The Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation of the world's twenty major industrialized and emerging economies met in Beijing. Germany was represented by State Secretary Georg Schütte of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The agenda of the Beijing Meeting featured four priority topics, namely "Policy and Practices on Innovation-Driven Growth", "Innovation and Entrepreneurship", "STI Cooperation Priorities, Initiatives and Modalities", and "Human Resource and Innovation Talent". The Meeting was held to elaborate the relevant decisions made by the Heads of State and Government at their Summit Meeting in Hangzhou in September.
The first Meeting of the G20 Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation followed up on this year's Summit Meeting of the Heads of State and Government, which was held under the Chinese Presidency in Huangzhou in September. In their 2016 Communiqué, the Group of 20 committed to fostering an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy and emphasized the importance of science and research in achieving this objective. The role of science and research was specified in greater depth in the jointly adopted "Blueprint on Innovative Growth", the "G20 Innovation Action Plan" and the "G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".
Germany in particular can build on many years of experience and good results in this area. Continued close coordination with all the relevant innovation stakeholders in our country has enabled Germany to take on a leading role within the Group of 20 with regard to the strategic development of innovation policy tools.
The Federal Research Ministry's ten-point "Priority for SMEs" programme is aimed at encouraging small and medium-sized businesses to continue to be active innovators in the future and aims to support SMEs as the mainstay of the German economy.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is providing considerable funding for international collaboration schemes. For example, Germany is supporting cooperation in basic research at the CERN large-scale research facility or aboard the German research vessel Sonne, to name but two examples.
According to the OECD, Germany boasts one of the most liberal legal frameworks for the inward migration, temporary residence and employment of international skilled workers and graduates. The continued success and development of Germany's numerous programmes to support exchanges of scientists with other countries are evidence of the country's attractiveness as a location for science and research.
The Heads of State and Government of the world's 20 largest economies meet once a year, to conduct informal exchanges in the "Group of Twenty". These economies account for more than 90 percent of global gross national product (GNP), over 80 percent of global investment volume and around 70 percent of all patent applications. The G20 meets annually under a rotating Presidency to take informal decisions on pressing global challenges and provide important stimulus for political action.