Ten ways to innovate in Germany

Germany’s innovation policy is eroding. Not because the state pumps too little money into the system. Rather, it is hemmed in by bureaucracy, mental silos, wrong incentives, great ego, and separation from entrepreneurship. Ideas coming from sharp minds are rarely translated into scalable business models, services, products – i.e. growth, new jobs, new perspectives.

The problem of research transfer: mourned for years, accepted for years. Elsewhere, innovative nations have long since created new high-tech gaming legs. Mechanical, plant and automotive engineering are still dominant here. How to improve the situation in Germany? In ten critical points:

1. Make your strategies strategic – with intelligent foresight processes, technology neutral missions, sound strengths and weaknesses analysis, innovative nations as a measure and rigorous project management that measures progress using target and performance indicators. All of this is missing from the technology strategies of the Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF).

2. Reform of the research system – with new decision-making processes, management styles, agile forms of work – first and foremost within the BMBF itself. In addition, we must finally take control of the Research and Innovation Pact for non-university research institutions (AuF) Fraunhofer, Helmholtz, Leibniz, Max Planck with success indicators: spin -offs, top 100 interns, license income, staff diversity. Part of the funds should go to the competition between AuFs for more risky, unconventional challenges. And: AuFs need a common platform for synergistic and strategic tasks (innovation networks, transfer policy, copyright and talent management).

The best jobs of the day

Get the best job now and
be notified by e-mail.

Germany must break new ground

3. Shenzhen around the corner. Create Freedom Territories for Radical Innovation, for example at the Leap-Based Innovation Agency: Late! Lack of space for legs doomed them to failure. Rules of the game are needed in budget law and public procurement, as well as in venture capital and competitive salaries. In addition, Germany has to move into new territories – as does the world-class universities of Oxford and Cambridge since 2014. The UK government has now established ten university entrepreneurial zones along with 48 regular Special Economic Zones. This is where the UK can boast of tax bonuses, investment subsidies, ultra-fast internet and no bureaucracy. Innovative explosive mix of cutting-edge research, founders of deep-tech and industry.

4. Intensive research on spin-offs are as important as the publications in “A +” journals. Unfortunately, neither German universities nor AuF can compete with ETH Zurich when it comes to spin-offs. Both need a stronger transfer and start-up ecosystem, as well as simpler rules for claim-free intellectual property. You as a client-anchor in tenders and start-up-friendly procurement are important parameters for any form of start-up.

5. The magnetism of talents. Brain drain is poison to our country. What is needed is cerebral gain through skilled immigration with attractive framework conditions. For example, Denmark allows foreign experts to tax up to 60 percent of their income over the years; Meanwhile, Germany continues to suffer from the net loss of artificial intelligence scientists. Antidote: Thousands of PhD scholarships in key technologies, immigration law with the Canadian credit system, more data science courses, a significantly expanded STEM education program.

6. Venture capital. A future federal government fund of ten billion euros should actually be multiplied by ten. Private financiers with a risk appetite can fill this gap. For example, an Australian Biotechnology Fund pays 60% of the total. private investors and 40 percent. to the state if it is successful under a public-private partnership (PPP). Many midsize companies are hungry for regional PPP venture capital funds to strengthen innovative local ecosystems.

We feed the Goliaths, the Davids starve

Even with classic project financing, the saying “the devil always makes the biggest buck” has to end. Today, a huge chunk of public research funding goes to established people – in information technology 86 versus 14 percent, space travel 94 versus 6%. We feed the Goliaths, the Davidas starve. We need to reverse this and rely much more on tax incentives for research.

7. Social and technological innovations they are twins. Successful reforms in care, education, health and administration run counter to social entrepreneurship, ie commitment to entrepreneurship and civil society. Here, too, it is worth taking a look at England, where the Social Impact Fund invests money from unnamed accounts, orphaned for decades, in entrepreneurship for the common good.

8. German Transfer Association (DTG) instead of just the German Research Foundation (DFG). As taxpayers’ money flows into basic research, it unfortunately flows into application-oriented research. Knitting error! Systematic knowledge transfer would stimulate small and medium-sized enterprises in rural regions and stimulate innovation in local administrative, health and educational institutions. The result: powerful regions.

9. New job. About four million self-employed and freelancers are the hummus for entrepreneurship in the country. Unfortunately, more and more of them, using the sword of Damocles, threaten to become bogus self-employment. We urgently need a new culture of independence! With protection and safety for insecure self-employed workers. And with clear positive criteria that provide high-earning freelancers and their clients with legal certainty and a free choice in social security. Digital work is also developing thanks to the sovereignty of working hours and location; The Workplace Ordinance and the Working Hours Act should be put to the test.

Promote start-ups, prevent monopolies

10. Project innovative nation “ it will only succeed by updating the social market economy. The goal is a harmonious, distinct triad of three Ps: Planet, People, Profit. Social issues, ecology and the economy need a real, sustainable framework for a humane market economy. In the digital world of tomorrow, it must prevent monopolies, promote start-ups and digital work, while socially absorbing casual work.

It must strengthen pensions with share-based pensions, tax-privileged employee participation and attractive stock option models for start-ups. It needs to adapt codecision and the constitution of works to the digital economy. And she has to

Fighting climate change effectively – through climate technologies, emissions trading and sustainable balance sheet incentives such as ESG accounting standards.
Germany must become a high-tech country again! In our European spheres, this includes a large dose of high contact – loosely based on John Naisbitt – and a vision of the future where innovation is not the fifth wheel of a car.

Author: Thomas Sattelberger is an advocate for innovation, education and research for the FDP parliamentary group. At Deutsche Telekom and Continental, he was the head of the Human Resources Department.

More: How bureaucracy slows down research.

Leave a Comment