Germany Pours More Money Into High-Tech

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject: Germany Pours More Money Into High-Tech Reply with quote

Germany Pours More Money Into High-Tech
Berlin hopes its high-tech investment turns into a job creator as well

Berlin has announced it is investing 14.6 billion euros ($18.7 billion) in high-tech over the next three years. Germany's education and research minister says the goal is 1.5 million new jobs in high-tech fields.

Ground-breaking research isn't the problem in Germany, getting innovative products to the market is, according to Annette Schavan, minister for education and research. On Wednesday in Berlin, she announced plans by the government to step up its investment in high-tech, with the aim to bring creative ideas out of the ivory tower and onto the commercial market.

"In many areas, we are at the top in basic research," she said. "But in general, across technical fields, putting those ideas into practice doesn't work frequently enough."

Bildunterschrift: Gro▀ansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Annette Schavan, federal minister of education and research
Schavan, a member of the conservative Christian Democrats, said many of Germany's good ideas get put away in a drawer somewhere or first get turned into money-making products abroad. The minister said she wants to put the emphasis on scientific research which can lead to products or processes with commercial uses.

"Fields of innovation"
Most of the federal money will go to the aerospace and energy technology sectors, although substantial amounts will be directed toward health and medical research, environmental research as well as security technology for nuclear power plants. All in all, Schavan named 17 "fields of innovation," which range from aerospace to traffic technology to nano- and biotechnology.

The funding also includes award money so that small and medium-sized companies can get their research findings to market more quickly.

"We also want to ensure that young scientists in this country realize their opportunities and make Germany into a place where new talent is forged," she said.

Industry groups and economic organizations had mostly praise for the new investment program, although some were critical that even more of the money set aside was not going into efforts to get products to market. The association of the German electronic and electronics industry called on the government to keep its attention on turning technical ideas into reality, rather than just funding new research initiatives.


First posted 1st Sept 2006
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