from the October 2007 issue

Beduin R&D center opens in Negev

A regional research and development center for Beduin researchers opened recently at Hura in the Negev.

Work will be conducted in the fields of desert agriculture, technology, health, education, culture and economics.

Science and Technology Minister Ghaleb Majadle attended the dedication ceremony at the center, which is the third in the Arab sector after those at Shfaram and Kafr Kara in the North.

The new R&D center was established with ministry funding and will be run by Ahad - Academics for the Advancement of Arab Society in the Negev, with academic supervision by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba.

Medical research will include work on genetic and chronic diseases common in the Beduin community. Agricultural research will focus on the raising of sheep and cultivation of medicinal herbs in the desert; and technological research will include solar energy production. The ministry will finance the center's operations for a year, after which its achievements will be assessed.

Earlier, Minister Majadle attended the closing ceremony of the Sci-Tech summer camp for teenagers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. The camp, now marking its 15th year, was attended by 66 youths, Jewish and Arab, from Israel and abroad. It had been canceled last year due to the Second Lebanon War.

Majadle praised the camp for bringing youths from diverse backgrounds together to speak in the language of science. He also said he had set up a special team to fight the brain drain of Israeli scientists to other countries.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report October 2007

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