Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research recently announced that Germany is read to start contributing 10 million euros this year to the endowment that supports the Minerva Centers, at the opening of the first Minerva German-Israeli Science Festival at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The festival, which showcases the accomplishments of Minerva Centers and introduces new Centers to the public, is being produced in conjunction with the Hebrew University’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.
A part of the Max Planck Association, the Minerva Foundation was the first agency created on behalf of the Federal German Ministry of Education and Research with the objective of funding high-quality research in Israel and encouraging cooperation among research partners in Israel and Germany. The Foundation has already unveiled 30 centers in Israeli universities, where both German and Israeli scientists work together in various fields of research.
Hebrew University President Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson opened the festival by telling Israeli and visiting German ministers:
“You were right to come to this place to open this festival. The beginning of the State of Israel was here, in 1918, when the cornerstone of the Hebrew University was laid. Just 30 years later the State of Israel was declared — one of the few countries where the university was established even before the state…Make sure that education is at the forefront of the country's strategy. The most important thing is the next generation — the children who are now in elementary school. We have an obligation to expose them to basic science."
Gideon Sa’ar, Israel’s Minister of Education said:
“We're not just talking about education but also doing. We did it with deeds, not words, during the last term, and in the upcoming elections the topic of education will be one of the most important issues…The research the Centers carry out is at the cutting edge of science, and the continuation and renewal of the Minerva Centers is of mutual interest to both Israel and Germany.”
Dr. Annette Schavan, the German Federal Minister of Education and Research said:
''The Hebrew University has brought forth world-acclaimed scientists and researchers inspiring amazing research, and it is heartwarming to celebrate the first Minerva Science Festival in this place. Minerva Centers represent the earliest cooperation between our states, and these scientific relations allowed the creation of trust and the growth of diplomatic relations…We have to offer young people attractive lives and work in research in both Germany and Israel, and I am happy to say that the ministry will this year provide an additional 10 million euros for the financial stability of these Centers.”
Dr. Daniel Hershkowitz, Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology said:
“The opening of this festival comes in the context of the blooming relationship between Germany and Israel. The language of science bridges gaps and differences between nations and native languages, and that is the path to advancing peace and friendship not just between two countries but the whole world…The year 2013 is an election year both in Germany and in Israel, and probably the only language that can address all fields – international security, economic issues and social matters – is the language of science.”