Press Release No. 49 | November 26, 2021

“Strong Commitment to Free Basic Research”

The DFG welcomes the future Federal Government’s plans for science and research

The DFG welcomes the future Federal Government’s plans for science and research

Commenting on the draft coalition agreement between the SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and the FDP, the President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Dr. Katja Becker, said:

“I’m very pleased to see such a strong commitment to the importance of free, curiosity-driven basic research dedicated to Germany’s future viability and prosperity. Not only the section on science but the entire coalition agreement reflects great confidence in the German research system and positive expectations of its potential.

In our view, it is crucial to appreciate that the science system can only meet these expectations with adequate funding. We therefore expressly welcome the agreed increase in general government spending on research and development to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2025. It is also gratifying to note that the future Federal Government will continue to adhere to the Pact for Research and Innovation, thereby enabling reliable planning security for many thousands of excellent research projects, all of which embody the innovation potential of the future.

Together with all those involved in science and the research system, I am relieved that additional funds are to be specifically made available for the second funding phase of the Excellence Strategy. Given the fact that this strategy has contributed significantly to raising Germany’s profile and strengthening its position as a centre of science and research, I am very pleased to know that it can now be carried forward subject to fair and competitive conditions. In addition, we welcome the coalition’s commitment to increasing the DFG’s programme allowance in the medium term. This is essential in order to sustainably strengthen the research and strategic capability of HEIs and ensure their competitiveness at national and international level. We hope that concrete steps will be taken in the near future in this regard.

We also take a positive view of the agreement regarding the further development of the National Research Data Infrastructure, a Research Data Act and the introduction of research clauses. Data are crucial to the quality and transparency of research, they enable follow-up opportunities for new scientific projects and provide the essential basis for translating research outcomes into innovations.

The coalition partners have put aspects of their election manifestos into practice by proposing the establishment of an Agency for Transfer and Innovation (DATI). The task will now be to develop a prudent concept for this that boosts the transfer and innovation potential of all the relevant actors while optimising the interfaces with basic research.

The future coalition can also count on the DFG’s support in developing a strategy to reduce experimentation on animals. What is more, we will make our contribution to society-wide debate in promoting the opportunities offered by biotechnology, something for which the coalition partners put forward a strong plea in their agreement.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic and based on the experience gained in the work of the DFG Commission for Pandemic Research over the past year and a half, I also personally welcome the proposed establishment of an interdisciplinary pandemic advisory council at the Federal Ministry of Health. International scientific cooperation is essential in overcoming crises – both now and in the future. DFG funding recipients already cooperate with partners in more than 120 countries world-wide based on numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements between the DFG and its partner organisations. The proposed strengthening of science diplomacy will have a significant impact, too.

The coalition partners have put forward an ambitious plan seeking to set the agenda for many crucial aspects of science policy that are currently necessary in order to ensure the German science system is equipped to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.”

Further Information

Media contact:

  • Marco Finetti
    Head of Press and Public Relations at the DFG
    Tel. +49 228 885-2230

Contact at the DFG Head Office:

For details of the main areas of action to be addressed in the upcoming legislative period from the DFG’s point of view, see also: