The Federal Government and the Federal States of Germany set the course for facing the challenges of an intensive, global innovation competition on the path to a knowledge-based economy. Three large reform instruments ensure that the German scientific system is equipped for the future.
The objective of the excellence initiative is to expand innovative top research at the universities. Until 2017, it subsidizes 99 projects, including graduate schools and excellence clusters, to increase their international visibility and competitiveness. Subsequent to the excellence initiative, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research plans to introduce a long-term program for promoting top-level research at universities and strengthen Germany’s position as one of the leading research locations worldwide. The federal and state governments will annually provide 533 million Euro for this matter.
Comprehensive financial funds are also provided under the Hochschulpakt 2020 (Higher Education Pact) reform initiative to satisfy the need for highly skilled professionals. By 2023, this program will help to meet the demand of a rising number of applicants by creating 760,000 additional college and university places.
These reform initiatives will be completed by the “Pakt für Forschung und Innovation” (Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation). The program is dedicated to extra-university research institutes to secure their funding of international research projects. In order to achieve this objective, the Federal Government and the Federal States will increase their annual grants by 3 percent in the years from 2016-2020,providing the amount of 3.9 billion EUR of additional research funds.
Another objective of the Federal Government, in addition to the reform of the scientific system, is the development and exploitation of international R&D potentials. The internationalization strategy pronounced in 2008 has initiated a high number of measures, including the establishment of Deutsche Wissenschafts- und Innovationshäuser (German Houses of Science and Innovation) in major metropolitan areas worldwide. These are centralized points of contact and service that offer researchers and companies to obtain information on Germany as a business location for science.