Press Release No. 66 | October 25, 2007

"The Flagship of German-Israeli Research Cooperation"

DIP Programme Transferred from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to the DFG

DIP Programme Transferred from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to the DFG

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is increasing its commitment to cooperation between German and Israeli researchers. As of 1 January 2008, the DFG will be assuming responsibility for the German-Israeli Project Cooperation Programme (Deutsch-Israelische Projektkooperation, DIP). Since its inception in 1997, this funding programme has been run by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and its international office. Under the programme, three or four outstanding cooperation projects between researchers in Germany and Israel are selected annually to receive funding for a five-year period.

"The DIP has become a cornerstone of German-Israeli academic cooperation and is a symbol of joint research at the highest level," said the chairman of the DIP project committee and long-serving vice president of the DFG, Professor Helmut Schwarz, a chemist from Berlin, at a symposium held to mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the programme in Jerusalem. At the symposium, organised by the BMBF and the DFG, representatives of Israeli and German research organisations and scientists and researchers from both Israel and Germany discussed the development of DIP over the past ten years and the outlook for future cooperation. This event also provided the opportunity for presentations of several projects funded by the programme by the lead researchers from both sides.

The DIP has been announcing calls, inviting nominations for joint research projects from Israel, annually since 1997. The six leading universities in Israel and the Weizmann Institute of Science are each eligible to submit two nominations. The project nominations are reviewed by experts appointed by the DFG. The project committee then selects three or four of these projects each year to receive funding.

Thirty-eight German-Israeli projects have been funded since 1997. The emphasis has primarily been on the life sciences, physics and chemistry. In the current round of funding, the 11th to date, three projects will be funded up until 2011. They are researching Alzheimer's disease, biochemistry and microstructural physics.

The commemorative symposium, held today, also marks the launch of the 12th programme call. This call once again invites the seven eligible Israeli research institutions to submit their nominations. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2008. The projects selected will be announced in October 2008 and funding will commence in January 2009. The BMBF will provide the DFG with a total of approximately 4.25 million euros for the entire programme.

"We look forward to receiving excellent nominations and projects in this round, and sincerely hope that cooperation between German and Israeli scientists will continue to intensify. Of course, we hope that the DIP will remain the flagship of German-Israeli research cooperation," emphasised Helmut Schwarz, who, after his term as vice president of the DFG, passed the chairmanship of the DIP project committee to Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter, one of the four newly appointed vice presidents of the DFG.