Pears Foundation is a British family foundation rooted in Jewish values. Its work is concerned with positive identity and citizenship and seeks to promote respect and understanding between people of different backgrounds and faiths. The Foundation is committed to deepening academic links between British and Israel universities.
This commitment led to the British Council Israel founding the BIRAX (the Britain - Israel Research and Academic partnership) programme in collaboration with Pears Foundation and academic leaders from British and Israeli higher education institutions. It was launched by the Prime Ministers of both countries in 2008 with the aim of strengthening academic cooperation between universities in the UK and Israel through the awarding of grants for joint scientific research.
In 2008, building on the success of the original BIRAX programme, an enhanced scheme focusing on Regenerative Medicine was launched with an ambitious £10 million fundraising target. The BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative, focusing on the great potential in scientific collaboration between the UK and Israel. will give generous support to joint high quality and ground-breaking UK-Israel research projects. These projects should offer the prospect of a significant impact on global health, enhance joint research between British and Israeli academic institutions and invest in early stage collaboration between researchers, including PhD and Postdoctoral students. This vision has been strongly endorsed and directed by the UK/Israel Life Sciences Council, a group of 20 leading scientists from both countries. The group contains four Nobel Prize winners, three members of the House of Lords, Presidents of universities, and some of the most eminent and distinguished scientists in the world.
Due to the positive relationship formed and the success of the first two years of the scheme, Pears Foundation was a natural first approach for the British Council who generously pledged £1 million over the five years of the programme. As a founding partner, a representative of the Pears Foundation sits on the Project Board for the initiative and there is regular contact with staff based both in Israel and in Britain.
‘Pears Foundation is delighted to see their partnership with the British Council and the British Government continue to deepen academic cooperation and research between Britain and Israel. We hope that these links will continue to grow and flourish for the benefit of Britain, Israel and the world’.
BIRAX was initiated by Pears Foundation, UJIA, the British Embassy and the British Council to promote increased collaboration between academics and institutions in the UK and Israel. The BIRAX Regenerative Medicine Initiative has been made possible through the generous support of Bonita Trust, the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Kahn Foundation, Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation, Wolfson Family Charitable Trust and Yad Hanadiv.
In addition, we are grateful for the support of Celia and Edward Atkin CBE, the Medical Research Council, Rosetrees Trust, the Barbara and Stanley Fink Foundation, and the Sheila and Denis Cohen Charitable Trust.