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Press Release No. 42 | 1 September 2015
Ceremony to Celebrate Scientific Cooperation with Israel

Prominent Academics and Politicians among Guests on 10 September in Berlin / Panels on History and on Practice and Prospects of German-Israeli Research Cooperation

Scientific cooperation between Germany and Israel will be the focus of a ceremony held by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Researchers were among the first people to establish or re-establish relations between Israel and Germany less than 20 years after the Holocaust.

As well as a large number of German and Israeli researchers, the guests invited to the event on 10 September in Berlin include the Federal Minister of Education and Research, Professor Dr. Johanna Wanka, and high-ranking representatives of the Israeli administration. Guests will be welcomed in the Leibniz Room of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities by DFG President Professor Dr. Peter Strohschneider, the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Germany, Yacov Hadas-Handelsman, Professor Dr. Martin Stratmann, the President of the Max Planck Society, and Professor Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler, the new President of the Helmholtz Association.

Research has been an important medium of rapprochement between Germany and Israel. As early as 1959, the first delegation of researchers from the Max Planck Society visited Israel at the invitation of the Weizmann Institute, signalling the start of official cooperation. Collaboration between research organisations also began early on: in the 1960s in the case of the Max Planck Society, with the establishment of the Minerva Foundation, and in the 1970s in the case of the DFG. Since then the DFG has supported a large number of German-Israeli collaborative projects, some as part of the special excellence programme German-Israeli Project Cooperation (DIP). This programme enables German-Israeli research projects to be funded without constraints as to research field or topic.

Scientific cooperation between Germany and Israel has helped to strengthen relations between the two countries as well as generating a wealth of new scientific insight in both knowledge economies.

In February of this year, researchers from both countries attended a two-day celebratory event in Tel Aviv and Rehovot to mark the 50th anniversary of German-Israeli diplomatic relations. Guests were invited to the event by the Max Planck Society, the Minerva Foundation and the Weizmann Institute of Science. The DFG will now hold its own ceremony on 10 September in Berlin. As well as the positive developments in German-Israeli scientific relations over the last few decades, the event will celebrate scientific successes and prospects for the future.

In the first panel, researchers from both countries will place their collaborative work in its historical context. A shared tradition going back into the past has proved to be of great value to their cooperation. Despite the upheavals of history, shared traditions like this, particularly through the medium of the German language, have facilitated a uniquely fruitful form of scholarly cooperation in past decades. Participants in the second panel discussion will examine this close cooperation, giving an account of their personal experiences and looking ahead to the future of German-Israeli project cooperation.

Further Information

Information for the media:

Representatives of the media are warmly invited to this DFG event to celebrate "50 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Germany and Israel" on Thursday 10 September 2015, at 4pm, in the Leibniz Room of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin-Mitte, Markgrafenstraße 38 (Gendarmenmarkt).

Please register in advance by e-mail: presse@dfg.de.

Media contact:

DFG programme contact:

  • Ute Stotz,
    International Affairs divison,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2429,