The Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX) has selected 15 projects for £365,000 in research grants, promoting UK-Israel academic cooperation. The projects, selected from top universities in the UK and Israel, range from an ultra long laser for secure communications to the study of Aramaic magical texts and the role of nasal defense in polluted environments (full list of BIRAX awards at the bottom of this post).
The Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership (BIRAX) was launched in July 2008 by British PM Gordon Brown and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. The joint program was created to tighten the research and academic cooperation between the UK and Israel, following a series of academic boycotts on Israel. The grants are awarded for the purpose of joint scientific research and exchange opportunities.
The Britain-Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership is funded by a mix of private and public funding from the UK and Israel. The largest supporter of the scheme is the Pears Foundation from the UK (£550,000). The scheme is also supported by UJIA (United Jewish Israel Appeal, £200,000) and has the full backing of the British and Israeli governments which provide financial support through the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK and the Ministry of Science and Technology in Israel. The scheme is managed by the British Council from their offices in Israel. The scheme will run for five years and the next call for proposals is expected to be announced in December 2009.
Below is a short summary of the 15 BIRAX Winners for 2009:
A SYSTEMS-LEVEL DISSECTION OF TELOMERE BIOLOGY
Principal Investigators: Prof Martin Kupiec, Tel Aviv University and Prof David Lydall, Newcastle University
- ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF PUTATIVE SECRETED REPEAT-RICH PROTEINS IN ASPERGILLUS FUMIGATUS VIRULENCE
Principal Investigators: Dr Nir Osherov, Tel Aviv University and Dr Elaine Bignell, Imperial College
ARAMAIC MAGICAL TEXTS FROM LATE ANTIQUITY
Principal Investigators: Prof Dan Levene, Southampton University and Prof Gideon Bohak, Tel Aviv University
FUNCTIONAL ROLE OF NASAL DEFENCE IN POLLUTED ENVIRONMENTS
Principal Investigators: Prof David Elad, Tel Aviv University and Prof Denis J Doorly, Imperial College
GLOBAL AND INTRINSIC PROPERTIES OF GALAXY CLUSTER
Principal Investigators: Prof Yoel Rephaeli, Tel Aviv University and Prof Joseph Silk, Oxford University
INVESTIGATING THE CONNECTION BETWEEN MICRORNA PROCESSING AND MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION IN AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS
Principal Investigators: Prof Eran Hornstein, Weizmann Institute and Prof Elizabeth Fisher, University College London Institute of Neurology
MEMBRANE INTERACTIONS OF AMYLOID FIBRILS AND PRE-FIBRIL OLIGOMERS – A FUNDAMENTAL TOXICITY FACTOR?
Principal Investigators: Prof Raz Jelinek, Ben Gurion University of the Negev and Prof Sheena E Radford, Leeds University
METROLOGY IN COLD ATOMS
Principal investigators: Prof Arlene D Wilson-Gordon, Bar Ilan University and Prof Ferruccio Renzoni, University College London
NON-ABELIAN ANYONS FROM THEORY TO EXPERIMENT
Principal Investigators: Prof Adiel Stern, Weizmann Institute and Prof Nigel Cooper, Cambridge University
THE ROLE OF WHITE MATTER MICROSTRUCTRE IN NORMAL COGNITION
Principal Investigators: Dr Derek K Jones, Cardiff University and Prof Yaniv Assaf, Tel Aviv University
ULTRA-LONG LASER FOR SECURE COMMUNICATIONS
Principal Investigators: Prof Ian Bennion, Aston University and Dr Jacob Scheuer, Tel Aviv University
USE OF GENETIC INTERACTION MAPS TO REVEAL COUPLING MECHANISMS UNDERLYING PH HOMEOSTASIS IN YEAST
Principal Investigators: Dr Blanche Schwappach, Manchester University and Dr Maya Schuldiner, Weizmann Institute
UK-Tel Hai Research Partnership (funded separately by UJIA)
GRAPH COLOURING PROBLEMS IN OPTICAL NETWORKS
Principal Investigators: Dr Prudence Wong, Liverpool University and Dr Mordechai Shalom, Tel Hai Academic College
EVALUATING INITIATIVES OF INVOLVING SERVICE USERS IN SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION: PILOTING A COMPARATIVE PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH
Principal Investigators: Prof Shulamit Ramon, Anglia Ruskin University and Dr Shira Hantman, Tel Hai Academic College