Currently, there are 27 Minerva Centers running at seven research institutions
in Israel. The Minerva Centers perform research in various fields and are dedicated
to promoting cooperation between German and Israeli scientists in particular
through joint research projects, short-term research exchanges, symposia,
and workshops. The Minerva Center Committee
supports the Minerva Foundation in running the program.
Goals of the Minerva Centers
The incentive for establishing research centers in Israel goes back to ambitions in
1975 to set up new cooperative methods to deepen scientific contacts between
the two countries. The goal was to concentrate on innovative research topics of
mutual interest to both German and Israeli scientists. Mutual research is further
facilitated by the financing of joint projects, symposia, and workshops as well as
by reciprocal invitations and research-related visits.
Cooperation with Germany and scientific excellence are the two main criteria for
establishing Minerva Centers. By introducing this program, "centers of excellence"
have been established over the years that have met the highest scientific standards.
In Israel, there are currently 33 Minerva Centers and a Minerva Chair in the
natural sciences, social sciences and in the humanities
Financing and Organization
Minerva Centers are financed by endowment funds allocated to research institutions
in Israel, which are invested at the maximum rate of interest. The investment yields
are matched by equal payments from the Israeli side ("matching fundy"); the total
sum is the annual budget for the Minerva Center. The funds are used for the
research projects at the Minerva Centers in Israel and are not intended to support
German partners. However, the Minerva Centers pays for the travel costs incurred
by German scientists.
Every two years an advisory board convenes. It is chaired by a German member
and consists of an equal number of scientists from Germany and Israel. The board
supports the Minerva Center and is responsible for promoting cooperation between
the Minerva Center and research institutions in Israel and Germany. The board also
decides on the scientific program and the center's budget.
Performance and Assessment
In order to meet the program's high scientific standards, the Minerva Foundation
established the Minerva Center Committee that is comprised of internationally
recognized scientists and researchers from various fields. It is responsible for
selecting and assessing applications and for appointing independent scientific committees
charged with evaluating Minerva Centers.
Evaluations are a very important instrument in assessing the scientific
quality of research carried out at Minerva Centers and assessing their capacity to
advance research and cooperation.
In the future, the establishment of new centers will only be possible once older
centers have been closed, a fact which will lead to a concentration of resources
and thus to an optimization of financial resources for the most efficient centers.
Ms. Angelika Lange-Gao
Fax: + 49-89-2108-1451
Mr. Michael Nagel
Tel.: + 49-89-2108-1258
Fax: + 49-89-2108-1451