With its newly created programme entitled ‘New Kibbutz’, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is offering German students scholarships for internships with Israeli start-ups. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing some €3.5 million of funding for the programme. The German-Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Tel Aviv arranges the internships on site.
The start-up scene in Israel has been booming for more than twenty years. Israeli start-ups have been particularly successful worldwide in biotechnology, artificial intelligence and other high-tech fields, with Israel now often referred to as ‘the start-up nation’: in Tel Aviv alone, there is one start-up to every 400 residents, and the city is considered the centre of the start-up scene internationally.
‘Israel is a start-up nation and a pioneer when it comes to digitalisation. I feel it’s important to intensify German-Israeli relations in these areas and learn even more from each other. Through the New Kibbutz programme, we aim to offer students an attractive way of familiarising themselves with the impressive Israeli innovation scene, enabling them to gain international experience while at the same time applying the knowledge they have gained in their studies in practice. I feel confident that New Kibbutz will not only generate promising ideas but also give rise to many new Israeli-German friendships,’ says Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek.
‘The aim of this new Israel programme is to give students an insight into a highly dynamic and innovative business scene,’ says DAAD President Professor Joybrato Mukherjee. ‘We see this as a great opportunity to strengthen ties with Israel and to inspire students to start their own businesses in Germany.’ The programme is designed to fit in with the known preference for shorter stays abroad and it also matches the system of practical semesters operated at universities of applied sciences.
‘New Kibbutz’ enables students from all types of higher education institution to do a funded internship with an Israeli start-up. Periods of stay range from two to six months. Scholarship holders receive financial benefits for living expenses, health, accident and personal liability insurance, travel expenses and any placement fees incurred. There is also a support programme designed to enable funding recipients to get to know Israel better. Initial plans provide for some 50 scholarships per year.