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As part of a joint effort between France and Israel to promote scientific research, 15 outstanding young French and Israeli scientists, recipients of prestigious research grants from the European Research Council, were hosted at a Jerusalem conference this week.
The conference, organized by the Science and Technology Ministry, the France-Israel Foundation and the French Embassy, opened on Monday and continued through Wednesday at the Mount Zion Hotel.
During the conference, the researchers presented the results of the work, in a variety of areas, for which they had received the grants. They were hosted Monday by President Shimon Peres at Beit Hanassi, where Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, French Ambassador Christophe Bigot and the vice president of the France-Israel Foundation, Dina Sorek, were also in attendance.
The conference was initiated by the Israeli-French High Council for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which convenes every year jointly with the France-Israel Foundation. In 2004, an agreement was signed by both countries according to which Israel and France would jointly invest $1 million annually to fund scientific research.
Hershkowitz said that “our aim is to promote international scientific cooperation. Scientific cooperation with France constitutes an example of fruitful cooperation from which both countries benefit.”
His director-general, Menachem Greenblum, added, “Our ministry is committed to promoting the reserve of young scientists in Israel and, therefore, we are proud to initiate and host a conference which will contribute not only to young Israeli scientists, but also to scientists from a country which has close scientific ties with Israel.”
The European Research Council’s research program, which operates within the framework of the European 7th Framework Program (FP7) for R&D, opened in 2007 and is today considered among the most prestigious in the world. Of the more than 10,000 researchers from the EU member states who applied for grants, 563 promising young scientists have thus far been chosen from 21 different countries. The beneficiaries of the grants are considered to have the potential to become Nobel laureates.
The Israeli scientists at the conference are from the Technion-Israel
Institute of Technology, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Hebrew
University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University and
Tel Aviv University.
The France-Israel Foundation was established in 2005 with the goal of
changing Israel’s image in France and vice versa, as well as deepening
the ties between the two countries in science, culture, the economy and