An advanced $1.3 million research ship was dedicated at the end of October at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat.

Prof. Aaron Kaplan of the Hebrew University, the head of the Interuniversity Institute said, “… The fact that we now have a suitable ship will greatly advance marine research in Israel.”

Kaplan noted that marine research has attracted attention in recent years due to new scientific approaches and the increased use of marine biological models for medical research, including research on cancer. This, in turn, has brought more financial resources to be invested in the field.

“The new ship will make it possible to advance research on the unique organisms which are found in the Gulf of Eilat and also in the ocean itself,” Kaplan said, adding that “The technology on the ship will also make it possible to further the monitoring of the gulf and the development of means to cope with possible crises such as an oil spill.”

Purchase and outfitting of the new ship was financed by the Council for Higher Education, the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute of Science and private donors.