Earlier this month over 600 academics across the country called on Irish universities to sever all partnerships and affiliations with Israeli institutions until the occupation of Palestinian territory is ended, the Palestinian rights to equality and self-determination are vindicated, and the right of Palestinian refugees to return is facilitated.
Locally, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) have condemned College’s silence on the situation in Gaza, which has been labelled “a textbook case of genocide”.
Trinity continues to have ties to at least 12 Israeli organisations, through research collaboration and business relationships. Cumulatively, College receives over €2.5 million in funding for ongoing collaborative research projects which involve Israel, all funded by the European Commission.
Tel Aviv University
Trinity and Tel Aviv University are among 12 collaborators on EXPERT, a project to develop a platform-based delivery system for mRNA nanomedicine.
Tel Aviv University is deeply involved with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Israel’s occupation of Palestine. As well as military and war technology, it is responsible for the development of the “ethical code” of the IDF, and trains lawyers for the Military Advocate General which is responsible for the legal representation of the IDF.
Trinity’s collaboration with Tel Aviv is set to run until 2025, having begun in 2019. Trinity has been allocated €755,805 in funding for its participation.
Tel Aviv University was also a contributing partner in CHICKENSTRESS, a project studying factors contributing to stress in hens in the poultry industry, which concluded in April of this year. Trinity received a total of €274,684 in funding for its involvement in the project, on which the Open University of Israel also collaborated.
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Trinity is one of 19 partners, including Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, on IMPACTIVE, a pilot scheme to develop “mechanochemical” processes to produce several active ingredients used in pharmaceuticals.
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology is noted for its cooperation with the Israeli military and Elbit Systems in arms research and technology. Elbit Systems is described as an international company that operates in the defence and security technology field. Elbit is responsible for supplying surveillance systems to Israel’s West Bank, supporting the military occupation of the region.
Trinity will receive €699,441 in total funding for its involvement in the project, which began last October. It is scheduled to run until September 2026.
Weizmann Institute of Science
According to information released under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request last year, College has an ongoing business relationship with the Weizmann Institute of Science who provide “DNA sequencing” to Trinity.
Weizmann openly collaborates with the war industry, having strong ties to Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, as well as having demonstrated support for the development of Israel’s nuclear program.
Trinity has a longstanding collaborative relationship with the Weizmann Institute, having held multiple joint conferences in the past.
Trinity BDS has described Weizmann as “anti-BDS,” having set up a campaign to counter the anti-apartheid movement by highlighting Israeli scientific breakthroughs.
KI Research Institute and Ben-Gurion University
Trinity is one of 25 collaborators on a €7.9 million project examining mental health conditions, which also includes the KI Research Institute and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Ben-Gurion University is home to the Homeland Security Institute whose partnerships include Israel’s top weapons companies and the Ministry of Defense. In 2011, the University of Johannesburg cut ties with Ben-Gurion University after a report found “institutional complicity and active collaboration with the Israeli military, occupation and apartheid practices”.
Trinity has been allocated a total of €429,680 for its involvement in the project, which began last September and will last until 2027.
Trinity contributes research to AIMS-2-TRIALS, an international collaborative project to develop new treatments for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in which Teva Pharmaceuticals is one of five pharmaceutical companies. A 2012 report by Who Profits showed that Teva and other Israeli pharmaceutical companies benefit from the “captive economy” of the occupied Palestinian territories.
Trinity is one of almost 40 academic institutions involved in the project, including Oxford and Cambridge. Controversial advocacy group Autism Speaks is an associated partner of the project, which began in 2018 and is due to run until 2025. Trinity will receive a total of €390,695 for its part in the project.
Trinity, along with nine other European institutions, collaborates with Agora PSVD, a private Israeli company, on a project investigating the effects of digital technology on children’s behaviour.
Trinity has received a total of €226,232 in funding for the project, entitled DIGYMATEX, which began in 2020 and will run until 2025.
Other business relationships
College also has business relationships with Israeli companies Enspire Science, Optoacoustics, 3D Lasertec, Beacon Tech, Mediclever, and MRC, all of which offer either consultancy services or scientific equipment to College.