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France-Israel scientific cooperation agreement

Jerusalem, March 16, 2009 A French-Israeli scientific agreement, known as the European Associated Laboratory Agreement (LEA), will be signed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Wednesday, March 18, within the framework of the France-Israel Binational Symposium in Neuroscience.

The new agreement marks the renewal of a 2004 joint project known as the France-Israel International Associated Laboratory Agreement, which established the Franco-Israeli Laboratory of System Neurophysiology and Neurophysics, bringing together French and Israeli researchers. The French members, from the French National Research Center (CNRS), are faculty members of Paris-Descartes University and Victor Segalen University in Bordeaux, while the Israeli researchers are senior scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

That cooperative effort led to several collaborative joint research projects between scientists in the two countries, as well as to the first-ever French-Israeli binational neuroscience symposium -- first held in Israel in 2004 and now taking place biannually -- and to joint scientific publications.

The new agreement establishing the European Associated Laboratory (LEA), entitled the France-Israel Laboratory of Neuroscience, will be signed in the presence of President of the Hebrew University Prof. Menachem Magidor, Vice-President of the Hebrew University for Research and Development Prof. Hillel Bercovier, President of the CNRS Prof. Catherine Brechignac, and Vice-President of the Victor Segalen University Prof. Alain Blanchard. The ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Belgium House Faculty Club on the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the Hebrew University at Givat Ram. .

"Ties with the French scientific world and especially with the large research institutions in Europe create new opportunities in brain research," said Prof. Israel Nelken of the Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University and one of the leaders of the joint project. "This cooperation is especially significant in a period during which one hears voices in Europe calling for a boycott of Israeli academia."

The March 18 France-Israel Symposium in Neuroscience, to follow the agreement signing, will be held at the Konrad Adenauer Center at Mishkenot Shaananim starting at 2:15 p.m. and will feature presentations on a range of recent joint French-Israeli studies as well as topics of research and collaboration planned for coming years. The symposium is open to students and researchers who are not members of the LEA as well as members of the media.

Sponsors of the event are the France-Israel Laboratory of Neuroscience and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program will begin with remarks by Profs. l Nelken of the Hebrew University and David Hansel of the University of Paris Descartes, co-directors of the LEA, and will continue until 7:30 p.m.

Contact: Jerry Barach
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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