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Dear readers,

new technologies require new partnerships – this realisation was the watchword and spirit at acatech’s Annual Meeting last year. Whether we are dealing with the conversion of the energy supply structures, the transition to a carbon-free mobility system or the design of future industrial structures: Such innovations can only succeed if industry, academia, politics and society close ranks – in Germany and at the international level: Technological progress does not stop at national borders.

The National academy of Science and Engineering regularly assemble in a standing committee to jointly address technological issues of the future. Following this example, the academies are preparing to join forces at the European level, too. In May 2015, the European Commission decided to include the academies as an independent pillar into the new Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). acatech will be responsible for coordinating the European cooperation of the academies.

One point is obvious: We cannot address the issues of the future from an ivory tower. The public is eager to have an active part in designing the new technologies and their applications. With its acatech POSITION PAPER on automated road traffic, the Academy raised crucial questions and sparked off controversial discussions in the media and the public in the past year. These legal and social issues will be addressed in the next phase of the project.

Innovation partnerships are likewise required with regard to the design of a digitised industry and the future working world. In 2015, acatech experts launched a networking initiative, contacting stakeholders from industry and politics all over the world. The aim was to exchange experiences and expertise in the field of Industrie 4.0 and promote the necessary establishment of common rules and standards in a globally connected industry.

The key to good work and value creation lies in the professional training of those who work in the Industrie 4.0. At the same time, companies and enterprises are looking to the schools to provide for an adequate education in technology and natural sciences as foundation and prerequisite for a sufficient number of qualified staff in the future. This, too, is a responsibility to which society as a whole must rise. With the 2015 Barometer of Young Talents in the STEM Subjects, acatech and the Körber Foundation invite the industry, the political echelons and educational institutions to close ranks for the systematic recruitment of promising young professionals.

Innovation requires open-mindedness – towards new technologies, but also regarding the concerns and anxieties amongst the public. With view to the challenges of the future, partnerships between academia, industry, society and politics are gaining in importance. In 2015, acatech has once again proved itself able to do its bit and face up to its responsibilities. And we will continue to do so in the future.

Berlin and Munich, April 2016

Prof. Dr. Reinhard F. Hüttl
acatech President

Prof. Dr. Henning Kagermann
acatech President


Thematic Fields

Challenges and Results