“Sound research, intelligent innovation and technological skill – these are the keys that will open doors in the future,” writes Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek in the foreword to the report on the Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy 2025 (HTS). She goes on: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, this was reflected in the record speed at which the vaccines were developed and brought to market in Germany in particular – all the result of solid groundwork. Dose by dose, this is the way we are banishing the risk of disease and paving the way for lifting constraints.”
Target: 3.5 percent of GDP to go into research and development
This year’s report on the High-Tech Strategy now approved by the Federal Cabinet focuses on the role of research and innovation in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. “Even during the pandemic, the Federal Government’s target is still to spend a total of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development by 2025,” says the Minister. “The German research and innovation system has proven its effectiveness in the pandemic.”
According to Karliczek, the foundations for this were laid by the Federal Government over many years of reliable prioritisation along with an ongoing increase in spending on research and development. “The first test to detect the virus and the first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine approved according to international standards were developed in Germany,” stresses the Research Minister.
3.18 percent of gross domestic product went into research and innovation last year.
Strengthening future competencies – increasing prosperity
The aim of HTS 2025, originally approved by the Federal Cabinet in September 2018, is to strengthen Germany’s future capabilities. Conceived as a guideline for the future, it pools research and innovation with the aim of increasing prosperity, sustainable development and quality of life in Germany.
“Health and Care”, “Sustainability, Climate Protection and Energy”, “Mobility”, “Urban and Rural Areas”, “Safety and Security”, “Economy and Work 4.0” – the High-Tech Strategy covers a broad range of topics. The stated aim of the HTS is “... to achieve qualitative leaps forward in these topic areas, changes that are noticeable and tangible for people in their everyday life”.
Strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation is a key element of the HTS: all ministries involved are now focusing much more on setting joint policy priorities so as to promote innovation in the various policy areas and achieve progress through research.