel Innovation Forum Launched

By advancing collaborations between top Israeli and Chinese researchers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and policy makers, the Forum will drive Israel-Chinese relations to the next level
12 September 2016

The first China Israel Innovation Forum (CIIF) was held in Beijing, China, a collaboration of Tel Aviv University with Tsinghua University and the Morningside Group, Hong Kong.


In his opening address, TAU President Joseph Klafter said, “The over-arching goal of this Forum is to forge connections between the academic, industrial and political leadership of two great friends – China and Israel. We are proud that Tel Aviv University is the Israeli partner in this initiative, which will pave the way to even stronger links between our two countries,” he said. “Through the Forum we can take life-changing innovations from the lab to the marketplace and bring university discoveries to the general public.”


The Forum builds on Tel Aviv University’s strong presence in China, which includes agreements with 30 leading universities for joint research and exchange. TAU’s joint XIN Center with Tsinghua University has already resulted in promising innovations and research in the field of nanoscience and nanomedicine.


Prof. Klafter, who co-chaired the Forum together with Prof. Yong Qiu, President of Tsinghua University, and TAU Honorary Doctor Mr. Ronnie Chan, co-founder of Morningside and Chairman of Hang Lung Properties, said, “We are leveraging our Tsinghua collaboration, Ronnie Chan’s business prominence and our own Tel Aviv University alumni in China to create new opportunities for cooperation on a binational level.”


Chan noted, “This platform offers an opportunity to harness the power of China’s relationship with Israel to enrich humanity as a whole.”


The keynote address was delivered by Ambassador Dan Gillerman, former Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations. Matan Vilnai, Ambassador of Israel to China, delivered opening remarks.


The Forum featured five panel discussions: “Beyond the Ivory Tower: Building an Innovation Economy,” was moderated by Dr. Yehoshua Gleitman, former Chief Scientist of Israel and Honorary Consul General of Singapore in Israel. “Staying Safe in the Global Village: Cyber Security and Policy,” was moderated by Major General (ret.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, Director of TAU’s Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center; “Growing or Slowing: Has Globalization Reached its Peak,” was moderated by Danny Yamin, Vice President of Microsoft Enterprise Strategy in China and Former Chairman of the Technion Executive Council; “The Next Frontier: The Internet of Things (IoT),” was moderated by Mr. Shlomo Nimrodi, CEO of Ramot at Tel Aviv University; and “East Meets West: The Role of Tradition in Modern Society,” featured talks by Prof. Uzi Rabi, Director of TAU’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Prof. Ping Zhang of the Department of East Asian Studies at TAU. 


TAU speakers in the panels included TAU Rector Prof. Yaron Oz; Mr. Shlomo Nimrodi, CEO of RAMOT at Tel Aviv University; Prof. Nathan Intrator of the Blavatnik School of Computer Science and Sagol School of Neuroscience; Prof. David Mendlovic, Vice Dean for Research at the School of Engineering; Prof. Yuval Shavitt, ICRC-Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Research Center and School of Electronic Engineering; and Prof. Leonardo Leiderman of the Berglas School of Economics.


"It's incredible to see this idea coming to fruition," said Orly Fromer, General Director of the Forum and Director of Tel Aviv University's new Chinese Alumni Association. "Four years ago we were just beginning our relationship with China and just starting to build this extensive infrastructure. We recognized the magnitude of what we could achieve together and the infinite potential for educational and business collaboration between China and Israel. The Forum is about realizing this potential,” she said.


TAU-China Alumni Association unveiled

Capitalizing on the 2,500 Chinese students and executives who have already attended training programs on the TAU campus, the new TAU-China Alumni Association was launched at Peking University. The Association is being established under the aegis of PAAP – the Post-EMBA (Executive MBA) Alumni Association of Peking University.


PAAP will provide free office space and operational manpower, organize tours of Chinese entrepreneurs to TAU and promote links between its Chinese alumni.


In his address, Prof. Klafter said, “As Israel’s leading innovation university with a ranking of 9th in the world for producing successful company founders, people come from all over the world to Tel Aviv University to learn about building a successful innovation ecosystem. This is a system that produces new technologies in environment, medicine, cyber, water, energy, engineering and many more areas.” 


“The Chinese graduates of our programs are today serving in top executive positions across China. We are deeply grateful for the willingness of the PAAP leadership to contribute their time and expertise toward the success of the new venture,” said Prof. Klafter.


Prof. Klafter noted that through the collaboration, leading alumni in China will receive the most up-to-the-minute information on the business and technology arena in Israel, learn about scientific discoveries, find the right laboratories in Israel for joint R&D, hear about technology transfer opportunities, and get connected to Israeli entrepreneurs, investors and companies. The alumni cooperation will also open opportunities for joint teaching programs and faculty and student exchange.


Attending were Mr. Cui Wei, Founder of the Post-EMBA Program at Peking University; Mr. Ye Xiao Wen, Twelfth National Committee Member and Deputy Director of the Cultural and Historical Committee and Ms. Orly Fromer, General Director of TAU China Alumni Association.

The launching of the TAU-China Alumni Association in Beijing 



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