The Blavatnik Family Foundation has announced a $20 million gift to Tel Aviv University to launch a multiyear initiative in support of interdisciplinary scientific research, discovery, and development. The gift also will help support the Department of Film and Television, as well as the recruitment of world-class researchers and faculty.
The Blavatnik Initiative will fund five new programs — the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery, a state-of-the-art core laboratory designed to serve drug research groups from TAU and other institutions; the Blavatnik Computer Science Research Fund, which will award competitive grants to faculty members at the Blavatnik School of Computer Science; the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, which will support research and award up to twenty Blavatnik Scholarships at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels; the Blavatnik Student Film Production Fund, which will award grants of between $2,000 and $5,000 per film to undergraduate and graduate students; and the Blavatnik President's Discretionary Fund, which is designed to enable the university's president to make competitive offers to talented researchers and faculty.
The Blavatnik Family Foundation was established by Access Industries founder, chair, and president Len Blavatnik, who is a member of the boards of TAU and the University of Cambridge. The foundation's previous donations include gifts of $50 million to Harvard University and $120 million (£75 million) to the University of Oxford to establish the Blavatnik School of Government.
TAU president Joseph Klafter told Haaretz that Blavatnik is "a strong partner to the university" and noted that he has "demonstrated a passionate commitment to promoting excellence in higher education and research in Israel."