The connection to the European Research Area (ERA) is of strategic importance for Israel’s research system. For Israel, cooperation with Germany has opened the door to research funding from the European Union and has thus made a significant contribution to Israel’s integration into the European Research Area. European cooperation projects offer both sides diverse additional opportunities that effectively complement bilateral cooperation.
Israel has been an associated partner of the European Research Framework Programme since 1996. The strong participation of Israeli researchers in cooperation projects demonstrates the importance of European cooperation for the Israeli research system. In FP7, Israeli partners were involved in 1,621 projects. The thematic focus was on ICT, life sciences (including health research) and nanotechnology. In addition, Israel was heavily involved in the development of research infrastructures. Israeli partners also participated in European network projects (ERA-NETs, INCO-NETs). Israeli researchers achieved a particularly high success rate in the prestigious ERC and Marie Curie Actions. At least one German partner also took part in 679 of the projects with Israeli participation in FP7. Germany was Israel’s most frequent partner in these cooperation projects.
On 8 June 2014, Israel signed the association agreement for Horizon 2020, which contained a territorial clause for the first time. A total of 564 institutions from Israel participated in 1,629 projects in Horizon 2020. The trend of intensive German-Israeli cooperation continued in Horizon 2020: German and Israeli institutions cooperated in a total of 603 projects. The highest participation rates were recorded by institutions from Israel in the Horizon 2020 programme parts European Research Council, in the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and in ICT. The most successful Israeli institutions in Horizon 2020 are the Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
On 6 December 2021, the EU accepted Israel as an associated country in its current Framework Programme for Research and Innovation ‘Horizon Europe’. Israeli researchers and institutions can thus participate in the programme under the same conditions as those from EU Member States. Israel’s intensive participation and close cooperation with German institutions also continues unabated within Horizon Europe.
Israel is a full member of EUREKA, the European network for industrial, market-oriented research. In addition to bilateral agreements, EUREKA offers additional opportunities for technological cooperation between Israeli and German companies and research institutions. Israel is also involved in Eurostars, a programme for research-performing SMEs launched jointly by EUREKA and the European Commission in 2008. As part of the strategic initiatives in EUREKA, Israel and Germany participate in the CELTIC-PLUS and ITEA 3 clusters (information and communication technologies) and in EUROGIA2020 (low-carbon energy technologies). The country is also a cooperating partner in the European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST).
PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) is a measure under Article 185 of the TFEU with the aim of developing sustainable novel solutions for water management, agriculture and food production. Currently, Germany and Israel participate in PRIMA with another 17 countries in Europe and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean.
In 1998, Israel was granted the position of scientific member without voting rights at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble. It is also a founding member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and a member of the European Science Foundation and the European Academy. Israel also enjoys observer status in the bodies of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Nuclear Research Organisation.