“The chancellor should lead future missions centrally – like Biden”

Berlin The Stifterverband is urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz to take the major challenges into his own hands – like US President Joe Biden. “If we want to successfully implement the big missions, we need central responsibility,” said its President Michael Kaschke in an interview with the Handelsblatt. The Stifterverband is the central business organization for science.

With that, Kaschke sets the tone for the research summit this Tuesday, at which the research elite of the republic want to discuss with the chancellor. “In the USA, Biden has brought responsibility for the Chips Act to the White House – here the chancellor should consider leading one or two future missions centrally and superordinately,” said Kaschke.

Biden supports the chip industry with 39 billion dollars. At the same time, the subsidies are linked to far-reaching conditions, ranging from a ban on production in China to the training of skilled workers. According to Kaschke, this would be ideal in Germany for the strategically decisive energy issue and for health, because they would have a major impact on the lives of the citizens.

The “Future Strategy” recently adopted by the traffic light government provides for six central missions, but is otherwise lost in over 100 individual goals. Above all, it is still completely unclear how the necessary cooperation between the ministries to achieve the major goals can work. However, if Germany “continues to allow the ministries to work more independently on their roadmaps on the most important issues, the necessary acceleration will not happen,” warns Kaschke.

The former Zeiss boss illustrates this with the “Health for All” mission from the future strategy: The Minister of Health is in charge, but he needs the Ministers for Research, Economics, Justice and Digital Affairs. In view of the large number of actors, however, it is “not realistic to get a roadmap here that deserves the name, let alone its implementation,” Kaschke is now convinced. After all, there is still no clear roadmap for energy either.

Kaschke also sees problems in the EU

The Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI), which advises the government, is also calling for “strategic control at the highest level” so that Germany can achieve its major goals. For the “big hit”, the “innovation-political turning point”, the government must break the “silo mentality” of the departments. So far, however, that is hardly in sight, the EFI complained in its most recent report.

It’s no better in Europe either, says Kaschke: The EU Chips Act provides for increasing the EU’s share of world production to 20 percent. However, it was decided “only afterwards” that this should be achieved by 2023. In addition, it is completely unclear where the promised 43 billion euros come from come, whether from the EU or the states. “It’s more of an appeal than a mission.” The USA, on the other hand, “decided in detail how much money should go into which topic, including research and development and even further training of the necessary specialists.”

>>Read also: Expert commission: Germany falls behind in key technologies

Kaschke is also putting pressure on because the technology nation Germany has clearly fallen behind internationally. “We think we are leaders, but we are no longer: In the globally recognized IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, which has been measuring the basis for the future competitiveness of an economy since 1968, we have slipped from 9th place to 15th place since 2017. And who overtook us? Not only emerging nations from Asia, but also countries like the Netherlands and Denmark.”

According to the ranking of the Leibniz Center for European Economic Research (ZEW), Germany is in the worst position it has been since 2006. Germany is only 18th out of 21 countries.

Kennedy’s moon mission is still a model for an extremely successful mission: “Simple, understandable, courageous and yet precisely formulated,” praises Kaschke. “Nasa was given the mandate to manage implementation and was responsible for a clear roadmap.” They set the rules for the many actors “and reported directly to the White House.” The Chips Act in the USA is designed to be similarly stringent today.

Models Japan and China

In addition, Japan and China show how to orchestrate large missions, says Kaschke. The following applies there: “A concrete goal, a detailed roadmap, catalysts – i.e. political framework conditions and support for the necessary cutting-edge technology – and a central, agile orchestration.”

According to the Japanese New Robot Strategy, the market for robots should quadruple in ten years to replace skilled workers in the aging Japanese society. According to the study “Acceleration formula for Germany” by the Stifterverband and McKinsey, which is available to the Handelsblatt, prices are to fall by 20 percent and the number of robotics experts to rise to more than 30,000. The robots are intended to serve medicine, but also agriculture, construction and production. There is a detailed sub-roadmap for each field.

“We, on the other hand – and I deliberately add this – set a good, clear goal, such as a climate-neutral economy by 2055. And then we fall into detailed regulations – for example that the room temperature may only be 19 degrees,” criticizes Kaschke.

Germany could also learn from the “Made in China” strategy of 2015, which aims to achieve a technological leadership position with semiconductors and to double the gross domestic product by 2035. The strategy is holistic and defines concrete technological breakthroughs in ten key industries for all areas of application such as screens or optoelectronic semiconductors have been defined precisely and measurably,” says the study. In addition, there are targeted funding programs, numerous new research centers and simplifications for small companies.

In Germany, on the other hand, people often think that a very precise plan is already a roadmap. “That’s wrong,” says Kaschke, and illustrates it with a simple example: “If I want to drive from New York to Los Angeles, I first need a compass, from the Pennsylvania state border a US highway map and finally a city map from LA In between, I have to check again and again whether I have to change the route because a road is closed or the gas station is closed.”

More: Future strategy under criticism: Experts miss priorities and concrete measures

source site-14