Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed eight historic memorandum of understandings (MOUs) between Florida institutions of higher learning and Tel Aviv University on Monday as part of a four-day trade mission to Israel to boost Florida’s economy.

It is his first official visit abroad since taking office in January.

DeSantis announced two research collaborations between TAU and Florida International University, and one each between TAU and Florida Atlantic University, University of Central Florida, Miami Dade College, Florida Institute of Technology, St. Leo University and Florida Gulf Coast University.

The subjects of these joint academic efforts include emergency management and disaster relief, neuroscience, blockchain technology and its applications, cybersecurity, information technology and entrepreneurship.

The agreements were signed by representatives of Florida universities in the presence of Tel Aviv University president Ariel Porat, Coller School of Management dean Moshe Zviran, TAU vice president Raanan Rein, TAU vice president Yoav Henis, Florida Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, TAU faculty and members of DeSantis’s 90-member delegation in Israel.

Porat presented DeSantis with a Friendship Award from Tel Aviv University “in recognition of his continued friendship with the State of Israel and his efforts to forge deeper ties between Tel Aviv University and Florida institutions of higher education.”

On Tuesday, DeSantis announced a $5.2 million National Institute of Mental Health grant to fund a collaboration between researchers at Florida International University and Tel Aviv University to test a novel treatment for child social-anxiety disorder that could open new therapies to help children with this condition.