Helmholtz President visits Israel

© Helmholtz Gemeinschaft

For the first time since the terrorist attack by Hamas on 7 October, Helmholtz President Otmar D. Wiestler travelled to Israel, where he met with scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science, among others. He emphasised the importance of German-Israeli relations for German science and for Helmholtz in particular.

‘Israel is in the midst of a profound change. The demonstrations against the so-called judicial reform last summer brought thousands of scientists onto the streets. Above all, however, the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas and the ongoing war have led to cuts in research and development. In these difficult times, we want to show solidarity with our partners and underline the strength of our cooperation, because science must and will always transcend borders and conflicts. We work together in all areas of research and have established a number of excellent projects with colleagues, in particular from the Weizmann Institute. Israel is an especially valuable partner for us. I greatly admire the confidence with which the colleagues in Rehovot have mastered this enormous challenge,’ said Wiestler.

Many Israeli researchers have been severely restricted by terror and war in recent weeks and months. German and other European scientific organisations are trying to help, for example by offering Israeli scientists the opportunity to continue their research projects in Europe for a transitional period.

Helmholtz cooperates closely with the Weizmann Institute on various projects. Examples include the Weizmann-Helmholtz Laboratory for Laser Matter Interaction (WHELMI), where researchers from the Helmholtz Centre Dresden Rossendorf and the Weizmann Institute are developing laser plasma accelerators for medical applications, and joint research schools in cancer research and multi-messenger astronomy. Helmholtz has maintained an office in Tel Aviv since 2018, which connects Israeli science and the start-up scene with Helmholtz, even in the current situation. A Helmholtz Entrepreneurship Education Bootcamp with participants from Israel and Germany will take place in Berlin in early April.

Source: Helmholtz