Max Planck Society (MPG)

The Max Planck Society (MPG) celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2023. With around 24,000 employees, it is the most important institution for non-university basic research in Germany. About 7,000 scientists and about 3,500 doctoral students work at the 85 Max Planck Institutes and research facilities. More than half of the scientists at the institutes have a foreign nationality.

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPG) was founded in 1948 in the legal form of a registered association, succeeding the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, which had already been founded in 1911. In its cooperation with Israel, the Max Planck Society plays a prominent role as the sole shareholder of the Minerva Stiftung GmbH, which was founded in 1964 and is operated with funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The oldest pillar of its cooperation with Israel was established by the MPG together with the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS). Together with Israeli partners, the MPG maintains a Max Planck Center (Max Planck-WIS Research Center for Integrative Archaeology / Anthropology) and also the Max Planck Weizmann Laboratory for Experimental Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurogenetics. The MPG also cooperates with Israel’s universities, with the collaboration with the Hebrew University standing out. The close scientific ties have also led to joint European-funded projects. In total, the Max Planck Institutes reported almost 90 projects with Israeli universities and the Weizmann Institute in 2021. Also in 2021, more than 70 scientists from Israel stayed at Max Planck Institutes. In autumn 2021, the German-Israeli Max Planck Forum on COVID-19 ‘From Vaccination to Medication’ took place (online).

Platzhalterbild für Einbettung
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Source: YouTube channel of the Max Planck Society

On 15.05.23, the then Max Planck President Martin Stratmann and Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute, signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of further deepening scientific cooperation and exchange between the two institutions (postdoctoral programme): Each year, up to ten postdocs are to be accepted into the programme, who can apply in the fields of physics, chemistry, geosciences and mathematics and computer science. The first application phase begins in July 2023.

For his German-Israeli commitment and due to the excellent contacts of the MPG and the Minerva Foundation to research institutions in Israel, the then MPG President Martin Stratmann was awarded the ‘Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities’ in May 2023. In the past, two MPG presidents have already been honoured with this award, Heinz A. Staab (1989) and Reimer Lüst (1995). The long-time president of the WIS, Daniel Zajfman received the MPG’s Harnack Medal in June 2023.

Furthermore, the Max Planck Institutes make very successful use of research funding instruments, especially the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF) or the German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP).