New Frenkel Initiative Takes on Pollution
Capitalizing on the growing friendship and cooperation between Monaco and Tel Aviv University, an ambitious project to combat pollution was launched during the Frenkel Initiative Symposium on Combating Pollution. The project’s founder, philanthropist Aaron G. Frenkel, and TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat signed the Frenkel Initiative on Combating Pollution, which will bring about constructive steps for battling air, marine and noise pollution in Monaco and the rest of the world.
The signing ceremony and symposium were held in the presence of Prince Albert II of Monaco, a TAU Honorary Doctor. Through his Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Prince has been instrumental in driving solutions to global ecological problems such as deforestation, ocean acidification, species conservation and management of water resources.
Vice President and CEO of the foundation, Bernard Fautrier, spoke of Monaco’s role in the global fight against pollution. “Nowadays,” he said, “we are tackling pollution by encouraging scientific expeditions, promoting start-ups, and promoting awareness campaigns, all aimed at preserving both Monegasque territory and planet biodiversity.”
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Prof. Ariel Porat
An ardent supporter of sustainable development at the global level, Frenkel was heartened by the turnout at the symposium. “That you are here today to join this initiative is not to be taken for granted,” he said. “Our goal of easing terrible suffering and building a better and safer world for future generations means immediately addressing environmental issues like the shortage of clean water, and sea and air pollution.”
In describing the two main components of the Initiative, research and entrepreneurship, Prof. Porat explained how TAU, a world center for environmental and biodiversity science, is ideally positioned to advance the Frenkel Initiative agenda. He noted that TAU researchers are currently developing biodegradable plastic that will reduce plastic bottles in the sea, engineering smart city solutions for reducing smog and traffic congestion and improving environmental policy and law at the local, national and international levels. Porat said the Frenkel Initiative will also see research findings translated into pragmatic and workable tools and solutions, with part of the Frenkel support going to a technologies accelerator for startups.
Mr. Frenkel’s list of entrepreneurial successes is matched only by the breadth of his honors and philanthropic endeavors, which include: Chairman of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress; President of the Jewish Community of Monaco; French Legion De Honneur which was awarded by the French President; Chevalier De L’order De Grimaldi presented by Prince Albert II; the Frenkel Emergency Medical Center at the Yad Sarah Center in Jerusalem; and Limmud FSU, which promotes Jewish identity of Russian-speaking Jews all around the world.
Opening remarks were delivered by President of French Friends of TAU, Prof. François Heilbronn. Prof. Colin Price, of TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, formally introduced the Initiative to the guests, explaining that by the year 2050, “an estimated 75% of world population will live in big cities, so most of the environmental problems will be urban, and therefore we need to deal with them through cooperation, like Israel and Monaco have started to do.”
Dr. Lucile Courtial, Coordinator of Beyond Plastic Med Initiative, a Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation supported project which integrates multiple local associations working to combat the proliferation of plastic waste in the Mediterranean Sea, also addressed the guests of the symposium.
Following the signing ceremony and the lunch afterwards, Russian-born Israeli violinist, violist, and conductor Maxim Vengerov performed for the audience.