Zvika Rubinstein

What was the idea behind establishing a research institute at Israel's furthest northern border?   


MIGAL was created in 1979 as a platform upon which to leverage the scientific knowledge among kibbutz members in the Upper Galilee, for the benefit of the region.  At the beginning, the main focus was on agriculture, eventually moving on to encompass the life sciences and biotechnology.  The main idea was to catalyze a knowledge-based economy in the Galilee that would be strong and sustainable.   


And after more than 30 years, what has MIGAL accomplished?  


Today, there are about 180 researchers, engineers and advanced studies students working at MIGAL – about 50 of whom hold PhDs.  Our core research areas are currently the life sciences, biomedical sciences and environmental sciences.   MIGAL also has a close strategic partnership with Tel Hai Academic College, and many of our researchers have academic appointments at Tel Hai.   Among academic colleges in Israel, Tel Hai is one of the most dynamic and popular study destinations, particularly for its biotechnology, life and food sciences programs, all of which involve work in MIGAL.  We have also recently established a cooperative Doctoral studies program with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which enables researchers to obtain their PhD from the Technion while conducting their research at MIGAL.    


Where is MIGAL headed at this point?  


After decades of hard work and investment, MIGAL is now solidly positioned as a focal point in the north for excellent scientific research.  It is also recognized as an agent for strengthening the Upper Galilee by providing high-level employment opportunities and promoting science and technology-based economic activities.   


With support from the Government of Israel and other entities, MIGAL is now actively recruiting gifted young scientists who would like to pursue their scientific vision in the Upper Galilee.   


What opportunities do you offer at MIGAL?  


At this point we are looking for young PhD and post-doc scientists who are working in the fields of life sciences, health and the environment. These are areas in which we have a critical mass of research activities that we would like to build upon.    


In addition, we are about to begin a new Researcher/Entrepreneur program, and are interested in recruiting scientists whose areas of research have strong commercial potential.  


Tell us more about the Researcher/Entrepreneur program.  


As I mentioned before, at MIGAL, we are committed to strengthening the Galilee by building its knowledge-based economy.  It is our intention that the new Researcher/Entrepreneur program will engender numerous high-technology and biotechnology start-ups that will be based in the Galilee.  


The Researcher/Entrepreneur program is totally unique in that provides both scientific/academic research infrastructure and entrepreneurial guidance and financing simultaneously, under one roof. In addition to the core research infrastructure and funding which are provided by MIGAL, competitive grants and other funding sources, dedicated mentoring and funding of $600K for entrepreneurial development are special features of this program.  


Candidates for the program must provide a research plan that has a potential commercial application.  Once a candidate is accepted, a 3-year work plan is developed leading towards proof of concept.  After this period, ideally, the initial steps for commercial development can begin.       


What are the benefits of working at MIGAL?  


MIGAL offers a unique combination of state-of-the-art research activities and facilities in a relaxed, rural setting.  I think that one of the exceptional qualities at MIGAL is its congenial work atmosphere.  This is something we cultivate and value.   Working at MIGAL requires living in the Galilee, where we enjoy a wealth of natural and cultural attractions, relaxed quality of life and a strong sense of community.  We also have the challenge and satisfaction of being part of an enterprise that is fortifying the country, for the greater wellbeing of us all.