Networks as an Ambassador for Innovation in Germany

One path to innovation and competitiveness is to share abilities and skills with national and international partners or, that is, innovation through international networking. Strengthening international networking in German research and industry is therefore a key element of the German Government’s new High-Tech Strategy.

How can small and medium enterprises manage a successful international cooperation in research and innovation?

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is promoting the strategic cooperation of regional clusters and networks with international partners, and are specifically targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Under the new high-tech strategy of the Federal Government the BMBF is sponsoring the a programme to develop “international excellence clusters, future projects, and networks”. There is an independent selection panel chaired by Margret Wintermantel, President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which has recommended eleven projects in the first round.

The selected clusters and networks will be grouped thematically, from science and industry, and will be able to realise worldwide research and innovation projects. The planned collaborations range from projects for electric mobility with French partners, the collaboration on the subject of medical technology with players from the USA, to biotechnology projects with Japan.

The funding supports the development of internationalisation concepts and their implementation in projects on an equal footing with worldwide partners. Therefore each project can receive funding up to four million euros over a period of up to five years on the German side. In the 2nd round of competition, the independent jury has recommended eleven projects for promotion. All projects will start in January 2017.

“An intelligent networking of business and science regionally and internationally is the key for successful innovation. The BMBF therefore deliberately supports this strategic networking. For example, SMEs are are priority, and we will support small and support medium businesses to come together with the right partners.”

said Parliamentary State Secretary Stefan Müller.

“The currently selected clusters and networks will be new ambassadors for strong innovation in Germany.”

In Germany, research institutions, universities, companies, and other actors have already successfully joined forces in clusters and networks. New promising technologies, products and solutions arise through cooperation across different industries and technologies.

Photo credit: “”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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