MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues his trade trip in Israel and signed agreements Tuesday with Israeli officials to work on issues like space technology, agriculture, protecting water and cybersecurity.
On his third day in Israel, DeSantis began at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, along with Florida Cabinet members Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Fried joined DeSantis’ delegation after completing her own trade mission.
DeSantis met with several Israel companies and organizations including Stemrad, which specializes in protective equipment for radiation, SpacePharma, an Israeli satellite agency, and Nano Dimension, an electronic manufacturing company.
He also participated in Memorandum of Understanding signings between Space Florida and the Israel Innovation Authority, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Israeli National Emergency Management Authority.
Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz toured the Gaza strip and the emergency management center there. He praised an Israeli program that sends messages to residents’ cell phones during emergency events. He said Florida could learn from the technology. Moskowitz signed an agreement with Israeli officials, which will lay groundwork to have Israeli emergency officials help Florida if the state has a major disaster.
DeSantis also participated in eight Memorandum of Understanding signings between Tel Aviv University and six Florida universities and one college. They are Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University, the Florida Institute of Technology, Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, St. Leo University and the University of Central Florida.
“Thank you, Tel Aviv University, for your hospitality in hosting today’s event and presenting me with the Friendship Award,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am proud that seven Florida academic institutions are initiating some very exciting opportunities and research collaborations with Tel Aviv University, ranging from emergency management and neuroscience to cultural and student exchanges. Tel Aviv University enjoys a global reputation and I can think of no better way for the best minds in Florida and Israel to come together.”
DeSantis also received Tel Aviv University’s Friendship Award.
While in Tel Aviv, Governor DeSantis also announced a new research collaboration between Florida International University and Tel Aviv University aimed at testing anxiety disorders in children. FIU was awarded a $5.2 million research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to test a novel treatment for Child Social Anxiety Disorder. The study is expected to provide a new, computer-based treatment of social anxiety disorder, developed by Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Yair Bar-Haim.
“A major goal of this business development mission is to bring academic institutions together to find innovative solutions to issues facing both Florida and Israel,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am proud to announce this collaboration between Florida International University and Tel Aviv University to address child anxiety. This partnership will hopefully lead to the development of additional treatment options for our children.”