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Research, innovation and technological performance in Germany - EFI Report 2009, vol 2009e

Edited by EFI - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation

in Reports on Research, Innovation and Technological Performance in Germany from Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin

Abstract: On behalf of the German Federal Government, the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation presents its second report. This was originally intended to be a “short” report, in which the key indicators of research and development were up-dated and commented on. However, the Expert Commission has decided to do much more than this, and recommends a series of measures to further strengthen the innovation potential of Germany. In particular in the present economic difficulties, research and innovation policies have a central role to play. The challenges faced are varied and were already named in the EFI Report 2008. The conditions for the financing of innovations are still not ideal in Germany. The weaknesses of the educational system are already having negative consequences and in the medium- term could represent an existential threat to the innovation potential. The high degree of specialisation in a few manufacturing sectors is an expression of the particular German strengths, but it also creates dependencies and risks. Because research and innovation policies are only effective over the medium- to long-term, these problems cannot be solved within a short period of time. But politicians must act more rapidly than in the past. The opportunity of introducing fiscal support for research and development has unfortunately not been seized, and the measures introduced by the Federal Government to improve investment financing are not at all convincing. In this second report we consider other fields of action: the intensification of knowledge and technology transfer, increasing the attractiveness of science as an employment opportunity, and the promotion of innovation processes in small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular in sectors of the knowledge-intensive services. The shortage of qualified personnel is beginning to represent a threat to the innovative potential of Germany. We urgently need to develop our universities and research institutions and to adopt intelligent, targeted immigration policies. The Expert Commission also considers the questions relating to the implementation of the Second Recovery Package. This requires particularly rapid and effective action.

Date: 2009
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