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Historic agreement at Ashdod Port: An innovation embassy will be opened in the United States


Dr. Sue Henderson, President of New Jersey City University, arrived in Israel with the first official international delegation since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The delegation participated in today's conference hosted by Ashdod Port and signed a historic agreement with Ashdod Port to collaborate in the establishment of an innovation embassy in New Jersey.
 
 
Ashdod Port hosted an innovation and sustainability conference today, the first of its kind in Israel. Senior representatives of Israel's regulatory, academic and innovation sectors participated, including Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority. The conference included panels on innovation and sustainability, presented the challenges of maintaining a green port, presented pilots of the Innovation Authority, and more.
 
The conference opened with a ceremony to celebrate the signing of a historic agreement between the heads of Ashdod Port – Chairman of the Board Orna Hozman Bechor and CEO Shiko Janna and the representatives of
New Jersey City University and Newark Port, to open an innovation embassy in New Jersey.
 
President of New Jersey City University, Dr. Sue Henderson, emphasized that the event is relevant is now more than ever due to the sustainability and climate change situation, which keeps getting worse. She also noted that this conference is a unique opportunity for innovation and to hold collaboration meetings hosted by Ashdod Port. The memorandum of understanding that was signed this morning includes joint projects and academic research, student exchange programs and collaboration in the areas of economics and business development. Dr. Henderson said that “the memorandum of understanding offers partners, including government ministries, startups, businesses and students a framework for economic collaboration and the development of an advanced international exchange of ideas. The most significant part of our collaboration will be through the opening of Ashdod Port's innovation embassy at New Jersey City University. The university will share its academic resources with Ashdod Port and will pursue partnerships with the Port to develop academic programs and opportunities for the students at New Jersey City University". She added that “the memorandum of understanding is an opportunity to promote innovation, integrate business development projects, provide access to university workspaces, academia and professional training, as well as research pertaining to academic education and training."
 
Dr. Henderson thanked Ashdod Port's Chairman of the Board Orna Hozman Bechor, Ashdod Port CEO Shiko Janna and Roi Avrahami, Director of Ashdod Port's Innovation Division for the cooperation and for the opportunity to collaborate productively.
 
Dr. Adrian Franco, Executive Director, Guarini Institute of International Education and Economic Mobility at NJCU:       “The Guarini Institute at NJCU aims to advance economic mobility via innovative programs with international companies and entities. The agreement with the Port of Ashdod is a compelling example of how we can build on the distinctive bond between Israel and New Jersey to advance our common goals. The Guarini Institute, the School of Business and the entire NJCU community is looking forward to implement the objectives of the letter of intent and generate world-renowned innovations in port management in Ashdod and New Jersey."

 
In addition, the conference included face-to-face meetings of Israeli startups in the fields of energy and sustainability with private and government companies who are participating in Ashdod Port's accelerator. 
 
Orna Hozman Bechor, Chairman of the Board of Ashdod Port noted that “The innovation conference is an exciting way to begin the productive collaboration between Ashdod Port, New Jersey City University and the Israeli ecosystem. The historic agreement that we signed today demonstrates Ashdod Port's innovative abilities. We are proud of this step and we look forward to additional partnerships in the near future. The delegation from New Jersey is the first delegation from the US arriving at Ashdod Port and we look forward to many more in the future. I am honored to host our partners from the government, business and innovation sectors. Today's event is a significant milestone for Ashdod Port and the State of Israel."
 
Shiko Janna, CEO of Ashdod Port, added that “Ashdod Port is excited to collaborate with New Jersey City University, Newark Port and Ashdod Port. This is a unique opportunity for Israeli startups to work with Ashdod Port and Newark's international port. Furthermore, the establishment of a first-of-its-kind innovation embassy is a significant step for Ashdod Port and we look forward to many pilots and partnerships between various startups, the Port and the embassy in New Jersey. Ashdod Port's operational continuity is vital for Israel's economy and Ashdod Port is dedicated to promoting innovation as part of the Port's regular activity."
 
Dr. Ami Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, noted that “over the years startups were forced to move overseas in order to receive funding and assistance. The Innovation Authority developed a unique “pilot track" project, with the goal of facilitating the collaboration between government ministries and startups, so they can receive funding. He added that “innovation can be found all over Israel and there is no more traditional industry in Israel, rather it has become innovative industry, with every aspect related to innovation and technological development. Today's conference is a significant bridge that connects government ministries with startups and Ashdod Port. This will contribute greatly to the technology sector in Israel"