Leading scientists from Israel and Morocco signed an academic cooperation agreement on Thursday, marking another step forward in strengthening ties between the two countries following the signing of the Abraham Accords.
The agreement, which was signed in a ceremony at Bar-Ilan University, will bring together top-tier scientists and researchers in the energy field from influential academic institutions in Israel and Morocco, to develop local and global solutions in the field of renewable energy.
“This is a declaration of hope in the future,” said Yifat Shasha-Biton, Israel’s education minister. “Hope to making an impact on the world by taking collaborative responsibility for a better future.”
Shasha-Biton added that this agreement is “a historic stepping stone” for shared research programs and constructive collaboration between the countries, with the hope it will further deepen the ties between Jerusalem and Rabat.
Under the agreement, a binational research program will be established and will include 33 Israeli research groups and 20 Moroccan groups from various academic institutions.
The fields of research will include rechargeable batteries, recycling, solar energy, hydrogen economy, and dealing with one of Morocco’s main challenges in the field of energy, which is the storage and transportation of energy to neighboring countries, such as Spain for example.
“This memorandum of understanding will add to the many memorandums of understanding that we have signed since coming here in February 2021 to reopen the liaison office of the kingdom of Morocco in Tel Aviv,” said Abderrahim Beyyoudh, head of the Liaison Office of the Kingdom of Morocco to Israel.
Beyyoudh also called Thursday’s signing “a historic event,” adding that this kind of cooperation is Morocco‘s way to strengthen relations between the two countries, following the Abraham Accords signed between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the United States back in September 2020, with Morocco following suit shortly after.
“These MoUs came in different fields, from agriculture to technology and industry. And now we have scientists also going ahead to strengthen the relations as envisioned by his Majesty Mohammad VI when he decided courageously to resume relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and Israel.”
Hisham El-Habti, president of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, said this agreement will greatly help advance the research in the field of energy.
“There is a word that we like to use in Morocco in general and our university in particular, and that’s to ‘leapfrog’,” El-Habti said.
“We like to leapfrog in innovation, research, and development. The fact that we’re working with the best researchers here in Israel on this topic will enable our PhD students and our postdoc students to have access to the best in class in terms of research in this field. So for me, what we signed today is a manner of leapfrogging this new knowledge regarding this very important topic of energy.”
With ties between Rabat and Jerusalem continuing to deepen, dignitaries on both sides say we should expect to see more agreements like this one in the near future.