Photo Credit: Fred Romero via Flickr
Paris Descartes University medical school on Rue des Saints-Pères

Academic ties between Israel and France are about to become even stronger with the signing of a new cooperation agreement between Bar-Ilan University and Paris Descartes University.

The agreement was signed by Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Arie Zaban and Prof. Martin Oheim, representing Paris Descartes University President Prof. Frédéric Dardel, in the presence of French Ambassador to Israel Hélène Le Gal, who hosted the signing ceremony, and delegations from both universities.

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Paris Descartes University, a.k.a. Paris V, is one of the inheritors of the Sorbonne, which was split into multiple separate institutions in 1970.

Under the agreement, the two universities will create joint study programs that will offer French and Israeli students joint graduate degrees from Bar-Ilan and Paris Descartes. Future cooperation will also include faculty and researcher exchange programs, exchange of students, trainees and PhDs, joint research, symposia and seminars, exchange of scientific and technical teaching resources, joint supervision of PhDs, and more.

Bar-Ilan University and Paris Descartes University have already begun collaborating on a number of projects, including mutual visits of post-docs and students, joint patent and grant submissions, scientific research and articles, and more. Current and future cooperation with Paris Descartes University includes the participation of biology, physics, chemistry and engineering researchers from BINA, brain researchers and more. According to the agreement, “the multidisciplinary nature of BINA is a mirror image of Paris Descartes University’s Saints Pères Biomedical Sciences site, making the two natural partners for an international partnership.”

Prof. Dror Fixler, Director of Bar-Ilan University’s Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), initiated the agreement with Paris Descartes University leadership, and together they set the objectives of the cooperation, in accordance with BINA’s program for internationalization. The basis for the talks followed a meeting between Bar-Ilan University Prof. Adi Salomon from BINA and Prof. Oheim.

“Every year, the French Embassy grants scholarships to support Israeli researchers to do research in France with the goal to develop cooperation. There can be no greater example of the philosophy of this program than Adi Salomon,” said Amb. Le Gal. “She did a post-doc in France with this scholarship a few years ago and she is now leading the partnership on the Israeli side.”

Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Arie Zaban said that the cooperation with Paris Descartes, a leading university in France, would be built on several successive stages starting with research, then student exchange, and eventually joint degrees. Prof. Zaban thanked Amb. Le Gal for all that she has done to promote scientific cooperation between Israel and France.

“Training by research, lab rotations, opening of modules of English-spoken Master studies and common research projects are a first step towards a fruitful international collaboration that we can start from now on, immediately,” said Prof. Oheim.

The signing of the cooperation agreement capped off two days of meetings hosted by BINA at Bar-Ilan University aimed at advancing additional joint projects. In July a Bar-Ilan delegation will visit Paris Descartes University to further the initiative.

Paris Descartes University is a top-rated university specializing in medical sciences, biomedical sciences, social sciences, mathematics, computer science, and law.

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