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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Patrick touts MA-Israel ties

Published: November 18, 2011
Section: Featured, Front Page

The Brandeis International Business School (IBS) welcomed Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to campus Monday to open the fourth annual New England-Israel Business Council’s 2011 Data Storage & Security Summit. The event brought business and technology leaders from both New England and Israel together to discuss issues of international trade.

Just one week after addressing the consequences of anti-Semitism at the ADL’s “New Anti-Semitism” event, Patrick turned his attention to “building bridges,” as President Fred Lawrence said Monday, and forming strong business partnerships between New England and Israeli companies.

“Collaborating across the private and academic sectors, as well as with government, is how both of our countries will effectively compete in this global economy. We are looking to enrich the conversation and build on these opportunities both here in Massachusetts and in Israel,” Patrick said, before addressing the eight Israeli companies who presented products there: “You have a home and a friend here.”

For the five years he has been in office, Israel has been one of the foreign states with which building a strong business relationship Patrick has specifically targeted. In February of this year, Patrick and IBS Dean Bruce Magid led a coalition of the state’s top academics and business executives on the Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission to Israel and the United Kingdom. The goals of the mission were to strengthen bonds between companies in Massachusetts, the United Kingdom and Israel in an increasingly globalized economy—all goals that Patrick continues to strive toward.

“Today’s event is an opportunity to grow and strengthen the relationship between Massachusetts and Israel,” the governor said, saying that “As of 2009, there were nearly 100 Massachusetts companies with Israeli founders or Israeli-licensed technology—it is how we will mutually benefit from our leadership in innovation.”

Brandeis plays a significant role in this international business dialogue. Much of its success hinges on collaboration between businesses and academic institutions in Boston, and Brandeis helps bridge the gap between these two worlds. Brandeis is also an institution that supports collaboration with Israel on all fronts—academic and economic.

Patrick’s speech was preceded by that of Shai Bazak, consul-general of Israel to the United States for the New England region and President Fred Lawrence. Afterward, Pat Geisinger, president and COO of EMC Corporation, gave the keynote address on the evolving role of data storage and companies’ need to embrace new business technologies. Several companies, both from New England and Israel, gave short presentations on their new technologies relating to database scaling and digital recovery; other university leaders from commonwealth state college systems will accompany the governor on his mission as well.