A comprehensive package of complementary policy and funding programs and support activities has been put in place in order to establish Germany as a lead market and provider of cyber-physical systems and smart services by 2020.
The New High-Tech Strategy
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In September 2014, the German Federal Cabinet adopted the New High-Tech Strategy (“Innovations for Germany”). The objective of the New High-Tech Strategy is to move Germany forward on its way to becoming a worldwide innovation leader.
A continuation of the existing High-Tech Strategy and successor activities, the new initiative seeks to consolidate domestic growth and prosperity through a coherent innovation policy founded on knowledge transfer for quicker times from laboratory to market. To this extent, EUR 14 billion in investment funding was set aside in 2014 alone. A further EUR 3 billion in research funding has been set aside for the duration of the current legislative period (2013-2017).
Activities conducted within the framework of the New High-Tech Strategy are conducted in accordance with Germany’s five pillars of innovative strength:
- Prioritizing future challenges relative to prosperity and quality of life.
- Consolidating resources and promoting transfer.
- Strengthening the dynamism of innovation in industry.
- Creating favorable conditions for innovation.
- Strengthening dialogue and participation.
Central to the New High-Tech Strategy are six priority task areas. These are as listed below.
- Digital Economy and Society
Innovative solutions are being developed to address the challenges inherent in digital technologies, and opportunities for value creation and prosperity in Germany identified.
- Sustainable Economy and Energy
Consumption and production need to become more environmentally sustainable, resource-efficient and socially acceptable.
- Innovative Workplace
Focus on profound changes taking place in the modern workplace with jobs as important basis for creative ideas and economic innovation.
- Healthy Living
Increased research activity aimed at helping people live longer, healthier and more independent lives.
- Intelligent Mobility
Research activity supporting integrated transport policies that optimize modes of transport in terms of efficiency, capability and interaction.
- Civil Security
Addressing security issues inherent in complex systems and infrastructures (e.g. energy supply, communications, mobility, and logistics) in everyday life.
The New-High Tech Strategy will see the German Federal Government provide support to science and industry within the context of collaborative partnerships covering everything from the digital society and digital manufacturing processes (i.e. INDUSTRIE 4.0) to electric mobility and individualized medicine.
Particular support is provided for small and medium-sized enterprises in the form of the technology-neutral programmes initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) including the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) and Cooperative Industrial Research (IGF).