Cutting-Edge Research and Innovation in East German Regions

a programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The capacity for innovation is a major prerequisite for self-sustaining economic development, for growth, and for employment. For this reason, a sustainable innovation policy is also the key for the reconstruction effort in the federal states of former East Germany, known as "Aufbau Ost". Obstacles to innovation-oriented growth policy for these federal states are caused by the special economic structure of eastern Germany, which is characterized by small companies and microenterprises.

In order to strengthen the innovation landscape in East Germany, publicly funded science and research that transcends traditional notions is particularly important. For this reason, especially in the federal states of former East Germany, it is important that all stakeholders in the science landscape acknowledge their responsibility for the technological competence of their experts and for securing their potential and combining their resources. In so doing, the universities and research institutions must expand their specific strengths and by establishing cooperations among each other and with regional, supraregional, and international partners, further develop their strategic positioning for research and innovation.

The implementation of innovative models and strategies of cooperative networks is promoted. Members of the networks may include universities, nonuniversity research institutions and companies, and the networks should have the potential to boost the innovative capacity of the region with one profile-defining development priority each. Specific projects are supported that allow the network to develop its profile-defining, focused research activities on a long-term basis and as a result, open up new prospects for the stakeholders themselves, both regionally and supraregionally. The projects follow up on the stakeholders’ strengths and are geared towards exploiting still untapped potential.

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