One of the leading business schools in India, Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Management (IIM), has set up an ‘Israel Center’ on its campus with the aim to “bridge academic collaboration” between India and Israel.

The center will carry out academic research, and promote faculty and student exchange programs between the two countries. “The Israel Centre at IIM Bangalore will lead to upgrading of academic collaboration between India and Israel, and will make our countries and economies stronger,” said Israel’s envoy to India Ambassador Daniel Carmon, at the inauguration ceremony on Sunday.

“India’s strong aspirational entrepreneurial spirit stands to gain from Israel’s vibrant technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem,” Director of the institute, Professor G. Raghuram said in a statement welcoming the launch of the center.

The news of the inauguration was covered by most of the major newspapers and TV networks in India. The newspaper Indian Express reported:

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore has inaugurated an Israel Centre on its campus on Sunday to promote India’s academic collaborations with the middle eastern nation. Commenting that the Israeli economy is based on innovation and the start-up industry, the Israeli ambassador to India stated that Indian technology will support their system and result in a merger of ecosystems.

“India’s strong aspirational entrepreneurial spirit stands to gain from Israel’s vibrant technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Israel’s aim for market scale up would be aided by India’s large market with innovative opportunities,” IIM Bangalore director G Raghuram said, adding that the Israel centre will provide the platform to understand technology innovation, business strategy and history, government policies and culture. This, he says, will boost further collaborations in academics, research, business and beyond.

The centre will aim to serve business communities in both countries and intensify bilateral cooperation. The venture has been hailed as “a first-of-its-kind” by the Israel’s ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon.

The news comes at a time when the academic relations between the two countries are at an all time high. Earlier this year, both countries created an Innovation Fund with the seed money of $40 million to promote research and innovation. Indian government’s Department for Higher Education recently announced scholarships for Indian students interested in pursuing higher education in Israel. The subjects offered under this scholarship range from Jewish History to Biotechnology.

Not only are the bilateral diplomatic and trade relations on the rise, the leaders of both countries share an excellent personal rapport. Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic Israel visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be visiting India next year. “[I]n January, I will make a reciprocal visit to my dear good friend, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, whose population is a significant part of humanity.” Prime Minister Netanyahu said while announcing his plans to visit India at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session.

Indian multinationals, having made substantial investments in Israeli companies and startups, are upbeat about the future of bilateral trade ties. Opening more avenues of cooperation, like the Israel Center at India’s leading business school, promises to introduce India’s future corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to Israel’s rich technology and startup ecosystem.

Video: Prime Minister Netanyahu explains why countries like China and India seek greater cooperation with Israel:

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