11 April 2016

Agritech agreement between Israel and NSW

From J-Wire, 7 April 2016:

The Premier of New South Wales, Mike Baird today witnessed the signing of an agreement in Israel between the University of Sydney and the Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel to help agricultural innovation flourish in NSW.
Premier Mike Baird witnesses the signing of the agreement
Premier Mike Baird witnesses the signing of the agreement
 The memorandum of understanding between the two institutions will concentrate on teaching, training and research activities in the areas of dairy, poultry and aquaculture. 
“Agriculture is a vital sector for both New South Wales and Israel, and with similar dry and arid climates it makes sense to share knowledge, expertise and innovative research,” Mr Baird said.
“We have a range of measures in place that support farmers to become more resilient and better prepared against drought conditions, to drive growth in the state’s agriculture sector into the future. 
“This agreement allows us learn from our shared experiences, and explore how the latest technological advancements could play a role in new farming methods that would help farmers with water, stock and land management.”
“When it comes to agriculture, Australia and Israel share many similarities. We both have a limited supply of water and arable land and both countries have a strong drive for innovation,” said Professor Katherine Belov, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Sydney.
“If we are to solve the major challenges of our time like food security, University of Sydney researchers need to collaborate with researchers from around the world. Agreements like this help to drive research and teaching collaboration, which will ultimately lead to real world solutions.”
Some of the projects researchers will be working on together include:
  • Increasing the meat quality in male calves;
  • Examining systems and genetics to minimise heat stress in animals;
  • Nutrition in poultry to prevent infectious diseases;
  • Exploring alternatives to the use of antibiotics in poultry;
  • Improving aquaculture systems for sustainable production of fish and vegetables;
  • Biosecurity and disease preparedness for aquaculture systems.

Premier of New South Wales Mike Baird meets Israel President Reuven Rivlin

From J-Wire, 4 April 2016:

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has met with Mike Baird, the  Premier of New South Wales who is currently visiting Israel.

Baird, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure and the Minister for Western Sydney, is the first Premier of  NSW to make an official visit to Israel.

NSW Premier Mike Baird meets Israel's President Reuven Rivlin  Photo:  Mark Neyman/GPO
NSW Premier Mike Baird meets Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO


President Rivlin welcomed Premier Baird at his home and reiterated his disappointment at having been unable to fulfill his planned visit to Australia in March. He said, “I was especially disappointed because I know and appreciate the tremendous cooperation that we have, which is an expression of the close friendship between Israeli and Australian people.”

The President added that Israel was greatly concerned about the situation in the region, and praised Australia for their strong stance against extremism. He said, “Even though you are on the other side of the world, you know very well that the spread of hatred and the instability that we are witnessing in the Middle East is a danger to the whole world, and I want to thank you for your country’s strong position against extremism. To Israel’s north, five armies are fighting each other, and none of them are friends of Israel. The Islamic State thugs are carrying out acts of terror across the world, and the whole free world must be united against this threat.”

The President also praised the strong and growing economic cooperation between Israel and Australia, and noted the importance of the new innovation partnerships now being created between startups and innovators in the two countries.

Premier Bard thanked the President and said that he hoped he would be able to visit Australia in the near future. He added that he was especially proud to see the strength of the growing cooperation between Israelis and Australians, and noted that this was the best answer to the terrorists, by continuing to nurture close ties, and prosperous partnerships.