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Press Release No. 29 | 6 July 2022
“Knowledge-driven research lays the foundation for future innovations”

The DFG calls for greater consideration of basic research in the Federal Government’s new strategy for research and innovation

Commenting on today’s debate in the Bundestag on research, innovation and technological capability in Germany, the President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Dr. Katja Becker, said:

“I very much welcome the fact that, in its first Federal Report on Research and Innovation 2022, the new Federal Government once again expresses its appreciation of the German science system and the outstanding importance of science and research in achieving social and technological progress.

In Germany, free and knowledge-driven research continues to form the backbone of the German science system, laying the foundation for future innovations, technologies and applications. Basic research is vital if not indispensable in contributing to overcoming the climate crisis, strengthening social resilience and striving for technological sovereignty, and it is absolutely crucial in many other areas, too.

But research must also be capable of contributing to tackling the kind of challenge we may not even be aware of today. Rapid development of a vaccine against COVID-19 in 2020 was only possible because of the fact that it was preceded by decades of basic research. At the same time, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine demonstrates just how sensible it has been and will continue to be to invest in Slavic studies, Eastern European studies, as well as in peace and conflict research. It is precisely in preparation for these unforeseen challenges that a research and innovation strategy geared to the future requires continuous investment in basic research across its entire breadth.

And this is exactly what the Federal Government’s new Strategy for Research and Innovation takes into account. In addition to the important pursuit of technological progress and the focus on application and mission orientation, the overall potential of the German science system must be tapped into – starting with basic research. This includes a very central focus on the long-term orientation of German research and innovation policy and securing Germany’s ongoing international competitiveness as a research hub based on research-friendly framework conditions.”

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