In the Federal Government's High-Tech Strategy 2020, research funding focuses on five fields of action: climate/energy, health/nutrition, mobility, security and communication. Key technologies, including information and communication technologies, form the basis of new products, processes and services which can contribute to meeting the challenges that our society is currently facing. Digital Germany 2015, the Federal Government's ICT Strategy, is a comprehensive strategic programme for the area of ICT. The research topics are addressed in the BMBF's funding programme "ICT 2020 - Research for Innovations".
The key prerequisite for innovations in these areas are (applied) research and development results in the fields of electronics and microsystems technologies, software systems and knowledge processing, communications technology and networks. ICT funding focuses on three strategic research and development areas: "ICT in complex systems" (e.g. embedded systems), "new business processes and production methods" and "the internet of things and services". In this context, it is important to concentrate on the quality-based goals of efficiency, security, user friendliness and resource efficiency. This is the only way in which the strengths of German ICT research and the traditionally high international standing of German engineering can be transferred to ICT solutions from Germany.
New instruments are being used for the ICT 2020 programme. Innovation and technology alliances are being forged as a way of building bridges between technology development and application. Support for SMEs is being provided in the form of funding for cooperative R&D projects across different information and communication technologies, simplified funding procedures, the establishment of a central contact point, and shorter periods between submitting applications and the final funding decision / provision of funds. ICT 2020 is designed as an open programme, meaning that amendments and shifts of emphasis can be made during the programme period. For example, electric mobility and IT security are topics that became more significant after the programme had already started.