Federal Parliament election 2021: What should happen to research and science funding

It won’t be long now: On Sunday, September 26th, the new Bundestag will be elected – and with it a new Chancellor, because Angela Merkel is no longer running for the CDU / CSU. In the months and years to come, decisive decisions will be made not only for the future of Germany, but also for Europe and the world as a whole. The digitization of the professional world and of the entire everyday life occupy people; and climate change – which is not coming but has long been there – requires drastic measures, to name just two important issues. In a nine-part series, heise online examines the parties’ election programs on the basis of the most important subject areas; This will be followed by a series of interviews with the party representatives responsible for network policy. Published so far:

Research topics in election manifestos are always those chapters in which parties are particularly generous, but also set their own accents. The CDU / CSU, SPD and the Greens are unanimously promising to spend 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product on research and development by 2025. The FDP would like to introduce the new type of university of a European Digital University (EDU), the Left would like to socialize medical research. The AfD wants to expand nuclear research and make the search for a repository obsolete through new research.

In its government program, the CDU / CSU promises to increase spending on research and development to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2025. In addition, the research allowance paid to companies is to be doubled due to the corona. Was formulates an ambitious goal for top-level research: “In addition, we want to continue to provide powerful support to excellent universities. Our goal is to get at least one German university into the top 20 in the world.”

The Christian Democrats want to expand the “Pact for Research and Innovation” and to put an innovation freedom law alongside it, which is supposed to remove legal or content-related restrictions on research. This should make it easier for start-ups to get non-profit status. “Germany’s ideas need financial support in order to turn them into innovations on a global scale.” On the business side, they want to help small and medium-sized companies to promote innovation with the option of preferred equity. At the same time, the starting conditions for new companies are to be improved on the basis of research transfers. According to the plans of the CDU / CSU, the year 2022 should go down in history as the “German founding year”.

In terms of content, the CDU / CSU would like to bring together life sciences and information technologies and set up a bio-IT research center in Germany in which new technologies such as 3D printing of biological tissue or data storage in DNA are researched. In addition, a national agency for biomedical research and development is to be set up to bundle and promote research on vaccines, drugs and therapies. Another agency that already exists is SprinD. According to the ideas of the CDU / CSU, it is to be expanded into a “real laboratory” and “released from the pay structure of the public service”. Furthermore, “technology biotopes” are to be created in which the entrepreneurial culture and innovations are visible around the world. The basic funding should be unique worldwide.

In its special election program, the CSU only has a small but fine sentence ready for research under the heading “We start into space”: “Space is essential for research and networking purposes”. “Micro-Launcher” are to start from Bavaria and turn the country into a space travel location.

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