In an effort to advance the peace process in the Middle East, the BMBF is also involved in multilateral collaborative projects with Israel and its Arab neighbours, mainly in the fields of marine research, environmental technologies and water technologies.
The Minerva Foundation supports cooperation with Israel under a number of programmes including the Minerva Centres at Israeli universities and research institutions, fellowships awarded to young researchers, and funding for projects conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. It also provides funding for research symposiums and Minerva Schools. The Minerva Foundation administers the ARCHES award, which has been presented annually by the BMBF since 2008. In late 2008, during the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology, Federal Minister Schavan gave the go-ahead for the Minerva Humanities Centre at Tel Aviv University, which had emerged as the winning proposal from a national call in Israel.
The German-Israeli Foundation (GIF) supports top-class research in virtually all scientific fields with a shift of disciplinary focus occurring every year. In addition, the Foundation set up a special Young Scientists' Programme in 2000. Based on the positive evaluation in 2001, both Ministries have been increasing the Foundation assets since 2005 by €25 million each, raising endowment capital to a current €211 million.
DIP mainly addresses teams of researchers who cooperate in innovative areas. The priority areas are physics, life sciences, and chemistry. Application is a two-step procedure which is administered by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Only the six Israeli universities and the Weizmann Institute are eligible for funding. Each institution can submit two proposals for joint research projects by 31 March of each year. Cooperation partners on the German side may be researchers who work in the German science system. Three or four projects are selected for funding each year.
The Foundation Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities (or Martin Buber Society of Fellows) was established in 2009. It is a foundation under civil law for which the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has made available €20 million. The purpose of the Foundation is to foster the interdisciplinary and intercultural academic dialogue between outstanding young researchers in all fields of the humanities and social sciences (with the exception of law and economics) from Germany and Israel. The first German and Israeli fellows started their research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the 2010/11 academic year.
The aim of the German-Israeli Cooperation Programme in Vocational Education and Training is to develop vocational training in both countries. For more than 40 years now, this programme has been giving vocational training experts from both countries the opportunity to exchange experience, develop innovative approaches, and put them to the test in their practical work. Jointly developed teaching materials for training in the automotive and IT sectors as well as in microsystems technology are used in both countries. This enables vocational education and training to respond to new technological, economic and demographic challenges. The products of the collaboration are available on the programme's results platform.
The BMBF presents the award to Israeli-German teams of young researchers on an annually alternating basis in the natural and engineering sciences, the life sciences, and the humanities and cultural sciences. The total amount awarded each year is €400,000, each team receiving €200,000. The nomination and selection procedure is administered by the Minerva Foundation.
The first ARCHES award was presented during the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology in November 2008. The winner was a team of humanities researchers with their project "West Iranian Dialectology and Early New Persian: The Linguistic Situation in Iran during the 8th-11th Centuries".
Researchers in the life sciences became eligible for the ARCHES award in 2009. The winners were two German-Israeli research teams in bioscience and medicine: Dr. Stephan Grill and Dr. Ohad Medalia for their cell research, and Dr. Rotem Karni and Prof. Lars Zender for their cancer research.
Federal Minister Annette Schavan and her Israeli counterpart Galeb Majadle declared 2008 the "German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology" and officially opened it in Berlin on 8 April. The aim of this Year was to draw attention to the diversity and excellence of German-Israeli bilateral science cooperation and to raise awareness in Israel of Germany's attractiveness as a research location. Cooperation between young scientists from both countries was given special emphasis. The Year of Science provided new impetus, for example by focusing on application-oriented research and development collaborations and strengthening the humanities and social sciences. The establishment of a Minerva Centre for the Humanities and Social Sciences was a milestone in this process. Further key areas of the Year of Science and Technology were the medical sciences, security research and environmental research. In order to improve the prospects of young scientists and give them special support in the context of German-Israeli cooperation, the BMBF introduced the ARCHES award for young researchers in 2008, which will be conferred on an annual basis.
German funding and intermediary organizations are involved in numerous activities with Israel. Only the most important activities are listed in the following. Further information is available at the BMBF-funded information platform http://www.kooperation-international.de/.
The DAAD awarded the first one-year scholarship to an Israeli in 1960. In the meantime, the DAAD has become one of the most important promoters of exchanges of students and researchers between both countries. The funding offered to Israelis mainly includes research scholarships for doctoral students and young researchers, grants for research periods, and funding for participation in summer schools and summer language courses. In addition, the DAAD offers study tours and scholarships for German students, graduates and post-docs as well as studies in Israel for German researchers, and it helps arrange teaching assignments for German language instructors and guest lecturers. Currently, the DAAD is establishing an alumni system in Israel in order to support lasting contact with the German science system.
Through the award of Humboldt Research Fellowships, the Humboldt Foundation already enabled numerous researchers from Israel to spend longer periods conducting research in Germany. Young German researchers on the other hand can apply for Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships, which enable them to spend longer research periods in Israel.
Furthermore, the Humboldt Foundation administers the Bert-Sakmann-Stiftung, which was established by the German Nobel Prize winner in medicine, Bert Sakmann. Its funds are used to support a series of lectures held by young German and Israeli researchers in the partner country.
Under its Frontiers of Research programme, the Humboldt Foundation has been holding the German-Israeli Frontiers of Humanities symposiums since 2009. The interdisciplinary meetings for young Israeli and German humanities scholars are organized once a year together with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and are hosted alternately by Germany and Israel.
The Humboldt Foundation provides financial support for initiatives of Humboldt associations and individual Humboldtians to organise what is called Humboldt Kolleg conferences in order to strengthen regional and disciplinary networking. The Humboldt Kolleg "When Sciences and Humanities meet" was held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology in 2009. The Humboldt Kolleg "Thirty Years of German-Jewish Studies" was held in Beer Sheva and Jerusalem in March 2010.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft provides considerable funding for bilateral research cooperation. Funding for trilateral cooperation has been added involving Palestinian researchers since 1995. Furthermore, the DFG supports book donations and provides travel grants for participants in scientific conferences. The Mercator fellowship programme enables highly qualified foreign researchers to spend research periods of 3 to 12 months in Germany.
In 1959, the first contacts between researchers of the Max Planck Society (MPG) and researchers of the Weizmann Institute of Science laid the foundation for close cooperation between the two institutions which has lasted to the present day. Under joint research initiatives, the Max Planck institutes and researchers of the Weizmann Institute establish networks and provide joint training for young researchers; an example is the collaboration between the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) and the Feinberg Graduate School at the Weizmann Institute.
The MPG maintains relations with the six universities in Israel via its institutes. Cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is an outstanding example of multidisciplinary relations. The close scientific relations have also resulted in joint projects which receive European funding. The Max Planck institutes also use the funding possibilities of the GIF and DIP very successfully.
The Max Planck Society is the sole shareholder of the Minerva Stiftung GmbH.
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Welcome Address by the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen at the opening of the exhibition Jewish Mathematics in German Speaking Academic Culture in Tel Aviv on 14 November 2011Download
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Science and Technology, Education and Research
2012, 84 pages
Order No: 29989
in Science, Technology and Industrial R&D MOITAL - BMBF - MOST
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