The International Projects Unit began its work as part of the Center for Innovation and Growth (today under the Milken Innovation Center), which was involved in international projects since its founding in 1982. When Israel joined the “Framework Programmes” of the European Union, the center initiated, conducted and managed a variety of international projects funded by the European Commission. Furthermore, throughout the years, the different centers of the Jerusalem Institute cooperated with a range of international bodies including universities, research institutions and policy groups from the Middle East and various European countries.
Due to the increase in international research and cooperation, it was decided to establish a dedicated unit that together with the Institute's researchers would promote and execute international projects dealing with different topics such as Growth and Innovation, Resource Efficiency, Urban Sustainability, Culture, and Conflict Management. The unit works in cooperation with different bodies and institutions focusing on projects funded by the European Commission (today under the “Horizon 2020 Programme”).
With a wide range of partners, the unit's greatest efforts are in locating projects, recruiting partners, assembling research consortiums, writing research proposals, scientific advice and guidance as well as project management of ongoing projects. The main aim of the unit is to provide the Institute's researchers with the professional tools to expand their activities into the international realm, assist them with the practicalities of submitting fundraising proposals, as well as managing established projects
Additionally, the unit advises researchers with writing proposals and enlisting new projects at the national and local level.