Innovation policy: High-Tech Forum points the way to greater participation, sustainability and implementation strength
Berlin, 21 April 2021. Today, the High-Tech Forum publishes its key recommendations for the future innovation strategy in Germany. The Forum urges promoting and demanding greater courage and implementation strength in the service of the Sustainable Development Goals. It maintains that it is important to strengthen the mission-oriented policy approach. A broader innovation pact should help to bring more results of cutting-edge research into large-scale application. Spin-offs and start-ups from science need to be further encouraged and facilitated. Targeted deregulation and more experimental spaces would be as necessary as more effective participation formats.
With the help of technological and social innovations, Germany can and must achieve its ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, strengthen its resilience, and develop its future competencies. The High-Tech Forum sees the mission-oriented approach to innovation policy started in 2018 as important for this. Based on the experience gained, the High-Tech Forum proposes ambitious strengthening with regard to participation, as well as the effective promotion and governance of missions.
In view of Germany’s innovation capacity and technological sovereignty, it stresses that better foresight and a critical market size or scaling of innovations would need to be achieved in Europe. Policymakers, business and science should commit to joint efforts in an innovation pact. The Forum urges mandatory funding frameworks based on the analysis of complete technology and competency architectures. Patchwork support measures should be avoided.
In addition, it highlights spin-offs and start-ups from science as key drivers for new technologies, structural change, and greater sustainability. Policymakers should provide stronger incentives for improving the start-up culture. With an initiative for freedom of technology transfer, the High-Tech Forum calls for a new political narrative, the elimination of goal conflicts, and encouraging framework conditions. Researchers should also be offered more incentives and freedom to collaborate with start-ups.
In addition to the five central topics of the Final Report, the joint development of an open, proactive and simultaneously precautionary innovation culture is a very important concern for the High-Tech Forum. The Forum organized two stakeholder dialogues with representatives from civil society, business and science. The proposals developed from them were recorded in an initial ideas paper agreed with the participants which is mentioned in the Final Report as a contribution towards further discussions.
The Final Report of the High-Tech Forum will be published as part of the Final Conference (www.htf2021.de) on 21 April 2021 and handed over to Anja Karliczek, the Federal Minister of Education and Research.
About the Final Report of the High-Tech Forum
In its Final Report, the High-Tech Forum summarizes its previous advisory papers and submits key recommendations for the further development of the Federal Government’s research and innovation strategy. The Forum concentrates these recommendations in five central topics: Mission-oriented innovation policy, Participation as a strategic instrument of innovation policy, Resilience and technological sovereignty, Agile research and innovation funding, and Initiative for freedom of technology transfer – promotion of knowledge-intensive start-ups. All publications and advisory topics of the High-Tech Forum are also available at: https://www.hightech-forum.de/en/publications
About the High-Tech Forum
The High-Tech Forum is the central committee that advises the Federal Government on implementing the High-Tech Strategy 2025. Its task is to provide tangible recommendations for implementing and actioning the Federal Government’s research and innovation policy. During its term between 2019 – 2021, it has published at total of eight discussion papers focusing on the key topics of the 3.5-percent target, Open science and innovation, Social innovations, Agility in the innovation system, Innovation and qualification, Sustainability in the innovation system, The future of value creation as well as Bio-IT innovations and the Guidelines for new* growth after the corona virus crisis. The Forum has also contributed to key messages on further development of the High-Tech Strategy 2025 as part of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s participation process (http://www.mitmachen-hts.de).
The High-Tech Forum is composed of 21 experts from science, business and society. It is co-chaired by Christian Luft, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The High-Tech Forum has met a total of seven times. The duration of its advisory activities is tied to the current parliamentary term. Further information is available at: www.hightech-forum.de/en/
About the High-Tech Strategy
The High-Tech Strategy 2025 consolidates the Federal Government’s promotion of research and innovation. Its goal is to achieve tangible progress in the quality of life of all citizens, such as in the fight against cancer, the reduction of plastic waste in the environment or more sustainable closed loop waste management. It is intended to encourage a large number of stakeholders to actively help shape this progress. Further information is available at: www.hightech-strategie.de/en/