TAU and Israeli Air Force launch air and space power center

Israeli Air Force Commander Aluf Amikam Norkin and TAU President Professor Ariel Porat

Elrom Center will “ensure the position of the Israeli Air Force as one of the leading forces in the world”

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Tel Aviv University (TAU) and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) announced the establishment of the joint Elrom Center, which will harness scientific knowledge to advance various areas related to air and space power in Israel. It is the first center of its kind in Israel in this area of research.

The inauguration ceremony was held at the University and led by TAU President Professor Ariel Porat, in the presence of IAF Commander Aluf Amikam Norkin.

Professor Porat highlighted the importance of the specialized field of Air and Space Power, explaining that many researchers at TAU address this subject from various angles. The new center will contribute to the advancement of education and research.

“TAU conducts many research collaborations with industry and public organizations, which upgrade our research and make it more relevant,” Professor Porat said. “At the newly established center, many more participants from industry and academia, both in Israel and worldwide, will become involved, advancing Air and Space Power research.”

The Center will develop a cadre of future researchers and establish systematic academic activity in this area in Israel. It will encourage students to specialize in Air and Space Power, including students who belong to nonprofits and organizations, government agencies, and the security forces, and students looking to develop a career in industry in these important fields.

The academic research carried out at the Center can help in the development and adaptation of the Air Force’s operational concepts, combat doctrines, and power-building processes. Methodological tools for professional, abstract, and practical thinking developed by the Center’s researchers will also be beneficial. In the foreseeable future, the center will serve as a hub for international research collaboration with academic institutions, research institutes, and air forces around the world.

IAF Commander Norkin explained that the vision of former Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, and Ben Gurion’s understanding that “the air is a new kingdom we must conquer,” has become a reality. Commander Norkin warned, “We must not rest on our laurels. Only in-depth investigation of ongoing operations will keep us sharp and ready. Yet, as we look toward the coming decades, we need more than excellent inquiry. We must expand our activities into the academic arena, to include research methods developed in Israeli academia, at TAU.”

“The establishment of the Air and Space Power Center, bringing together experts from academia and the Air Force, transforms a vision into reality,” Commander Norkin continued. “This is a real need arising from the constantly rising complexity of the battlefield and operational challenges, requiring ever greater and deeper military knowledge – in order to ensure the position of the IAF as one of the leading forces in the world.”

The center will be headed by Professor Eviatar Matania of TAU’s Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, formerly founding Head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau and currently Head of the international Cyber, Politics, and Government Program at TAU. Combining theoretical and applied research, it will operate within TAU’s Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences but will also involve researchers from the faculties of Engineering, Exact Sciences, and Medicine, and serve as a foundation for advancing multidisciplinary research on air and space.

The Center joins several other multidisciplinary centers established at TAU over the past year, including the Center for Combating Pandemics, the Center for Climate Change Action, the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, and the Center for Aging.

“The establishment of the Air and Space Power Center, bringing together experts from academia and the Air Force, transforms a vision into reality."