On Sunday, November 20, 2016, leaders of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities made an official visit to the facility for deep-sea research technologies maintained by the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel (MERCI)
in Haifa. Participants included the Academy’s president, Prof. Nili Cohen; her predecessor, Prof. Ruth Arnon; the Academy’s executive director, Dr. Meir Zadok; and the incoming executive director, Ms. Galia Finzi.
MERCI was founded in 2013 under the leadership of Academy member Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham. The Center conducts extensive and varied research in collaboration with research universities, government research institutes and other institutions.
Unprecedented development and important discoveries of offshore natural gas and oil reserves in the Mediterranean Sea have presented the State of Israel with a situation of enormous potential for economic development alongside scientific and technological challenges on a global scale.
The results of the committee’s work, coupled with Prof. Arnon’s enthusiastic support, led to the establishment of the Center in Haifa, which pools national resources in order to meet the many challenges posed by the Mediterranean Sea and to exploit the sea’s scientific, technological, economy, security and environmental potential.
The Center’s goals are to erect and improve the advanced and innovative research infrastructure required for sea research, to promote scientific expertise and the maintenance of national databases in the field of marine science, to ensure sustainable development of the State of Israel’s national natural resources in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea, and to leverage the local challenges to make Israel a world leader in marine science and technologies.
Prof. Nili Cohen, the president of the Academy, was deeply impressed by the extensive research activity and distinguished work of the Center’s staff. The Academy will continue to support the allocation of national resources and their investment in the Center’s activity.
From left to right: Prof. Ido Yitzhaki, Prof. Morel Groper, Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham, Prof. Ruth
Arnon, Prof. Nili Cohen, Dr. Meir Zadok, Prof. Gad Barzilai, Dr. Gideon Tibor, Dr. Yitzhaq
Makovsky, Prof. Daniel Weiss. (photo: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities)