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Patrick stresses Mass-Israel relationship at tech summit

By Andrew Wingens
On November 14, 2011

Executives of data storage and security companies from both Israel and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Massachussetts Governor Deval Patrick arrived at Brandeis yesterday for a daylong summit to discuss the possibilities of collaboration between Israeli companies and those based in the Commonwealth.

The New England-Israel Business Council coordinated the summit, which was hosted by the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship of the Brandeis International Business School in the Hassenfeld Conference Center.

Patrick headlined the opening remarks and described the summit as an opportunity "to strengthen and grow the relationship between Massachusetts and Israel."

Patrick said that Massachusetts could be a "home away from home" for Israeli companies and that he would continue to "build those bridges [and] to ask for those partnerships understanding that they must be mutual."

Patrick welcomed the Israeli executives and said he is looking to "create opportunities both here in Massachusetts and in Israel."

"Our opportunities lie not just here in the Commonwealth, but beyond the Commonwealth as well," he said.

University President Frederick Lawrence, who introduced Patrick, said in his remarks that the University was "delighted" to host the summit.

Lawrence said that the mission of the IBS "has never been, I was going to say more compelling, in a sense it has never been more obvious that to be involved in business today, to be involved in the economy today is to be involved in the world."

Lawrence similarly commented that the "strategic partnership" between the United States and Israel "has never been more obvious."

"To those who are aware of the challenges in the global economy and the global political economy today, to have a strong ally based on a democratic system and based on a market system makes it an obvious partnership," continued Lawrence.

Dean of the International Business School Bruce Magid has taken time over his tenure at Brandeis to involve himself with Israel and the governor's office. Last March, for instance, Magid traveled with Patrick to Israel and the United Kingdom on the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission.

Magid also plans to join Patrick on a yet-to-be-finalized trade mission to Brazil next month.

Patrick said in an interview with the Justice that "Brandeis has shown real leadership" with regard to collaboration between public and private universities and between universities and business leaders.

Lawrence has also displayed engagement with Israel, traveling there this past summer and meeting with Israeli university presidents. The University will soon announce several collaborative efforts with Israeli universities, said Lawrence in his speech.

"The summit underscores Brandeis' commitment to nurture intellectual and business connections between companies operating in the U.S. and Israel," wrote Magid in a letter to the summit attendees.

The summit included panel discussions led by executives from EMC Corporation, IBM, Mass High Tech and presentations by eight Israeli companies. EMC, Foley Hoag LLP and Microsoft's Israel Research and Development Center also sponsored the event.  

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