2008 was designated the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology by the two countries’ research ministries to extend and intensify Germany and Israel’s bilateral cooperation in science and research, which began almost 50 years ago.
The German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology had the aim of highlighting the diversity and excellence of the bilateral cooperation between Germany and Israel in the field of science. A further objective was to raise awareness of Germany as a key location of research among Israelis. Special emphasis was put on cooperation between young scientists from both countries, to ensure that the outstanding research partnership between Germany and Israel will continue in the next generation. For the first time, a Young Scientist Prize was awarded in the course of the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology 2008.
The year of Science and Technology started on 7th April with a concert at The Glass Courtyard of the Jewish museum in Berlin. The opening ceremony was held on 8th April at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the year was opened by the two ministers. After the speeches of federal minister Schavan and minister Majadle, a symposium about “Science as diplomacy of trust” took place, attended by 20 German and 20 Israeli young scientists from different areas.
With over 70 events in both countries, the setting up of the Minerva Center for the Humanities and the Martin Buber Society at the Hebrew University for young humanities scholars from the two countries as well as a new ARCHES award for young research teams, new cooperation has been initiated with the increasingly strong involvement of young scientists and academics. The events were mainly organized by the BMBF and by BMBF-funded pillars of cooperation such as Minerva, BMBF-MOITAL-MOST, the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF), and the German-Israeli Project Cooperation in Future-Oriented Fields (DIP).
The German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology was officially concluded in Israel in November 2008. In the week from November 16 to 21, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Israeli Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport (MOST), and the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF) organized a number of events in Jerusalem, both as a highlight of the German-Israeli Year of Science and Technology and to mark the 20th anniversary of the GIF. Over two hundred renowned German and Israeli personalities from the spheres of industry, politics and society came to celebrate the special occasion.