Kooperation Israel FWF
FWF President Klement Tockner and Alexander Bligh, Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Science sign the Memorandum of Understanding. © Annette Weber

FWF President Klement Tockner was among the members of an Austrian government delegation on a working visit to Israel from 9 to 12 June. The delegation was led by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Minister of Science Heinz Faßmann. Direct talks between representatives of Israel’s Ministry of Science (MOST) and their Austrian counterparts from the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed in the presence of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Federal Minister Heinz Faßmann and the science and research experts on the delegation also visited the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Close contacts and fruitful collaboration between the two countries have existed for some time in the context of various research endeavours, including FWF and Horizon 2020 projects. The Austrian delegation’s trip to Israel will soon be followed by a return visit by Israel’s Minister of Science Ofir Akunis, who is expected to arrive in Vienna next week for talks with Minister Faßmann and FWF President Tockner to build on the results of the previous meetings and develop concrete collaboration potentials.

Obviously, scientific research is increasingly being conducted in international networks. Israel and Austria are countries of comparable size, and both are strong players in the field of science. The MoU raises existing collaboration to a new level and for the first time foresees integrated, jointly funded research projects. The research programme is being prepared by a group of experts from the FWF and the Israeli Ministry of Science. It aims at making full use of the combined strengths of the two countries’ scientific establishments. The research programme schedule will also be set in bilateral talks.

Austrian Science Fund FWF

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria’s central funding organisation for basic research. Applying international quality benchmarks, the FWF provides funding for outstanding research projects and excellent researchers who work to generate, broaden and deepen scientific knowledge.


Marc Seumenicht
Head of Public Relations and Science Communication

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