European Union Innovative Finance Inclusion (IFI) Project Selects College for ~1M Euro Grant

The Innovative Finance Inclusion in Academia and Field project comprising 13 institutional partners from Israel and Europe, will work to adapt Israel’s higher education system to global changes in economics, finance and business.

The European Union (EU) recently chose the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo (MTA) to lead a prestigious initiative to broaden access to higher education: the IFI (Innovative Finance Inclusion in Academia and Field) project. The EU recently approved funding of nearly one million euros over three years. MTA’s own Dr. Vered Holtzman, the Director of Research, Development & Innovation, and Dr. Yifat Reuveni, will lead the project, which will include thirteen participating academic institutions from Israel and Europe. Other members of MTA’s School of Management and Economics and School of Government and Society are expected to take part in the project.

The aim of the IFI project is to adapt the higher education system in Israel, including its professional connections to the global changes in the fields of economics, finance and business. They will also focus on the changes that require new financial models to stop the old models’ detrimental impact on society and the environment and to adapt them to future generations. The project will focus on developing capabilities on three levels: ecosystem and infrastructure; academy-industry relations; and research, teaching and training.

As part of the project, international teams of institutional representatives in Israel and Europe will work to conduct comparative research on models of sustainable social funding; establish a student-led social investment fund; and develop a portal of test cases and case studies of innovative, inclusive funding that will be accessible to students and professionals in Israel and around the world. Teams will also work to develop training programs for academia and industry in which innovative, inclusive funding approaches will be disseminated, including a summer camp seminar in Europe. They will also launch an acceleration program for the development of technological and design platforms of ventures in the field; and establish a community of academics and industry professionals well versed in the fieled of sustainable Innovative Finance.

The IFI project won a grant as part of the Erasmus+ Capacity Building program. It is one of the 164 projects who received this grant. This project competed against 1,005 proposals from Europe and its partner countries, and the only one led by an Israeli entity. The Israeli partners in the project are: Sapir Academic College, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Academic and Technology College of Tel-Hai, and the National Union of Israeli Students.

Project leaders Dr. Yifat Reuveni (left) and Dr. Vered Holtzman (right)
Project leaders Dr. Yifat Reuveni (left) and Dr. Vered Holtzman (right)

The European partners are: European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), Belgium, The Centre for Social Investment (CSI) of Heidelberg University, Germany, The ESG Investment & Finance Center of the University of Deusto, Spain, Erasmus Platform of Sustainable Value Creation of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, The Department of Economics and Management "Marco Fanno" of the University of Padova, Italy, and the Program for Creative Economics of the Estonian Business School (EBS) of the University in Tallinn, Estonia.