Interministerial cooperation focuses on other topics of energy and environmental research, too, involving various different ministries on the German side.
Bilateral cooperation between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST) in research on renewable energy began in 1998. Between 1974 and 1998, BMBF and MOST cooperated on energy research in general before, in 2003, responsibility on the German side shifted from the BMBF to what is today the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). BMUV and MOST agreed to cooperate on renewable energy in 2005.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) started an energy partnership with Israel in 2022. The aim of this energy partnership is to find solutions in order to master climate change and to press ahead with the development of technologies for reliable, sustainable and affordable energy. The focus is on the expansion of renewable energy and the application of new energy technologies.
This cooperation takes place while Israel has set itself the goal of generating 30 percent of electricity from renewable sources of energy, and drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by 2030. In future, more than 80 percent of renewable energy will be generated by photovoltaic systems. Moreover, Israel’s government is also interested in forging a hydrogen partnership. In mid 2023, it published a Strategy for Integrating Hydrogen into the Israeli Energy Economy.
In the field of solar energy research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and universities in Berlin and Potsdam partnered with Israel’s Weizmann Institute, Technion Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and Bar Ilan University to form the HI-SCORE Helmholtz International Research School – Hybrid Integrated Systems for Conversion of Solar Energy. The HI-SCORE project funding by Helmholtz will run out in January 2024. However, the Weizmann Institute of Science plans to continue the HI-SCORE networking platform beyond this date. HI-SCORE focuses on the implementation of research on solar energy as well as on exchanges between doctoral students who are advised by staff from both countries until graduation. Research is focused on the topics of materials development, interface design, and the integration of highly efficient solar cells. HI-SCORE offers more than 30 places for doctoral candidates from Israel and Germany.