The Economy Ministry's chief scientist, Avi Hasson, recently completed his first official trip to Australia, where visited Sydney, Melbourne, and the capital of Canberra.
The trip was aimed at strengthening the technological and scientific relationship between Israel and Australia. As such, Hasson met with a number of senior scientific and economic leaders. He also oversaw the relaunch of the VISTECH program, which helps joint Israeli-Australian companies find funding.
The highlight of the trip, though, was the signing of a research and development agreement with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, one of the country's four largest banks and whose assets are valued at $115.4 billion.
Hasson praised the agreement saying, "This is the first multinational Australian corporation joining Israel's program of collaborating with multinational corporations. This testifies to the program's global nature and its benefits even for companies from distant countries, especially those that do not yet have a permanent presence in Israel. In addition, this is the first bank joining the framework. The Australians were impressed with the program's value and its potential contribution to banks and the financial industry in general. The interest shown by the bank in Israel's innovation industry is focused mainly on cyber-security companies."
Summing up the trip as a whole, he added: “This visit is clearly a testament to the high regard Australia has for the Israeli innovation economy. A number of Australian government and trade delegations have visited Israel in recent months, focusing on lessons from the ‘Startup Nation’ in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.”