Minerva Centers

The idea of establishing Minerva Centers dates back to the early 1970's as a measure to help strengthen scientific cooperation between German and Israeli scientists in very specific fields of research which are of equal interest to both sides by way of cooperative projects, seminars, lectures, workshops and short term visits to and from the center. The criteria for establishing these centers is scientific excellence and cooperation with Germany. This concept has resulted in noteworthy scientific research being carried out at centers of highest scientific standards, and we today count 43 active centers at Israeli universities and research institutions. One chair is presently being run under the name of Minerva. In order to establish a center, Minerva supports the host institution with a capital endowment provided by the BMBF to be invested at the highest possible interest rate. The interest proceeds are matched by the host institution and both add up to the annual budget of the center. Funds are disbursed towards the center's research activities and are not - with the exception of travel allowances - available to the German partners. An advisory council with Israeli and German members advises the center on its research programme, approves the budget and follows up on scientific performance. It also helps to promote cooperation with partners in Germany. The council convenes at least once every two years and is chaired by one of its German members. Aiming at maintaining the high level of scientific performance in this programme, Minerva is supported by the Minerva Center Committee which is chaired by Professor Herbert Walther, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching/Munich. Its members are internationally renowned scientists from different fields of research who are responsible for the review and selection of applications. The Center Committee also helps to select the members of independent review committees that are charged with the task of evaluating Minerva Centers at intervals of seven years. These reviews are crucial in measuring scientific output as well as the scope of cooperation and thus form the basis for the decision to extend (for another seven year period) or close a Center.

The total amount of funding provided by the BMBF for this programme to date amounts to approximately DM 136 mill. Applications are submitted by the partner organizations in Israel. In the future, the establishment of new Minerva Centers will - as a rule - only be possible when older centers are closed. This policy will lead to a concentration of resources and an optimization of research with regard to the scientifically most efficient centers. programme on a rotational basis. The Award amounts to DM 50.000 and may be used for all purposes in direct connection with the award winners' research.



Minerva BGU