German-Israeli cooperation presents high-tech research in the water sector

Water treatment and desalination are among the largest future markets in the field of environmental technologies. Manufacturers from Germany and Israel are world leaders in this segment and have been working closely together in research for decades. Around 110 leading water experts from both countries met in Dresden at the end of September to discuss current bilateral research and development projects on water technology. The conference proceedings are now available for download free of charge.

Teilnehmer der Statuskonferenz 2019

The 15th Status Conference of the German-Israeli Water Technology Programme in Dresden was well received by more than 110 participants © Avner Adin / PTKA

Water technology solutions from Germany and Israel are internationally recognised and contribute to supplying a world-wide growing population with clean water. The latest research results and technological innovations were presented by participants of the 15th Status Conference of the German-Israeli Water Technology Programme, which took place from 24 to 25 September 2019 in Dresden. With more than 110 participants from both countries and 17 ongoing cooperation projects, the programme was very well received. Among other topics, the  conference focused on the next generation of water treatment processes. For example, graphene oxide can be laser beamed onto membranes to form an atomic sieve that filters salts out of water. Further projects produce nano-membranes in which charged particles are incorporated. These retain pollutants but allow both water and desired substances such as calcium and magnesium to pass through.

Since 1974, the cooperation between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has been promoting research and development projects on water technology with annual calls for proposals on current topics. In the last 10 years alone, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has provided funding amounting to 20 million euros. A total of 152 cooperation projects have been supported so far, involving several hundred researchers. In addition, a special programme promotes the exchange of young scientists from both countries.

At the status conference, Dr. Moshe Ben Sasson of the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology emphasised  the prominent position of the water programme in the cooperation between Germany and Israel. Science fosters both the connections and understanding between the two countries, and also provides important technical impetus to tackle the global water crisis. 'The large number of participants and cooperation projects are a highlight in the history of the Water Programme and underline the topicality of our cooperation', said Dr. Leif Wolf from Projektträger Karlsruhe in his address.

In addition to new water treatment processes, the subject of energy efficiency was one of the topics that researchers discussed at the Dresden conference. Currently, about 17,000 desalination plants worldwide produce 95 million m³ of drinking water per day, with a strong upward trend. However, the plants need a lot of energy. The development of more energy-efficient desalination processes therefore plays a major role in German-Israeli research funding. The scope of the cooperation also includes areas such as artificial groundwater recharge, the analysis of micropollutants or the optimisation of agricultural irrigation.

The detailed proceedings of the status conference are now available for download.

Contact for questions

Dr Leif Wolf
Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA)
Tel.: +49 721 608-28224
E-Mail: leif.wolf@kit.edu