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Israel Centre at IIMB to boost academic collaboration between the two nations

November 6, 2017

On Sunday, November 5, Daniel Carmon, ambassador of Israel to India, inaugurated the Israel Centre at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) as the chief guest.  Speaking on the occasion, Carmon said, “The Israel Centre at IIM Bangalore will lead to upgrading of academic collaboration between India and Israel, and will make our countries and economies stronger.”
The ambassador went on to say that like Bangalore, Israeli economy is based on innovation and the start-up industry. “Indian technology will support the Israeli system. So this is a merger of our ecosystems.” Pointing out that a crucial part of successful academia is sharing of knowledge, the ambassador said academic partners should be like-minded in the pursuit of knowledge, but different enough to bring in diverse perspectives.

Hailing the Israel Centre at IIM Bangalore as “a first-of-its-kind venture”, he said it would bring the two countries together. “We need to continue to encourage more student exchanges and we will see the fruits of labour in the years to come,” he added.

Earlier, while welcoming the guests, Professor Abhoy K. Ojha, chairperson of the Centre and senior faculty from the Organisational Behavior and Human Resources Management (OBHRM) area at IIMB, said the Israel Centre at IIM Bangalore was the beginning of a new academic relationship between Israel and India, which would lead to deeper engagement between the two countries.

Prof. G. Raghuram, director, IIM Bangalore, gave a background of the bilateral collaboration between India and Israel and spoke of the traditional areas of partnership between the two countries, the potential in new domains, and the complementarities between the two countries.

“India’s strong aspirational entrepreneurial spirit stands to gain from Israel’s vibrant technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Israel’s aim for market scale up would be aided by India’s large market with innovative opportunities. The Israel Centre at IIMB will provide the perfect platform for the two countries for the understanding of technology innovation, business strategy and history, government policies and culture, which in turn will lead to many more collaborations in the realm of academics, research, business, and beyond,” he explained.

Talking about Israel-centric work at IIMB, Prof. Raghuram said, “The Israel Centre is a consolidation of what has been happening already and it is sure to cement the existing thriving business and academic ties between India and Israel. All this can now be taken forward.”

Talking about the mission, objectives and proposed activities of the Centre, Prof. Raghuram said, “We can leverage on the competencies of the entrepreneurship and innovation hub of IIM Bangalore – N. S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL). Our new campus will also support such initiatives.”

The keynote address was delivered by Ajay Vipin Nanavati, chairman, Syndicate Bank, and former CEO, 3M Israel and 3M India. He focussed on why the Israeli system does well and what India can learn from it. “Israel has learnt to operate outside silos – academia, government and industry work together; they always aim to fulfil their goals and vision; they know how to accelerate the pace of decision making; they speak their mind; they focus on technology; they have a healthy disrespect for hierarchy and they value and nurture a global mind-set when it comes to innovation and technology,” he said.

In his closing address, Prof. Gadi Ariav said the Centre is an outcome of the rapidly shortening geographical distance between nations. He also pointed out that there will be challenges in this venture, which we need to overcome with what he termed ‘unhurried thoughtfulness’, as scholarship needs proper time to thrive. “The Centre will serve the business communities on both the sides and will help intensify bilateral cooperation.”

Dana Kursh, consul general of Israel in Bengaluru, was a special guest at the launch

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