Strategy Processes: Ideas for the Future in Education and Research
Education forms the basis for one's whole life; research opens up previously unknown opportunities in all fields of life. Education and research need perspectives which extend far into the future. These are the foundations on which our future evolves. The BMBF's promotion of education and research must take this long-term aspect into account. The BMBF is expanding its policy with the support of stakeholders in the field of science and society by providing scientific advice and organizing strategy processes with representatives of very varied societal groups.
The BMBF's funding of science and research must be judged according to the benefits which the use of public funding holds for society, particularly in the long term. Such an assessment must be oriented towards the future and must take various factors into account.
The first of these is providing for the future: The protection of the environment and climate change, safeguarding energy supplies, but also demographic development are all processes which take several decades. Although we cannot forecast these processes precisely today, scientifically founded predictions of developments make it necessary to fund research into countermeasures.
A second factor is securing the basis for our prosperity and social cohesion. Many research results have considerable economic significance. They form the basis for the international competitiveness of highly developed technological nations. Here it is, of course, important that the results of research enter products and services and that research also reaches the people whom it can help - particularly in fields such as health research.
In order to remain in the lead internationally, it is decisive to identify the future direction of research as early as possible and to support work in this area. The third factor is the rather abstract progress in science and research in general. Findings and discoveries in research can often not be determined in advance this is the reason for their scientific charm and societal importance. This research has its origins in scientific questions, answers to which also require support.
Strategy processes in education and research are thus based on two fundamental questions: Where do we stand and in what direction do future developments point? Working on the basis of the results of analyses and scenarios, we can develop a dialogue with science and societal groups on central areas and key measures needed to achieve the goals of education and research policy.
BMBF Foresight is a strategic instrument of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that provides technology foresight and the determination of future societal needs in terms of research and development. With a time horizon of 15 years, BMBF Foresight casts a long-range look into the future in order to provide guidance for early agenda setting and prioritization in German research and innovation policy. The process is carried out cyclically and in several phases: search and analysis, transfer, and preparation of the next cycle. read more: BMBF Foresight
In the national strategy process "Innovations in Medical Technology," the steering committee has presented its final report. It summarizes the findings of 21 workshops, in which over 150 experts from science, industry and health discussed ways to increase the competitiveness of the medical technologies sector, improve the performance of the health care system, and strengthen innovation in medical technological research. The strategy process was initiated in 2011 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research together with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Health, in order to develop a coherent innovation policy in medical technology - very much in line with Germany's High-Tech Strategy. read more: National Strategy Process"Innovations in Medical Technology"
The Federal Cabinet has adopted the Federal Government's "The New Future of Old Age" research agenda for demographic change, which was proposed by Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is the first interdepartmental research concept on this topic. This Federal Government agenda focuses departmental research programmes on the challenges and opportunities of demographic change. The agenda aims to conduct research that will encourage the development of new solutions, products, and services to improve the quality of life and social participation of older people. Discovering the hidden treasures of an ageing society will benefit all generations. read more: Actively shaping a future of demographic change
Data and facts form the basis for rational decision-making. Comparisons with other countries reveal where we stand. The analysis of processes of innovation enables us to learn from individual successes. In the field of analyses and statistics, the BMBF collects and analyzes facts in order to be able to improve education and research in Germany. Since 2008 the independent Expert Commission Research and Innovation (EFI) regularly compiles and presents reports on Germany's research, innovation and technological capacities. Strengths and weaknesses of the German system of innovation are analyzed in international and contemporary comparison, and prospects of Germany as a location for research and innovation are assessed based on the newest scientific studies. read more: Analyses and Statistics of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Research, invention, and development in Germany have an impact on all of us. This is why it is important that scientists and researchers speak to the general public about their work in the laboratory and office. For many years now, the initiative "Science in Dialogue" has been creating opportunities for such exchange- not only to inform citizens, but also to get their opinions. Science Year and Science Summer events aim to arouse curiosity and clarify the significance of scientific questions. read more: Dialogue between Science and Society
Highly qualified women with foreign degrees still want to be employed at a high level in Germany. But all too often, the reality is otherwise - this from a study conducted by the HU Berlin, the TU Hamburg-Harburg, and the RWTH Aachen as part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) together with the European Social Fund (ESF). The study shows that highly qualified migrant women with foreign degrees have had difficulty entering the labour market: the move to Germany often means interrupting their careers or even accepting employment far below their level of qualification. read more: Women in Education and Research