A University of Haifa (UH)-led consortium won the Israeli government’s bid to establish the country’s first National Center for Mediterranean Sea Research. The Center will also be the first comprehensive marine research facility anywhere in the southeastern Mediterranean.
The Center’s establishment creates a new, dynamic, and stable presence from which researchers worldwide can study the eastern Mediterranean. Currently, there are no such institutes in the region south of Syria.
“The Mediterranean Sea is a strategic asset for Israel and by developing it the country will achieve economic independence. Forming Israel’s coastline to the west, the Mediterranean possesses magnificent resources, a developed infrastructure, economic promise, and international trade potential. The resources hidden beneath the surface can significantly strengthen Israel’s energy economy, can contribute to closing social gaps, and can ultimately increase Israel’s political strength at home and abroad,” said UH President, Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev.
One of the factors that helped move this project forward and understand the importance of the deep sea, was the excursion led by Robert Ballard (at left), the famous marine archeologist who discovered the remains of the Titanic.
The University of Haifa’s Dr. Yitzhak Makovsky, a geophysicist who, along with Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham, is spearheading the Center’s development at UH, said “Ballard’s leadership helped us shape and push Israel into an understanding that there was more to the sea than just the blue surface.”
Find the complete press release here.
For more information on ways you can involved in this pioneering effort, contact ASUH Executive Director Yefet Ozery at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 238-ASUH.