AiF press tip: Only innovation can secure Germany’s future

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Economic organizations and experts agree, embodied in the alliance agreement and assessed as effective: Within the current multiple crises, the Industrial Society Research Funding (IGF) program budget, which enables German medium-sized companies to conduct research for climate protection, energy savings and global commercialization must be increased dramatically Big

Only innovation can secure Germany’s future

Economic organizations and experts agree, embodied in the alliance agreement and assessed as effective: Within the current multiple crises, the Industrial Society Research Funding (IGF) program budget, which enables German medium-sized companies to conduct research for climate protection, energy savings and global commercialization must be increased dramatically Big

Economic organizations and experts agree, embodied in the alliance agreement and assessed as effective: Within the current multiple crises, the Industrial Society Research Funding (IGF) program budget, which enables German medium-sized companies to conduct research for climate protection, energy savings and global commercialization must be increased dramatically Big

A few days before the German Bundestag’s 2022 budget decision, the Confederation of German Industries (BDI) in its “current research and innovation policy recommendations for the implementation of the 3.5 per cent target” on May 18, 2022 urged urgently to devise stronger financing for medium-sized companies, The basis of the German economy: “Due to the strong influence of additional research funding in the field of research for SMEs, structural and budgetary adjustments must be made to the ZIM program. For this purpose, the budget of 620 million euros, which was already insufficient in previous years and will also be exceeded, must be doubled. In 2021, in order to be able to accept all eligible applications and to be able to carry out a gradual expansion of eligible companies up to 3,000 employees. The IGF must also be strengthened by doubling the budget to 400 million euros,” she says clearly.

AiF Chairman Professor Sebastian Bauer, who was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors of the BDI Committee on Research, Innovation and Technology Policy (FIT), explains: “Only innovations will secure Germany’s future. In light of the multiple crises now threatening the existence of some, the innovative activities of medium-sized companies must be supported on Wider scope. More investments in joint industrial research enhance the ability of mid-sized companies to remain competitive in the global market, achieve significant energy savings quickly and permanently and continue the necessary transformation of the German economy.” In current IGF projects, whose research findings can be applied to industry after an average of two years, there are examples of resource savings of up to 80 percent. The AiF accompanies and coordinates the IGF on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK). In 2021, BMWK provided the Internet Governance Forum around 200 million euros for outstanding research projects and the creation of networks between medium-sized companies and research institutions.

In the first quarter of 2022, there were more applications for IGF funding than ever before in the history of this research funding program, which is unique in the world. Under no circumstance should this possibility fade away – especially in these very difficult times right now. “Further innovations, which we can demonstrate can be efficiently launched and intensified through IGF projects, job creation, increased tax revenue, reduced energy requirements, advanced digitization and the use of artificial intelligence, as well as strengthening young people in Germany and, last but not least, strengthening the social security of our society” , continues Bauer.

In an assessment study published by the Federal Ministry of Economics at the beginning of the year, the IGF was classified as “an effective research funding instrument of a very unique character.” Bauer also refers to the recommendation of the Expert Committee on Research and Innovation (EFI), which in its current annual report for 2022 called for “sufficient and reliable financial resources to promote research and innovation.”

In the coalition agreement of the new federal government, the intent was clearly articulated to provide effective support for development steps through market entry, particularly within the existing financing structures. At the same time, the President of the International Federation of the Forum reiterated his call to increase the budget of the Forum in the 2022 budget compared to 200 million euros in the previous year: “According to the current recommendation of the Budget Committee of the draft Federal Budget for 2022, 620 million euros have been allocated to the Central Innovation Program for medium-sized companies ZIM and to the Forum Internet Governance (IGF) which allocated €186.5 million. Thus both programs remained well below the level of the previous year. That would be a fatal signal for medium-sized companies looking for.” He also reiterated his proposal for an “innovation offensive for medium-sized companies”. Similar to the Research and Innovation Charter, a multi-year budget with dynamic annual growth should be used for research funding programs geared to SMEs such as IGF, INNO-KOM and ZIM, giving all system participants predictability and continuity.

The adoption of the Federal Budget Law for the year 2022 is currently on the agenda of the Federal Council at the beginning of June 2022.

About AIF

The Industrial Research Societies Working Group “Otto von Guericke” eV is the research network of German medium-sized companies. It encourages research, transfer and innovation. As an umbrella organization of 100 non-profit research societies with more than 50,000 subsidiaries and more than 1,200 participating research institutions, it makes an important contribution to enhancing the long-term competitiveness of the German economy. As a not-for-profit association, AiF organizes joint industry research and, through AiF Projekt GmbH and AiF FT ∙ K GmbH, its wholly owned subsidiaries, oversees other public funding programmes. In 2021, the AiF used more than 557 million euros in public funding. Since its founding in 1954, it has allocated around 13.5 billion euros of public funding to new developments and innovations and has started more than 245,000 research projects.

Download as pdf: BDI Research and Innovation Policy Recommendations for Implementation of the 3.5 Percent Target

Media contact

AiF eV, Frauke Frodl, presse (at) aif (.) de, phone: +49 30 64475 215

Photo (© AiF eV) of AiF President Professor Dr. You can download Sebastian Bauer in printable resolution from our website.

AiF Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V.
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50968 Köln
www.aif.de

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