Five Quebec-Israel research projects receive funding

Quebec International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre

Five joint projects between universities and businesses in Quebec and Israel have received funding from the provincial government.

In advance of the trade mission that Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard led to Israel and the Palestinian territories in May 2017, the Ministry of International Affairs put out a call for proposals for joint projects between Quebec companies, universities, research institutions and non-profit organizations and their Israeli counterparts.

The government provides grants of up to $7,000, mainly for travel, for projects focused on research, science and innovation. Priority is given to projects that have the greatest likelihood of being commercialized and that are sustainable.


The five projects sharing $35,000 in grants are:

  • a cleantech idea for the storage of hydrogen using an alloy of vanadium, titanium and chromium that’s being developed by Jacques Huot, a physics professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and Technion professor Eugen Rabkin;
  • a method of improving magnetic resonance imaging that involves the enrichment of spin isomers and is being studied by Patrick Ayotte, a chemistry professor at the Université de Sherbrooke, and Technion professor Gil Alexandrowicz;
  • a new imaging method for the early detection of the group of diseases known as amyloidosis, which is being advanced by chemistry professors William Lubell of the Université de Montréal and Shai Rahimipour of Bar-Ilan University;
  • further enhancement of the mobile application Belong.Life, which is described as the world’s largest social network for cancer patients, by its creator, Eliran Malki of the software company Belongtail Ltd. in Israel, and Dr. Carmen Loiselle of McGill University, a specialist in psychosocial oncology; and
  • an ultra-fast system of controlling microscopic laser beams that’s being developed by Christian-Yves Côté, president of Axis Photonique Inc. in Varennes, Que., and Bar-Ilan physics professor Patrick Sebbah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets Premier Philippe Couillard in his Jerusalem office.

“Quebec and Israel share numerous affinities,” stated Quebec International Relations Minister Christine St-Pierre.

“Our two societies have been able to put in place economic institutions based on knowledge and innovation, and marked by openness to the world. The projects supported by my ministry will further promote these links, and I want to congratulate the (recipients) for their promising co-operation initiatives.”

Meanwhile, a notable partnership that resulted from Couillard’s Israel mission is under fire from Québec Solidaire Leader Manon Massé.

Hydro-Québec and the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), also a public utility, agreed to share knowledge and best practices on combating the growing threat of cyber-attacks.

Quebec and Israel share numerous affinities.
– Christine St-Pierre

Massé is demanding that Hydro-Quebec and the energy minister explain why the province has entered into a relationship with Israel, which, she alleged, violates international law and United Nations resolutions in the territories.

More specifically, she charged that the IEC electrifies the separation barrier and punishes Palestinians by depriving them of electricity.

The left-wing party, which holds three seats in the national assembly, has officially endorsed the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign against Israel since 2009.