Research priorities

The Federal Government is concentrating its thematically oriented research and innovation policy on several priority tasks, for instance, the digital economy and society, sustainable economic activity and energy, innovative working environment, healthy lifestyle, intelligent mobility, and civil security.

Research and innovation strengthen Germany as an economic location and contribute substantially to the well-being of the population. Excellent research helps in finding solutions to global challenges and in developing strategies for sustainable growth. Research makes it possible to strike out in new directions, to discover the unknown and improve the status quo. The German research and science landscape enjoys an excellent reputation all over the world.

With its High-Tech Strategy, the Federal Government has set thematic priorities in research and innovation. One core element is its focus on priority tasks; driven by an impressive innovative momentum, these tasks will continue to provide invaluable impetus, thereby boosting economic growth and prosperity (cf. also the info box Priority tasks for prosperity and quality of life). The goal of the High-Tech Strategy is for Germany to blaze a trail in these fields, finding solutions to global challenges and offering satisfactory answers to the pressing questions of the 21st century. In addition, Germany is reinforcing the innovative strength and growth potential of its economy, while guaranteeing qualified, future-proof jobs.

The Federal Government’s research and innovation policy also advocates the advancement of key technologies and basic scientific research, together with the development of important cross-cutting issues in the fields of education and society, like demographic change and integration through education.

Priority tasks for prosperity and quality of life

The starting point of the High-Tech Strategy is investigating the sources of our future prosperity (How do we intend to maintain our economic strength?) and our quality of life (How do we want to live in tomorrow’s world?). Thus, the Federal Government is addressing innovative solutions that are driven by a strong scientific and technical dynamic or high innovation potential, which will give Germany a head start in innovation terms in the international arena.

In many sectors, product cycles have been appreciably shortened, the requirements of system solutions have been tightened and the necessary development input has increased relative to the potential innovative return. Especially in times of unprecedented global change, Germany’s competitiveness, its potential for value creation and employment, are increasingly in the focus of attention. Simply implementing technological innovations in production processes is no longer enough. Being innovative requires a great deal more: greater emphasis is being placed on sustainable patterns of consumption and behaviour, and on processes of social change like introducing resource-optimised forms of production and lifestyles. Therefore, the Federal Government is not merely relying on technological innovations, but is also focusing on new organisational solutions, as well as social and service innovations.

The Federal Government is concentrating its thematically oriented research and innovation policy on six priority tasks:

  1. The digital economy and society: searching for innovative solutions to the challenges of digitalisation and exploiting opportunities for value creation and prosperity in Germany.
  2. Sustainable economic activity and energy: improving the environmental performance, resource efficiency and social compatibility of production methods and consumption patterns, thereby increasing their sustainability.
  3. Innovative working environment: scrutinising the profound changes taking place in the modern working world because decent work is a prerequisite for creative ideas and Commercial innovations.
  4. Healthy lifestyle: stepping up research for a healthy, active and self-determined lifestyle.
  5. Intelligent mobility: research for an integrated transport policy that optimises the efficiency and performance of the individual transport operators, together with their interaction.
  6. Civil security: everyday life depends on the trouble-free functioning of the complex systems and infrastructures that govern our energy supply, communication, mobility, health care or logistics.