Photo Credit: Courtesy: University of Haifa
Dr. Erel Margalit celebrates signing a unique collaboration with University of Haifa along with the University's faculty, board members and President, Prof. Ron Robin.

Haifa, March 13, 2019 — University of Haifa and the Israel Initiative 2020 (ii2020), led by Israeli entrepreneur Dr. Erel Margalit agreed to establish a unique collaboration in the field of digital health on Tuesday night, with the aim of transforming the city of Haifa into a global leader in the high-tech world.

According to the agreement, the two parties will work to turn Haifa and its surroundings into a magnet for numerous start-ups and global companies, thereby creating thousands of new jobs.

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The partnership will launch a research and innovation center which creates a fertile environment for interdisciplinary projects that combine the industrial, public, private, academic, and other sectors in Israel’s third-largest city. The center will support and promote both Israeli and international research and innovation, while serving as a platform for creating relevant contacts and collaborations in the digital health world.

The new digital health partnership comes as University of Haifa continues to implement a new “multiversity” strategy, in which the school has broadened its socioeconomic impact as a multi-campus institution which eases access for students and adds vitality to its city and region. In the health arena in particular, the University is among the recipients of an $18 million donation from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to begin building a 20-story “Health Discovery Tower” in partnership with Rambam Hospital.

“This project is a shining example of University of Haifa’s groundbreaking institutional mission, applying that approach to the industrial, welfare, and health worlds,” said University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin. “By igniting breakthroughs in the advancement of digital health, we will help the residents of Haifa and northern Israel enjoy the fruits of scientific research in the ways they need the most.”

The project will feature an open-door policy between the University and the National Initiative headquarters, as the initiative will have prime access to the University’s laboratories and expertise in the health fields. In turn, the partnership will develop best practices that can be integrated into health- and ecological-focused business ventures.

“Haifa’s existing connections between business and social entrepreneurship — bolstered by the cutting-edge research of the University of Haifa — has already attracted many companies to the city,” said Dr. Erel Margalit, Chairman and Founder of the ii2020 and the venture capital JVP. “We will amplify that success by establishing a vibrant digital health district within the city, generating unprecedented growth for local and regional commerce.”

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