German-Israeli Battery and Electrochemistry Research Program

CALL FOR JOINT PROJECT PROPOSALS (2018)

For the Years 2019-2021

Within the framework of the German-Israeli cooperation in Battery and Electrochemistry Research, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST) invite researchers and scientists to submit joint proposals for research projects carried out by scientists from both countries.
The research shall focus on new materials for battery systems, supercapacitors and fuel cells. The research should be multi-disciplinary and be applicable to the needs of the field of battery systems.

Qualifying scientific applicants in this framework may receive research grants, respectively, from BMBF and MOST according to the applicable national funding procedures and regulations.

A. AREAS OF COOPERATION

BMBF and MOST are providing financial support for joint research activities carried out by scientists from both countries. Israeli-German research teams are hereby invited to submit joint proposals for research projects in any of the following areas:

New or highly improved materials for:

  1. Battery systems
  2. Supercapacitors
  3. Fuel Cells

B. MODE OF COOPERATION

Cooperation may take the form of:

  • Joint research activities in which interdependent subprojects of a single project are conducted in Israeli and German laboratories;
  • Complementary methodological approaches to a common problem;
  • Joint use of research facilities, materials, equipment and/or services by cooperating scientists;
  • Joint planning of research and evaluation of results.

C. LEVEL OF FUNDING AND PROJECT DURATION

The total maximum funding for each individual project will be up to 300,000 Euros for a three year period, 100,000 Euros each year from each side.

The Israeli side will be funded in NIS, in an amount equal to that amount, according to its exchange rate upon signing the agreement.

The final number of projects to be supported will be determined based on scientific merits of the proposals and budgetary considerations. Research projects should be planned on a three year basis beginning at the first half of 2019.

Funding for the approved projects depends on the availability of funds and the approval of the State Budget in each country.

D. ELIGIBILITY

  1. Projects must be conducted by collaborating Israeli and German scientific research teams.
  2. Both sides confer substantial importance to the prominent involvement of Early Career Investigators (ECIs) in the projects. For the purposes of this Call an "Early Career Investigator" means a PhD/doctorate student or a researcher in the time span of up to 5 years after the date of obtaining the PhD/doctorate (full-time equivalent).
  3. Each research team must be led by a Principal Investigator (PI), from each country. The PI must be member of an academic or research institution or a professor emeritus who continues working on research in academic or research institution (hereinafter called the “Affiliated Institution”);
    In Israel, the "Affiliated Institution" must be one of the following:
    a) An accredited institution of higher learning in Israel, according to the Council for Higher Education Law, 1958;
    b) A Research Institute recognized as such by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF);
    c) A Research Institute which is a nonprofit organization;
    d) A Research Institute which is a government company or a governmental unit.
    For the purpose of this Call, a "Research Institute" is a research institute whose significant portion of activity is the advancement of cutting-edge scientific knowledge, possessing appropriate infrastructure and equipment, and employing researchers who, inter alia, publish articles related to their research in leading scientific journals in the world, and who present their research at international symposia.
  4. The project may include the use of sub-contractors from the private sector, if necessary.
  5. Each PI and each affiliated institution is accountable to MOST or BMBF, respectively, for the execution of the project.
  6. Additional information for applicants regarding German funding can be found at
    http://www.bmbf.de/de/1531.php.

E. SUBMISSION OF RESEARCH PROPOSALS

The proposal must be prepared and carried out jointly by the Israeli and the German project partners and should be submitted simultaneously by both the German and Israeli principal investigators, to MOST and BMBF, in English, on the appropriate "Application for Research Grant" form. Application form is obtainable at MOST website (www.most.gov.il), as well as in the website of the German-Israeli Cooperation (www.cogeril.de). The use of the updated form is obligatory.

A valid project application consists of the application form duly filled in and signed, together with all the necessary application documents required from each side of a joint research team, submitted respectively to the Project Management Agency in Germany and to MOST in Israel. If the applications are not duly received both in Germany and in Israel by the date and hour indicated as follows, the project will not be accepted.

Instructions for Israeli research teams:

Israeli PIs should submit proposals in English by email using the attached "Application for Research Grant" form to the following email address: Germany@most.gov.il (in "pdf" format duly signed, along with a working copy in "doc" format without signatures). The proposals should actually reach the above mentioned email address by Wednesday, 1st August 2018 at 23:59 (local Israel time), and will not be accepted under any circumstances after the specified date and hour. Proposers are hereby advised that no human answers will be available after 15:00 of the said day.

Because of technical constraints, an email over 20 megabytes will not be received. If the email and its attachments exceed 20 MB, it must be split. Shortly after submitting the email the applicants should receive an automatic reply acknowledging its receipt. If an email confirming receipt is not received, the applicant must approach MOST contact persons detailed below to make sure the email was duly received. It is solely the sender's responsibility to receive confirmation that the email was actually received, whether by automatic reply or personal confirmation. As technical problems are possible, it is strongly recommended to submit the application well in advance of the application deadline.

In addition, Israeli PIs shall send as well 2 hard copies of their proposals by Monday, 6th August 2018, to the following address:

Ministry of Science and Technology
"Call for Proposals – Battery Israel-Germany Program 2019-2021"
Clermont Ganneau St., Building Gimmel, 3rd Floor, Room 309
Kiryat Hamemshala Hamizrahit – Begin Government Offices
Jerusalem

Contact person:
Mr. Avi ANATI
Deputy Director General for Planning & Control
Tel: 02-5411170/173/805
Fax: 02-5823030
E-mail: avi@most.gov.il

Instructions for German research teams:

German partners have to use the electronic submission system “easy-online” to submit the electronic version of the joint proposal (language: English) and a full proposal (language: German) with detailed budget justification according to the national German regulations for their part of the work-plan in the joint project: https://foerderportal.bund.de/easyonline/.

In addition, German partners have to send 3 hard copies of their proposals by Wednesday, 1st August 2018 to the following address:

Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Geschäftsbereich Neue Materialien und Chemie (NMT)
Fachbereich Werkstofftechnologien für Energie und Mobilität (NMT1)
52425 Jülich
Contact Person:
Eva Brockhaus
Tel: 0049 (0) 2461 61 96 320
Fax: 0049 (0) 2461 61 2398
E-Mail: e.brockhaus@fz-juelich.de

Further information will be found in the official German announcement “Neue Materialien für Batteriesysteme – Förderung deutsch-israelischer Forschungskooperationen (Batterie DE-IL) Call 2018“.

F. FUNDED EXPENSES

Funding provided by this Call is intended to enhance joint collaboration between German and Israeli scientists. Funding will therefore be provided mainly in support of the collaboration vectors and of the local research that is necessary for the collaboration. In any case, each budget item or expenditure for which reimbursement is requested must conform to the respective national rules of each applicant.

For Israeli researchers:

Funding can be provided by MOST for:

  1. Stipend or salary for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, technicians and/or laboratory workers retained specifically for the purpose of the project for a temporary period of up to 3 years, not including salaries for permanent staff and PI's;
  2. Consumables. In case they exceed 750 Euro, a detailed explanation regarding their necessity and quantities is required;
  3. Small scale equipment needed only for the specific research project. MOST will enable purchase of computers or laptops only in special cases in which they are part of the research project or are of unique capacities needed for the specific research;
  4. Travel and visiting costs;
  5. Joint seminars and workshops;
  6. Overhead expenses up to 15% of the total amount of the research project inclusive of the funds provided on the basis of this Call.

For German researchers:

For the German partners to be funded under this call, the standard BMBF-guidelines for grant applications on expenditure or cost basis, respectively, must be followed in addition to the general regulations. Submitting a proposal does not automatically entitle applicants to a grant. Funds for German partners will be awarded as non-repayable project grants. The grants can be spent to cover the cost of stipend or salary for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, technicians and/or laboratory workers, consumables, equipment, travel and visiting costs, joint seminars and workshops. No funding can be provided for building investments. Grants for universities, research and science institutions and similar institutions are calculated on the basis of the eligible project-related expenditure.

G. MUTUAL VISITS

Participating young researchers are encouraged to spend an extended period of time visiting their counterparts’ institutions given that such visits are an integral part of the research collaboration. All costs for travel, accommodation, per diem and any other visiting expenses for each visiting scientist will be included in the budget of that scientist's research team. Funding provided under this Call may only be used for visits that take place in Germany or Israel.

H. STATUS SEMINAR

A status seminar will be held at a place and date to be announced in order to evaluate the progress made at this program and its results. At the status seminar every Israeli-German research group will present its research results, including each side's contribution to the research, the overall result, and the cooperation between the two research groups. The relevant expenses for travel and accommodations for the status seminar should be included in the project proposal's budget.

I. PROPOSAL REVIEW

After the proposals are pre-evaluated and rated by international external reviewers, they will be jointly evaluated for final ranking by a Joint German-Israeli Committee. MOST and BMBF will decide which and how many projects will be funded and in what amounts based on the results of the evaluation process and ranking and in view of budget requirements and other constraints.

The evaluation process will be conducted on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Conformity with the program research topics defined above;
  2. Significance (quantitative whenever relevant) of the problem being addressed, and the potential impact of the proposed approach on solving it. Proposals should address these issues explicitly and provide as much evidence as possible;
  3. Scientific merit, with emphasis upon the originality and novelty of the proposed research;
  4. Clarity and quality of the research proposal itself – presentation of the topic, definition of research objectives, presentation of research methodology and detailed program of work;
  5. Feasibility of the research program;
  6. Practical applicability of expected research results;
  7. Extent of genuine collaboration between the German and Israeli research teams;
  8. The level of involvement of Early Career Investigators as per paragraph D (2) above. Proposals should provide detailed description of ECIs intended participation in publications, visits, presentations in conferences, exchanges, etc.;
  9. Justification of project's budget.

J. CONTRACTS, PAYMENTS AND REPORTS

  1. The expected starting date for approved projects is the first half of 2019. The expected completion date is three years after the starting date of the approved projects.
  2. Contracts:
    Upon approval of a particular project, separate contracts will be signed in Israel and Germany respectively, between MOST and the institution of the Israeli PI and between BMBF and the institution of the German PI.
  3. In Israel, in principle, the project's period is three years. However, funding must be approved on an annual basis, with the funding for the second and third year to be approved in accordance with the provisions of the research contract. The parties to this Call reserve the right not to fund a second and third year of work for scientific-professional, administrative, budgetary or policy reasons.
    An application for the continuation of research funding for the second and third year must be submitted by the institution of the Israeli PI to MOST on the appropriate forms at least two months prior to the end of the first year of the project together with the annual scientific report.
    In Germany, in principle, the project's period is three years. After the first and the second year, there must be a technical milestone with an abort criterion. If the goals are not reached, the BMBF has the right to stop research funding. The same applies to the case that the Israeli partner cancels the project.
  4. Payments:
    Payments will be made by MOST and BMBF to the institution of each Principal Investigator, respectively, in keeping with the provisions of the contracts referred to above, according to the regulations and practices in force in each country.
  5. Reports:
    a) Financial Reports
    Financial reports will be submitted to MOST or BMBF, respectively, by the institutions of each PI as specified in the research contract.
    b) Scientific Reports
    Within two months (for the Israeli team)/ six months (for the German team) after the conclusion of the project, each PI will submit a full final report to MOST or BMBF, respectively, in accordance with the contract or the regulations in force in his/her country and the PIs will submit a joint summary of the final report both to MOST and the BMBF in English.

Additional interim progress reports may be required, according to the practices and regulations of each country, as specified in the research contracts.

K. SPECIAL PROVISIONS REGARDING ISRAELI APPLICANTS

All procedures and activities under this Call or the projects approved hereunder, including the eligibility of institutions via which applications must be filed, are subject to the standard MOST Procedures Regarding Scientific Projects and Scholarships Funded by MOST and to the MOST Standard Contract for Scientific Projects (both documents referred to hereinafter as "the standard terms").

Applicants are required to familiarize themselves with the standard terms before filing an application under this Call; filing an application constitutes a declaration that the applicant has done so and agrees to be bound by the provisions thereof.

Sabbatical Leave:

Israeli researchers who intend a sabbatical leave in the first year of the project cannot be approved as a PI of the research proposal. A PI who intends a vacation or absence longer than three months should request permission from MOST in advance through the relevant R&D Authority. A substitute to the PI will not be approved in the course of the first year.

L. MISCELANEOUS PROVISIONS

The Israeli and German research teams and their Institutions are strongly encouraged to enter into a “Cooperation Agreement”, regarding Intellectual Property rights from the output of the financed project, prior to the start of collaborative activities.

M. INFORMATION

Additional information can be obtained from the following contact persons:

ISRAEL:

On Scientific matters:
Dr. Ela STRAUSS
Director for Chemistry, Materials, Energy and Nanotechnology
Tel: +972-2-5411136
Email: elas@most.gov.il

On administrative matters:
Mr. Avi ANATI
Deputy Director General for Planning & Control
Tel: +972-2-5411170/173/805
E-mail: avi@most.gov.il

Ms. Shani EDRI
Head Department of International Relations
Tel: +972-2-5411133
E-mail: shanie@most.gov.il

MOST website: www.most.gov.il

GERMANY:

On behalf of Project Management Agency Jülich:

Eva BROCKHAUS
New Materials and Chemistry, Materials Technologies for Energy and Mobility
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich, Germany
Tel.: +49-2461-61-96 320
Fax: +49-2461-61-23 98
E-mail: e.brockhaus@fz-juelich.de

On behalf of BMBF:

Dr.-Ing. Joachim KLOOCK
Division 511: New Materials; KIT; HZG
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
E-Mail: JoachimP.Kloock@bmbf.bund.de

Bonn, 23rd of April 2018

Dr. Peter SCHROTH
Federal Ministry of Education and Research,
Germany (BMBF)

Jerusalem, 23rd of April 2018

Dr. Ela STRAUSS
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space,
Israel (MOST)