Prof. Benjamin Ehrenberg from Bar Ilan University in Israel visited the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Makerere University on the 4th of April 2013. This was part of a 2day visit to Makerere University. Prof. Ehrenberg is the Vice President for Research at the Bar Ilan University. He is a physicist attached to the department of Physics and the Institute of Nano Technology and Advanced Materials at the same university.
Prof. Ehrenberg held a meeting with the Principal, Prof. J.Y.T Mugisha to discuss possible areas of mutual collaboration. Some of the issues discussed included: means of retaining scientists at universities which is a major problem; opportunities for trans-disciplinary research to make basic sciences more applicable; means of making sciences more business oriented and partnering with industries for application of theories from the University as well as identification of a niche to guide collaboration. The meeting was also attended by Prof. Oryem Origa (Deputy Principal), Ritah Namisango (University Public Relations Officer) and Mr. George Piwang. Thereafter Prof. Ehrenberg proceeded on a tour of the College to see our laboratories and research facilities.
It is expected that the collaboration will be premised on the Israel/Africa cooperation platform and presents opportunity to approach development partners with joint proposals. Some of the subject areas proposed include: molecular biology, chemical engineering, petroleum and geosciences institute, nano technology, space science among others as will be identified along the way.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Friday 5th April 2013 to further academic exchange, cooperation, staff development and training for appropriate Makerere University staff at Bar Ilan University; upgrade of Makerere University’s laboratory and research facilities modelled on Bar Ilan University’s state-of-the-art research laboratories, technological research and development (R&D), and innovations facilities. It is expected that with such collaborations, CoNAS can become a regional hub of excellence in East and Central Africa.