OCAD University announced a research and educational partnership with the Jerusalem-based Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The agreement will promote student, faculty, research and innovation linkages between the two institutions as well as enrich understanding between Israel and Canada. It will also serve to increase the impact of the creative industries in each country and globally.
“OCAD University is pleased to contribute to Ontario’s global success through this partnership that will also expand our global impact,” said Carole Beaulieu, OCAD University’s Associate Vice-President of University Relations. Beaulieu is part of the Premier’s Mission to Israel and the West Bank and signed the agreement on behalf of the university.
The agreement will create a research and educational partnership between Canada and Israel through the countries’ two leading art and design institutions: OCAD University and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Specifically, the relationship will:
- Create student and faculty exchanges;
- Link OCAD University’s networking of research and innovation laboratories, the Digital Media + Research Innovation Institute, to Bezalel Research Authority and Bezalel Labs Ltd., which will leverage talent in both countries to find solutions to pressing problems such as designing for environmental sustainability and co-creating products for market; and
- Leverage the talent and expertise in Ontario’s specialized art and design incubator (OCAD University’s Campus-Linked Accelerator, Imagination Catalyst) and share its brand of creative entrepreneurship, particularly its inclusive design and strategic foresight expertise, with Bezalel Research Authority and Bezalel Labs, linking to Middle Eastern partnerships through the collaboration.
"I look forward to seeing the creative minds at OCAD University and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design collaborating on arts-based research projects," said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. "This partnership will lead to more opportunities to learn about Ontario’s and Israel’s cultures through art and design, and it will also open up new business markets for the creative industries in both regions."
“Bezalel Academy's newly expanded partnership with OCAD University reflects our outreach for excellence through international research and innovation, in the fields of art, design and architecture,” said Liv Sperber, Vice President for International Affairs, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.
The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Israel’s oldest institute of higher education, was established 110 years ago by Prof. Boris Schatz and is currently Israel’s leading academy of art, design and architecture and one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world. Bezalel and its many generations of graduates are at the forefront of the local and global artistic scene and are instrumental in shaping and enriching Israel's cultural identity as well as contributing greatly to the national achievements in the hi-tech industry and society as a whole.
As Ontario’s only and Canada’s leading art, design and digital media university, OCAD University brings specialized capacity to the workforce, creating jobs, stimulating innovation and research, and contributing to economic development in Canada. Through the delivery of experiential, hands-on learning and through specialized programs — such as those offered by the Imagination Catalyst — the university supports individuals and teams in the development of startups and the building of cross-sector partnerships. The contexts for such work are remarkably varied: information and communication technologies (ICT), digital, mobile, the health sciences, gallery and exhibition venues, design studios, government and the cultural industries.