Scientists from Israel and Britain are to extend their collaboration in research areas such as water, medicine and nanotechnology. Prof-Rony-Paz-300x199

The government announcement during UK Israel Science Day also coincided with St Andrews Day, with £1.6 million of research grants going to universities in Scotland to work alongside Israeli universities.

The bilateral co-operation sent a “sharp, clear response” to boycotters, said Israeli ministers said, adding that the new money would mean double the number of scientists involved over the next four years.

“The UK is proud that more Israeli students and scientists will now be working together with their British peers,” said H.E. David Quarrey, the British ambassador to Israel. “Both countries are science superpowers, with a great talent pool and academic infrastructure.”

Millions of pounds have already been poured into initiatives in pioneering areas such as stem cell research, and Alan Gemmell, director of the British Council in Israel, said scientists had been working together for three years to tackle global health challenges such as access to water. 

“This new funding means hundreds of researchers will be able to join our programmes,” he said.

Israeli Minister of Science Ofir Akunis said: “The investment of the British Government in strengthening research relations with Israel is yet another British vote of confidence in Israeli science and technology.”

He added: This is also a sharp, clear response to organisations calling for an academic boycott of Israel. Scientific exchange between our countries is the best public diplomacy tool for bridging over biased misconceptions of Israel.”