Texas A&M University Texas A&M University Texas A&M University has announced a new, $6 million partnership with the University of Haifa for a marine research center. (Photo: Texas A&M University)

Find out where Texas A&M is launching its new marine research center (hint: it's not in Texas)

New initiative will focus on critical energy projects taking place in the Mediterranean Sea.

Enticed by one of the world's greatest startup ecosystems, Texas A&M University has announced plans to open a new marine research center in the Mediterranean port city of Haifa, Israel. The $6 million initiative, in partnership with the University of Haifa, is expected to focus on both marine science and future offshore gas and energy sources.

The center, slated to open in February, will make an immediate impact in the form of a new marine monitoring station. It will be the first of its kind in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. By studying the collected data, the researchers will be able to gain insights on ocean flow, create techniques to mitigate risks associated with offshore energy exploration, and better gauge the ecological health of coastal waters.

Thanks to Israel's position as an international hot spot for innovation, officials at Texas A&M see this new center as the first step in a long, fruitful partnership.

“We’re starting with a $6 million project there, but I don’t have any doubt that it’ll grow exponentially over the years,” said A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “They don’t call it ‘startup nation’ for nothing."

Israel gets the majority of its water through desalination. Above, a view of the Mediterranean Sea from the Israeli city of Ashkelon.A new marine research center will focus on the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: Saikom/Shutterstock)

“Texas A&M is one of the largest and best universities in the States, especially in marine sciences,” University of Haifa Rector David Faraggi told the Associated Press. “This is something the University of Haifa is putting major efforts into, to make ourselves leaders in marine research in Israel.”

Texas A&M's partnership with the University of Haifa is the latest in a series of international collaborations between U.S. and Israeli universities. Earlier this year, Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology announced a joint venture to develop a $100 million campus on New York City's Roosevelt Island.

“It will be one of the most modern and advanced research institutes in the world – a citadel of innovation," Technion President Peretz Lavie said. "When I visited Roosevelt Island recently, I felt that I was standing on a bridge between the Technion and Cornell University. I think everyone in Israel and New York should be proud of what has been accomplished here.”

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