Abu Dhabi's AI university launches partnership with Israeli institute

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence will work closely with the Weizmann Institute of Science on research projects

Professor Eric Xing, president of MBZUAI (top right) and Professor Alon Chen, president of the Weizmann Institute (top left), agreed the partnership at a virtual ceremony attended by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of MBZUAI's board of trustees (centre). Courtesy: MBZUAI
Professor Eric Xing, president of MBZUAI (top right) and Professor Alon Chen, president of the Weizmann Institute (top left), agreed the partnership at a virtual ceremony attended by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of MBZUAI's board of trustees (centre). Courtesy: MBZUAI

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence has joined forces with a leading Israeli institute to harness new technology to drive forward advancements in key fields such as healthcare and genomics.

The world's first dedicated AI university, based in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, will team up with the Weizmann Institute of Science on research and collaborate on training and student exchange initiatives.

The establishment of a joint programme for artificial intelligence research, which was formally agreed in September, will encompass machine learning, computer vision, neural sciences, computational biology and more.

A recruitment drive will be launched for highly qualified researchers and staff to support the programme.

Prof Eric Xing, president of MBZUAI and Prof Alon Chen, president of the Weizmann Institute, agreed the partnership at an online ceremony.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and chairman of MBZUAI's board of trustees, was among the guests at the event.

“The collaboration between MBZUAI and WIS aligns with our leadership’s vision of extending and strengthening bridges of collaboration in the service of our nation and humanity and seeks to enable socio-economic progress through AI innovation," Dr Al Jaber said.

"We are confident that partnerships that leverage talent, technological and research capabilities will deliver breakthroughs in AI that will empower the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and contribute towards finding solutions for the greatest challenges we face as an international community – such as Covid-19, food security and more."

Pro Xing said the programme would be a major boost for students in Abu Dhabi.

"This will provide our students and faculty with access to world-class resources beyond our own university, fostering a culture of international partnership and knowledge-sharing,” he said.

Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence will work in partnership with Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science. Wam      
Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence will work in partnership with Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science. Wam      

Prof Chen said the pooling of resources would accelerate progress in the AI sector.

“The implications of AI are vast, and will affect every aspect of our lives. Through the MBZUAI-WIS Joint Programme for Artificial Intelligence we are bringing together some of the greatest minds in the fields of AI, natural and exact sciences, with the ambition of extending boundaries and empowering our scientists with access to exceptional resources," he said.

MBZUAI, established in 2019, selected its first students this year.

The 78 students from 29 countries began their studies in Abu Dhabi in January. There are 14 Emiratis in the cohort.

The class of 2021 was chosen from thousands of applications received from almost 100 countries.

The university offers MSc and PhD programmes in the fields of computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing.

The Weizmann Institute is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and offers masters’ and doctoral-level degrees across five faculties.

Updated: February 24, 2021 12:56 PM

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