February 28, 2021
Following on from the memorandum of understanding signed by the Weizmann Institute of Science and the UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in September 2020, the two institutions have announced the establishment of the WIS-MBZUAI Joint Program for Artificial Intelligence Research. The new program will promote collaborative initiatives fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) research and will explore AI applications in domains such as healthcare, genomics and more.
Drawing upon the combined expertise of the Weizmann Institute and MBZUAI, the AI Program will carry out both basic and applied research in Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Computational Biology, Neural Sciences, and more, toward the vision of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Joint research projects conducted by teams from both institutions will form the core of the program. The collaboration will encompass joint research projects, joint training programs, mutual visits, AI conferences and workshops, and student and staff exchange programs. The agreement will also seek to recruit highly qualified researchers and staff to support and facilitate the AI Program’s central mission.
Professor Alon Chen, Weizmann Institute President, and Professor Dr Eric Xing, MBZUAI President, inked the new partnership agreement during a virtual ceremony in the presence of officials from both establishments.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, attended the event and delivered opening remarks. Speaking on the announcement, he said: “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. 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. MBZUAI is proud to work with leading institutes such as the Weizmann Institute of Science, to bring about a future built on knowledge, sustainability and resilience.”
Speaking on the announcement, Professor Alon Chen said: “The implications of AI are vast, and will affect every aspect of our lives. Through the WIS-MBZUAI Institute 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. Together we will advance AI, discovering new means of leveraging the immense possibilities of this diverse and exciting technology for the benefit of humanity.”
Professor Dr Eric Xing said: “Collaborative efforts amongst leaders in the field of AI will enable us to achieve significant progress. The establishment of the AI Program further strengthens our partnership with the Weizmann Institute, laying the foundation to enhance the global AI ecosystem and further advance in areas of science, technology and higher education. 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.”
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and offers masters’ and doctoral-level degrees across five faculties. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences. Institute scientists are advancing research on the human brain, artificial intelligence, computer science and encryption, astrophysics and particle physics, and they are tackling diseases such as cancer, and addressing climate change through environmental, ocean and plant sciences, and more.
The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, established in 2019, is the world’s first graduate-level, research-based AI university. Based in Abu Dhabi, the University offers MSc and PhD programs in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing. MBZUAI introduces a new model of academia and research to the field of AI, providing students and faculty access to some of the world’s most advanced AI systems to unleash the technology’s full potential for economic and societal development.
(l-r) Prof. Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Prof. Dr. Eric Xing, President of MBZUAI, and H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, attended the signing ceremony remotely