Interministerial Cooperation Initiatives

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has cooperated with the Israeli research ministry for decades. The Israeli ministry of economy is another close partner in the industry-led cooperation.

From the German side, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is the main driver of the scientific cooperation between the German and the Israeli governments. Responsible are several specialist departments. On the Israeli side, there are two main counterparts for BMBF: the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST) and the Ministry of Economy (until 2013 the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, MOITAL). The BMBF and MOST’s German-Israeli research cooperation is based on a 1973 agreement. After an agreement in 2000, the interministerial cooperation between the BMBF and MOITAL was extended to include bilateral industrial cooperation. In June 2011, the then Federal Government minister of research, Annette Schavan, and Shalom Simhon, the Israeli minister of Industry, signed an intergovernmental agreement on industry-led research and development, as well as on vocational training and advanced education. The funding of projects in the natural sciences and engineering occurs within the framework of bilateral tenders. The supported projects are very application-oriented. 

Cooperation projects between universities and research institutions are promoted in coordination with MOST and are largely financed by the BMBF. The cooperation between industry partners is equally financed by the BMBF and the programmes of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of MOITAL. The BMBF finances both programmes from the various BMBF specialist programmes’ funding initiatives. In principle, the ministries favor specialist programmes in line with MOITAL and MOST interests. The research results are presented in numerous scientific publications and made accessible to the public by way of status conferences.

The coordination of the interministerial research is the responsibility of a joint committee of representatives from all the relevant ministries and national authorities; it meets annually, alternately in Germany and Israel. On a professional scientific level, steering committees, which make recommendations to fund projects and assess results, support the cooperation. Further, the steering committees strengthen and coordinate the bilateral cooperation, also within the European platforms in which both countries participate, such as FP7/Horizon 2020, EUREKA or Eurostars.

The BMBF Website provides information about new developments of the German-Israeli research cooperation.