Florida Governor Ron DeSantis participated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing between Space Florida and the Israel Space Agency on 27 May 2019. The Governor, Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello, and Mr. Avi Blasberger, Director General of The Israel Space Agency, were all on hand for the signing, which took place at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
Also in attendance were Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Enterprise Florida, Inc. President and CEO Jamal Sowell, Space Florida Vice President of Research and Innovation Tony Gannon, Chairman of the Israel Space Agency Major General Isaac Ben-Israel, Israel Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis and Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology Ran Ber.
“Today, we are here to initiate a partnership that will benefit the space industries of both Florida and Israel,” said Governor DeSantis. “I want to thank the leaders from the Israel Space Agency for joining us to offer an opportunity to increase collaborative research, provide educational enrichment for our students and drive innovation like never before.”
“Space Florida is excited to collaborate with the Israel Space Agency in critical endeavors that mutually benefit both Israel and Florida,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “As we highlight and seek solutions to bio-agriculture and water issues, the goal is to inspire and encourage students to seek scientific solutions and encouragement from this international partnership.”
“In the last year we have been making progress to reach this special day,” said Avi Blasberger, Director General of the Israel Space Agency. “The Israel Space Agency and Space Florida desire to work together to discuss potential areas of collaborative relationships to support space exploration, scientific research and innovation and to jointly promote science, technology, engineering and math. This is a big step for the benefit of our communities and our peoples.”
The agreement between the Israel Space Agency and Space Florida will allow innovative collaboration and partnership in research, development and education. More specifically, there will be increased collaboration in scientific programs of remote sensing or other mutually agreed upon areas of interest; and educational programs, such as STEM-focused CubeSat competitions for Florida and Israeli students.
Additional potential research endeavors may include payload applications to specific bio-agriculture and water issues commonly faced in both Florida and Israel. The intent is to focus on taking space-related research from satellites and the International Space Station (ISS), and applying discoverable science to major agriculture and water issues which have a global impact. The goal will be to obtain high-resolution photographs of specific sites to track environmental issues such as desertification, erosion, pollution, natural disasters and other phenomena associated with environmental damage.