Brandeis to join state trade mission to Israel, UK

International Business School Dean Bruce Magid to accompany governor's delegation

Photo/Heratch Ekmekjian

Gov. Deval Patrick and Dean Bruce Magid

Brandeis University was recently invited by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to join a coalition of the state's leading business executives and senior government officials taking part in the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission 2011 to Israel and the United Kingdom. Bruce R. Magid, dean of Brandeis International Business School and the Martin and Ahuva Gross Chair in Financial Markets and Institutions, will represent the university. 

"I'm happy to have Brandeis International Business School Dean Bruce Magid joining our great coalition of leaders on this trade mission," said Patrick. "Bruce is at the forefront of our innovation economy, and we know his expertise will go a long way towards forging lasting economic ties and partnerships between Massachusetts and Israel." 

Brandeis was one of just two academic institutions selected to participate in the mission; the University of Massachusetts will also be represented. The coalition will explore trade and investment opportunities within the Commonwealth's innovation-based industries -- technology, life sciences and clean energy -- and areas of common interest between the state's established and emerging partners in Israel and the United Kingdom. The mission will focus on business expansion, job growth and collaboration. Plans include company visits, industry panels, and meetings with Israeli and U.K. business leaders and government officials in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, London and Cambridge. 

Under Magid's leadership, Brandeis International Business School has helped to advance cross-border alliances by convening three successful summits in the clean energy and life sciences industries. Hundreds of leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as representatives from higher education, gather annually at the school to share research findings, explore industry trends, discuss investment opportunities and share company briefings.

Magid, who is a board member and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI), will represent Brandeis at official delegation meetings and events. He will join Gov. Patrick and members of his administration on panels exploring opportunities in life sciences and information technology. In addition, he will participate in the Governor's Town Hall meeting exploring collaboration in the Innovation Economy being held at Technion-­Israel Institute of Technology. Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D. '77, executive director of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, is also joining the delegation.

Magid recently shared his perspective on the mission in a Q&A session with BrandeisNOW.

BrandeisNOW: What are your objectives for this trade mission?

Bruce Magid: We are hoping to stimulate business expansion and collaboration in key innovative sectors of the Massachusetts economy-technology, life sciences, and clean energy. As a member of this delegation and a board member of MOITI, I believe we can lay the foundation for future job creation and foreign investment here from Israel and the U.K. 

Q: What are key areas of opportunity to develop trade and investment between Massachusetts and Israel?

A:  As the governor's announcement stated, there are nearly 100 companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technologies in Massachusetts-so we have a solid base to work from. I'd hope to help advance the level of commercial and academic cooperation in innovative sectors where the state has a robust offering of intellectual and financial capital, especially in the areas of clean technology and life sciences.

Q: What specifically will your role be as a member of the delegation?

A:  It's an honor to represent the university at the official visits and programs planned for the mission.  Also, I will be serving on panels alongside the governor and his team, where we will explore ways in which Massachusetts and Israel may collaborate to advance joint research, investment and business expansion in the life sciences and information technology industries. Finally, I'll be traveling with the delegation to the U.K. where we will meet with leaders from government and the private sector to continue our meetings in support of the mission.

Q: What programs has Brandeis sponsored to encourage trade between Israel and the Commonwealth?

A: In conjunction with the New England-Israel Business Council, the Government of Israel's Economic Mission to North America and the Consulate General of Israel to New England, the business school has hosted high-level summits focusing on two of the key sectors that the governor has identified as his priority: clean technology and, most recently, life sciences.

These conferences brought together executives from Israeli firms, industry experts, investors and government officials, including Gov. Patrick at our 2008 Cleantech Investors Conference. The relationships formed at these summits are indispensable. They advance commercial interests between Israel and Massachusetts -- from opening doors for entrepreneurs helping them secure financing -- to establishing research partnerships that incubate new discoveries.

Q: How do you see Brandeis benefiting from this mission?

A:  This is a great opportunity for us to increase our visibility among public and private sector leaders abroad and to expand our relationships with overseas companies who might employ graduates. Also, the contingent of local business executives on the mission is impressive-so I hope to widen our corporate relationships right here in Massachusetts. Finally, this trip will enhance our ties with leading research centers and universities in Israel and the U.K.


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