City of Chicago, Peres Center sign cooperation agreement

The memorandum is the first international partnership for the Jaffa-based center.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Peres Center chairman Chemi Peres sign a memorandum of cooperation, April 15, 2019 (photo credit: PERES CENTER FOR PEACE)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Peres Center chairman Chemi Peres sign a memorandum of cooperation, April 15, 2019
(photo credit: PERES CENTER FOR PEACE)
The City of Chicago and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, founded by former president Shimon Peres, entered into a memorandum of cooperation on Monday to foster collaboration in areas of inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship.
The memorandum is the first international partnership for the Jaffa-based center and was signed by outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Peres Center chairman Chemi Peres, the former president’s son.
The primary areas of collaboration under the agreement will be innovation collaboration, with the parties working together to create access points into the Chicago and Israeli corporate, academic and governmental sectors; community development, to ensure that economic growth has a positive impact across all local communities; and knowledge sharing and partnership between the parties.
“Shimon Peres believed in the transformative power of technology and innovation as a pathway to peace, and we are proud in Chicago to foster an environment that makes agreements like this possible,” said Emanuel, who will be succeeded by Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot on May 20.
“Around the country and increasingly around the world, our city is known as an emerging technology and innovation hub, with the workforce and education backbone that can support it. Ultimately, a more inclusive, connected world is a more peaceful world, and this agreement will keep the City of Chicago at the forefront of those efforts.”
Established in 1996, the Peres Center seeks to develop and implement programs to promote a prosperous Israel, nurture and highlight Israeli innovation – and pave the way for a more peaceful future between Israel’s citizens and peace with the country’s neighbors.
“In today’s interconnected world, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can and should be harnessed to build bridges between people and nations, promote prosperity for all and help create a better tomorrow,” said Chemi Peres, who is also managing general partner and co-founder of Pitango, one of Israel’s largest venture capital funds.
“At the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, we envision and work toward an Israel and a region where people from all walks of life come together in cooperation and partnership – and innovatively and proactively design their future: a future of peace,” he said. 
“It is therefore fitting to establish the Peres Center’s first international agreement in the city of Chicago – with its global outlook and reach, but uniquely American story.”