Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado and Prof. Pedro Berliner of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on July 15, 2010. The agreement, which was also signed by the President of Colorado State University Anthony Frank and Director of the Colorado Water Institute Dr. Reagan Waskom, "is to encourage voluntary interaction and cooperation and to promote friendship between the two parties for their mutual benefit."
"This agreement builds upon our mutual interests and common fields of research in fields such as water, biotechnology and solar energy," said Governor Ritter at the signing. "These are quality of life issues for the people of Colorado."
"The MOU will provide the required framework for strengthening future collaboration between the institutions," said Prof. Berliner. "We are building on an existing relationship and look forward to expanding our collaborations," he added, noting that CSU faculty have already taught intensive courses at the Albert Katz International School of Desert Studies (AKIS) and that researchers from CSU and BIDR have established working contacts.
The signing took place during the visit of a delegation of cabinet officials from Colorado, academic representatives and Jewish organizational leadership from the state of Colorado to the Negev Highlands region of Israel, with the aim of establishing research and practical applied collaborations for developing technologies in agriculture, water and renewable energy in arid regions. The visit is the result of a 10-year partnership between the Ramat Negev community and the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (Partnership 2000) and the mission included in addition to Governor Ritter the heads of the Governor’s Energy Office, Department of Agriculture, Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Office of Policy and Initiatives, the Governor’s Chief Operating Officer, and the President and CEO of the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, Mr. Doug Seserman.