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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to collaborate with Chinese company to create Kubuqi Desert Research Institute

BEER-SHEVA, IsraelNovember 26, 2013 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a major Chinese construction and development company, Elion Resources Group of China, to create the Kubuqi Desert Research Institute in Mongolia.

"The goal of the new Kubuqi institute is to develop China's desert economy in collaboration with BGU, a world leader in combating desertification, recognized for its research in desert agriculture, alternative energy and water technologies," explains Prof. Amos Drory, BGU vice president for external affairs. "The Elion Resources Group has vast construction and development projects in Mongolia and is dedicated to combating desertification."

BGU and Elion will cooperate in water saving irrigation, wastewater treatment, microalgae selection and production, solar energy utilization, and other related fields. A delegation from BGU's Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research will travel to China in the near future to help found the new institute and determine specific collaborative projects.

"BGU welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Elion," says Prof. Pedro Berliner, the director of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. "The scientific and technological knowledge and expertise, which we have developed in the Blaustein Institutes, could be of great value to the Chinese in their efforts to combat desertification in Mongolia's desert. Our faculty is looking forward with excitement to collaborate in the establishment of the research institute in the Kubuqi desert."

Elion's Chinese partners in the creation of the new institute include the Chinese Academy of Science, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Inner Mongolia University, and Inner Mongolia Agricultural University. The Agriculture Research Organization of Israel will be an additional Israeli partner.

"This is a terrific example of BGU's leadership in desertification research and solutions, developed in Israel's drylands and shared with the world," explains Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU). "China is home to some of the world's largest deserts, so the achievements there will have a global impact."


Contact: Andrew Lavin
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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