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Foreword

[] © acatech/Ausserhofer

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

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Thematic Fields

Challenges and Results

Structure


Thematic Fields


Technologies

The worlds of things, services and data are converging

Intelligent machines and assistance systems support people at work. Individually tailored medical implants increase quality of life for patients. Automated vehicles navigate through city traffic of their own accord, avoiding dangers autonomously. In short: Our working and living environments are profoundly affected by digitisation, connectivity and new technologies. Wherever man and machine interact and data is collected, security issues will arise, regarding for instance the protection of intellectual property, privacy and liability issues or indeed job security. Hence, the basic question is: How can new technologies and interconnected systems provide assistance to people and at the same time contribute to prosperity and growth? What basic conditions need to be defined? acatech develops recommendations and policy options to help the political echelons and the public find sustainable answers and solutions.

The Robot Car: Paving the way for automated driving

The "robot car", navigating driverless through the streets, gave rise to controversial discussions in the media and the public in the past year. This was not least in consequence of an acatech POSITION PAPER which the project group "New autoMobility" presented at the 2015 International Automobile Fair (IAA). The project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, drew up a target scenario of automated road traffic in 2030. 

The acatech POSITION PAPER concludes: Both as a research location and with view to its leading automotive industry, Germany is well positioned to take an active part in shaping the alterations in our mobility system. However, there are legal and social questions that require clarification: Who is liable if an automated car causes an accident? How can data be protected against misuse? And how do we reorganise working life structures in a world where buses and trucks are no longer controlled by people? The acatech project pools these questions and will address them more closely in the second phase of the project in 2016.

„As the world’s current no. 1 automotive stronghold, Germany provides the crucial impulses for the mobility revolution. If we wish to maintain this position, we need to ensure that key technologies for mobility 4.0 are developed, researched, tested and produced in Germany.”

Federal Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt on the occasion of the publication of the acatech POSITION PAPER "New autoMobility" in September 2015

Autonomous Systems: Intelligent assistance in everyday life and extreme situations

Automated driving is only one example of the manifold application fields of autonomous systems. In areas unfit for human habitation or difficult to access, such as the deep sea or in rescue operations, robots already provide valuable support. The new generation of autonomous systems, however, have far more advanced abilities: They acquire knowledge of their own accord, make own decisions and can react to unforeseen events.

Interconnected and controlled by intelligent software, these machines could offer substantial assistance by taking over tasks in the health system, the household or in factories. The success of such a scenario depends as much on the reliability and efficiency of autonomous systems as on their public acceptance. Finding, as it were, something of ourselves in autonomous humanoid robots challenges our whole idea of man. A successful integration of autonomous systems into the functional structures of a society requires various social, legal and institutional adjustments. Identifying the most important of these has, in 2015, been the central objective of the Expert Panel "Autonomous Systems", a working group in the Federal Government’s High-Tech Forum. Chaired by acatech’s president Henning Kagermann, the panel analyses technological developments, social challenges and potential business models.

WORKING PROCESSES IN THE INDUSTRY OF THE FUTURE. In an individualised economy, monitoring tasks come to the fore. Specialists can rely on their tablets or smart glasses to display the technical details they require for the control and maintenance of facilities. While such intelligent assistants reduce the employees’ work load, the overview and experience of older employees gains in importance. Robots work hand in hand with humans, especially in physically demanding tasks. In ageing societies like Germany this is a valuable relief.

Industrie 4.0: Realising the potential for new and good jobs

The new generation of intelligent and interconnected products changes our daily life. How they are produced, viz. the production processes, does so just as much. Employees are facing new requirements as the flexibility and complexity of production and logistics increase. Germany needs to accept the changing nature of work and actively shape the new processes. Only thus can the alterations result in the creation of good jobs and mitigate the effects of demographic change.

Smart services "made in Germany" will create new jobs. At CeBIT 2015, acatech presented its final report "Smart Service Welt" to Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel.

„On the basis of acatech findings, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has developed its technology programme ‘Smart Service Welt – Web-based Services for Businesses’, the launch of which was announced at the IT Summit.“

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel at the presentation of the final report "Smart Service Welt" in March 2015

SMART SERVICES. In the economic system of the future, smart services will evolve on the basis of intelligent Industrie 4.0-products: They enable the customer to individually compile product-and-service packages via the Internet. Mobility apps combining public transport, car sharing and other transport routes are a good example: Instead of buying a vehicle, people purchase integrated mobility services. The operating data smart Industrie 4.0-products provide is collected and processed on new digital platforms. This is the data intelligent services resort to. The project "Digital Service-Platforms" which acatech launched in November 2015 is currently drawing up an overview of the smart services already existing in Germany and is developing options for connecting platform providers and users.

The key to competitiveness and innovation in the platform economy are digital platforms where data is collected, exchanged and traded. Training on the job is particularly important to prepare people for the digitalised world of work. An acatech project launched in June 2015 analyses the skills needs of small and medium-sized companies and evaluates existing online solutions for skills development. The results will be presented in 2016 in the "Skills Development Study Industrie 4.0".

At the same time, the Academy is experimenting with Massive Open Online Courses and is testing practical uses of digital technologies in modern education and training programmes. The workshop series "Future of Industrial Work" which the Academy has been organising since November 2014 in cooperation with the Hans Böckler Foundation, offers works councils, trade unions, experts from the scientific community and the management boards of companies the opportunity to exchange their views: How will labour be organised in the future? How will workers’ participation be organised in Industrie 4.0-processes? Some initial answers to these questions can be found on the series’ website.

Growth requires cooperation, cooperation requires standardisation

Germany, although in a good starting position, needs to catch up in the global race for digital leadership, if Industrie 4.0 is to generate jobs and economic growth. To this end, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is planning to expand its innovation partnership with China. Accordingly, Sigmar Gabriel travelled to China in summer 2015 with view to intensifying cooperation in the Industrie 4.0-sector. A Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation between the two countries in the digital industrial technologies sector was signed in Beijing. acatech also appeals to Germany's large and small market leaders, encouraging them to venture on international cooperations to gain additional knowledge and promote innovation. Step by step, Germany could thus advance to become a leading supplier of Industrie 4.0 solutions.

Industrie 4.0 requires a global cooperation system with common norms and standards. The key to success is not only to offer the best technologies at competitive prices, but to achieve the international establishment of such norms and standards as will support the success of German technologies. The acatech project "Industrie 4.0 in the global context", launched in July 2015, examines the competitive advantages from international business cooperations for Industrie 4.0, particularly in the fields of research & development and standardisation. At the same time, the project group also deals with potential risks, such as the exposure of corporate knowledge.

Individualised Therapies: Creating suitable conditions for the medicine of the future

Not only future industrial processes will evolve around the possibilities of collecting large amounts of data, interlinking it on digital platforms and evaluating it. In the medical world, patient data will lead to fundamental changes. Clinical data, data from genome-analyses or phenotypic data of a patient are pooled in registers and databases, providing a starting point for individual diagnoses and therapies. New technologies enable this individualisation of medical treatment. In additive fabrication, i.e. 3D-printing on an industrial scale, and using innovative materials, it will be possible to produce, for instance, implants individually adapted to a patient’s requirements. However, there are legal and ethical issues arising in individualised medicine that need clarification. They relate to data protection, but also to the question of how statistically estimated probabilities of a disease outbreak should be dealt with. A joint project with the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, launched in July 2015 under acatech lead, develops possible answers to these questions and examines the role of medical technology as an integral part of individualised medicine.

Overview of acatech’s projects in the thematic field Technology in 2015

Preparation of the strategy process “Digital Bavaria” Aug. 2014 - March 2015
City of the Future Initiative Nov. 2011 - March 2015
Smart Service Welt – Web-based Services for Businesses Nov. 2013 - June 2015
Scientific Advisory Board as part of the strategic initiative Industrie 4.0 Sep. 2013 - Nov. 2015
Expert Report Biomedical Engineering (in partnership with the German Society for Biomedical Engineering) Nov. 2015 - Dec. 2015
Smart Maintenance for Smart Factories Dez. 2014 - May 2016
Skills development Study Industrie 4.0 June 2015 - May 2016
Industrie 4.0 – International Benchmarks, Future Options and Recommendations for Production Research Nov. 2013 - June 2016
Additive-generative Manufacturing (in partnership with Leopoldina and the Union of the Academies, lead institution: acatech) Feb. 2014 - June 2016
Medical technology and Personalised Medicine (in partnership with Leopoldina and the Union of the Academies, lead institution: acatech) July 2015 - Sep. 2016
Industrie 4.0 in the global context July 2015 - June 2016
Industrie 4.0 – Engineering of Smart Products and Services Oct. 2014 - Sep. 2016
Industrie 4.0 – The Future of Industrial Work Dec. 2014 - Nov. 2016
open.acatech (MOOC) (in partnership with the Hasso Plattner Institute) June 2015 - Nov. 2016
New autoMobility – The Future World of Automated Road Traffic May 2015 - Dec. 2016
Digital Service-Platforms – Performance Criteria for the Smart Service World Nov. 2015 - July 2017

Energy, Resources and Sustainability

A global approach to the energy transition

At the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the international community closed ranks in the battle against global warming: In the second half of the century, the greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced to an amount that soils, forests and oceans are able to absorb. The EU member states had already agreed on common objectives for the reduction of carbon emissions and the aspired share of renewables in the energy supply by 2030 the year before. A European energy union requires sustainably designed and better interconnected national energy systems. In other words: The German energy transition must not least be approached from a European and international angle. A common effort is necessary to realise a low-carbon energy supply. This is the spirit behind the Academies’ Project "Energy Systems of Future" (ESYS) and a number of other projects and events.

Complex structures: Considering cross-border interactions

Interventions in the energy system often have unexpected effects. An example: Although the share of renewable energy is increasing in Germany, this does not result in any reduction of carbon emissions in Europe at large. The reason is not a technical one: The quantity of greenhouse gas which may be emitted in the EU is determined by the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The increase of renewable energies releases certificates in this system, making them available for emissions elsewhere. Such systemic correlations in the energy transition were at the centre of an analysis published in February 2015 by a working group of ESYS, the joint initiative by acatech, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

"The energy transition in Germany constitutes a great feat. To master it, we must rapidly develop new technologies and pool our research efforts. At the same time, we also need to involve the public at the G7-level. The transformation of the energy systems will not succeed without the support of the public."

Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka at the meeting of the G7-Science Ministers in October 2015 on the spirit of cooperation behind the Academies’ Project ESYS

European energy and climate policy: A joint move towards international standards

The interactions between national and Europe-wide regulations show clearly why Germany should refrain from playing a lone hand in the energy transition. Rather, Europe should promote a consistent and coordinated energy and climate policy that can serve as a model for global change. The ESYS position paper "Incorporating the German Energiewende into a comprehensive European approach" published in March 2015 outlines how a more effective emissions trading system and a consolidated internal electricity market could promote the EU climate and energy policy. The current low price for emissions allowances is insufficient to trigger additional investments in climate-friendly technologies. By way of remedy, the ESYS position paper suggests the introduction of a price corridor, consisting of a minimum and a maximum price per ton of carbon dioxide. In order to strengthen the internal European electricity market, the grid infrastructure needs to be expanded across Europe, facilitating the transport and trading of electricity across national borders.

Towards a stable and sustainable power supply

Clearly, the success of the energy transition is not only a question of regulatory measures, but also of technical feasibility. For instance, all countries generating a large share of their electricity from renewable sources are facing the challenge of bridging periods when there is neither wind nor solar radiation, so-called dark and windless periods. ESYS contributed its expertise to this debate with the position paper "Flexibility concepts for the German power supply in 2050", published in December 2015. In this paper, the responsible ESYS working group explains how a stable power supply can be ensured in the age of renewable energies. Flexibility technologies must be employed to balance the fluctuating feed-in from wind power and photovoltaics. Flexible power plants, storage systems and an effective load management are key elements for success.

A GLOBAL APPROACH TO THE ENERGY TRANSITION: A STABLE POWER SUPPLY FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES. acatech is anxious to promote an international transfer of knowledge – after all, the German energy transition is not the only project in the world attempting to restructure the energy supply. At the "International Energy Systems in Transition" conference, jointly organised by acatech, the platform "International Electric Research Exchange" and the RWE AG in November 2015 in Berlin, experts from various countries expounded upon the subject: It became clear that despite different basic conditions, the countries all face the common challenge of integrating an increasing amount of fluctuating power from wind and photovoltaic plants into the energy system. ESYS concludes that flexible gas power plants that are likewise operable with biogas, hydrogen or synthetic methane constitute an important element of a stable power supply. Thus, it is possible to bridge periods of up to three weeks with little wind and solar radiation. Short-term fluctuations in the power supply, on the other hand, can be compensated most cost-efficiently by demand-side management (consumption control). For instance, batteries in electric cars or in buildings with photovoltaic systems could hence be charged when power surpluses occur.

Dialogue and cooperation: Addressing the common challenge energy transition

Ultimately, however, the transformation of the energy system will not succeed unless the relevant social players pull together: This includes the stakeholders involved in the energy sector at various stages of the value chain as well as the scientific community, the political echelons and different social groups. Setting sail for a sustainable energy system requires new partnerships.

It is against this background that the "Energiewende Research Forum" assembles representatives from politics, industry and civil society in a transdisciplinary dialogue process. Scientific input is ensured by the Academies’ Project ESYS. In 2015, the dialogue platform continued the elaboration of a "Strategic Research Agenda" that had been started in 2014. The results were duly taken up in September 2015 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in its funding initiative "Kopernikus Projects for the Energy Transition". The Kopernikus Projects are to bring the worlds of research, industry and users together with the aim of developing new energy systems and concepts for implementation on an industrial scale.

ESYS IN PRINT. The Academies’ Project "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS) draws up proposals for the design of a secure and affordable low-carbon power supply. In 2015, ESYS published seven papers, including the analysis "Interactions in the Energy System", the position paper “Incorporating the German Energiewende into a comprehensive European approach” and the analysis and accompanying position paper "Flexibility concepts for the German power supply in 2050". A further position paper presents guidelines for more transparency in the creation of energy scenarios. An examination of the manifold energy policy objectives and an overview of social science research results on the energy transition were likewise published as analyses in the project’s monograph series "Energy Systems of the Future".

The HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform takes a similar approach, aiming at including the different disciplines as well as the public into the discussion. To this end, the Platform has established the so-called Trialogues. Directed and presented by the Platform’s president Gesine Schwan, this extensive discussion format takes up issues raised by the Academies’ Project ESYS with the aim of fuelling the dialogue between the research community and the public on the future design of the energy supply system. With what incentives can citizens be motivated to save energy? How can we ensure the availability of a sufficient quantity of the metals necessary to expand the new energy technologies? What advantages and disadvantages does a more decentralised energy system offer? These are the questions representatives from academia, industry, civil society organisations and the media addressed in the three trialogue discussions dedicated to the field of technology policy in 2015.

Fracking: No scientific justification for a general ban

Informing and involving the public into the processes from an early stage could help to enhance public confidence in new energy technologies. The controversially debated fracking technology is a case in point. Natural gas is an important element in the transformation process towards a low-carbon energy supply. By employing the fracking technology to recover shale gas, Germany could sustain its domestic gas production at the current level for decades to come. In addition, geothermal energy is a promising option for climate-neutral heat and electricity production. Fracking is likewise necessary to extract geothermal heat from deep rock strata.

[] © Ralph Lenkert MdB

“acatech should keep up the courage to contribute inconvenient scientific input to the debate. Otherwise, the scientific community will lose its credibility.”

 

Ralph Lenkert, environmental spokesman / spokesman for science and technology policy of the parliamentary group Die Linke, at a meeting with members of the acatech Exectuive Board in spring 2016

 

In June 2015, in the context of the legislative process on the question of fracking, acatech published a POSITION PAPER entitled "Hydraulic Fracturing – A technology under debate", fuelling the socio-political debate. In the paper, the Academy comes to the conclusion that scientific and technical facts do not justify a general ban on fracking. Its use should, however, be subject to strict safety standards and requires clear regulations and comprehensive monitoring. acatech accordingly advocates scientifically monitored pilot / test projects, both for the production of shale gas and for deep geothermal energy.

Overview of acatech's projects in the thematic field Energy, Resources and Sustainability in 2015

Hydraulic Fracturing – A Technology Under Debate Aug. 2013 – June 2016
Energy Systems of the Future (in partnership with Leopoldina and the Union of the Academies, lead institution: acatech) April 2013 – Feb. 2019
Energiewende Research Forum (in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and the Max Planck Society) April 2013 – Feb. 2016

Education

Sound STEM education – the key to innovation and participation

A good education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is the key to innovation and participation. Tablets, HMD glasses and intelligent assistants are becoming regular features in industrial production. New digital business models and start-ups are established. More and more STEM experts are required if feats like the energy transition, new mobility concepts or the digitisation of both the economic world and society are to be addressed. The citizens, for their part, must possess sufficient technological and scientific knowledge to handle the new conditions responsibly and to participate in shaping the ensuing social change. The rapid technological progress makes STEM skills even more important in future – both in private life and in the working world, even in previously rather non-technological professions. Moreover, Germany is heading for a skills shortage in the technical and technology-related professions. In autumn 2015, the Institute for Economic Research estimated the lack of STEM professionals to more than 164,000 people – with a rising tendency. The impending skills shortage in the highly qualified and the STEM professions will have the effect of a bottleneck for the innovative power of companies and scientific institutions.

BAROMETER OF YOUNG TALENTS IN THE STEM SUBJECTS. The state of affairs in Germany regarding STEM talents is illustrated by the Barometer of Young Talents in the STEM Subjects, jointly published by acatech and the Körber Foundation. The study is annually conducted by the Stuttgart Research Institute Dialogik since 2014. By way of early warning system, it explores the interest and motivation of students, apprentices and undergraduates with regard to the natural sciences and technology. The basic structural conditions of STEM education are likewise analysed.

Professional STEM education: Promoting career choices and practical insights

Germany’s dually organised vocational training system is a success. Nevertheless, owing to the growing popularity of higher education, it is increasingly coming under pressure. Moreover, the current training structures and content need to be adapted to the requirements of technological progress. The professional STEM education was the main focus of the 2015 Barometer of Young Talents in the STEM Subjects. The results showed a clear trend: Young people increasingly opt against a STEM apprenticeship. Within ten years, the rate of newly concluded STEM training contracts dropped by eight percent, and the number of successful diploma examinations in the STEM subjects by 21 percent.

"Young people about to enter their working life are nowadays faced with a variety of choices. In order to enhance our offers of consultation and support in the crucial process of choosing a career, we are evolving and modernising our career counselling towards a system of lifelong and integral professional guidance. With the slogan "Typically me!" and regardless of gender, we encourage students to consider career paths outside the traditional patterns and, more particularly, in STEM professions."

Reaction of Frank-Jürgen Weise, Chairman of the Federal Employment Agency, to the findings of the 2015 Barometer of Young Talent in the STEM Subjects

One of the reasons for this drop are shortcomings in the career counselling system; improvements are required, particularly in the schools. At the same time, STEM professions are struggling with image problems: Little contact with other people, a dangerous and cold work place and physically demanding duties – this is how many pupils imagine working life in the STEM professions. Providing insights into the operational practice in relevant companies and institutions can help to reverse this trend. Not only young people should thus be given the opportunity to temporarily change perspectives, but their teachers, too. Against this background, acatech and the Siemens Stiftung organised the so-called “Mavericks Roundtable” in November 2015, discussing how schools and colleges can be better interlinked with the industry.

Particularly in view of the lack of young people in the technical professions, the acute shortage of teachers in the STEM subjects at vocational schools is alarming. In their Barometer of Young Talents in the STEM Subjects, acatech and the Körber Foundation recommend improving this situation by expediting the training period for vocational teachers in the STEM subjects and facilitating lateral entries.

Young talents in the STEM subjects: Germany requires more qualified professionals

Kindling enthusiasm for technology begins at school – a prerequisite to getting young people to become the badly needed technical and scientific professionals of tomorrow.

“The shortage of skilled workers in the STEM related professions is rapidly becoming a risk. The latest Innovations Indicator has shown how important a general open-mindedness towards technology and innovation is in an industrialised country. Such a spirit must be encouraged.”

Ulrich Grillo, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) commenting the 2015 Innovation Indicator, a joint publication by acatech and the BDI.

Founded in 2012 by acatech and the “Future for STEM”-initiative (MINT Zukunft schaffen”; a project launched by the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI)), the National STEM Forum with its 31 member institutions has established itself as an important stakeholder of STEM education in Germany. The annually organised National STEM Summits are a great success; in 2015, 300 education experts participated in the summit. Formerly spokesperson of the Forum, acatech President Henning Kagermann handed over the post to Nathalie von Siemens, spokesperson of the management of the Siemens Stiftung on 1 July 2015.

Addressing the high drop-out rates in the STEM subjects: an aetiology by acatech and the TU9

The recruitment situation in the academic STEM professions has improved. The 2015 Barometer of Young Talents in the STEM Subjects testifies to a slightly positive trend in the number of new students in the graduate programmes in mathematics, computer sciences, technology and, particularly, engineering. Nevertheless, the drop-out rates in the engineering sciences still constitute a major challenge for education policy and the universities. In a project funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, acatech and the alliance of leading Institutes of Technology in Germany, TU9, join forces to analyse what causes the universities perceive as crucial for the problem and what best practice solutions promise to increase success rates without undermining the high quality of education.

Individual training: Intelligent assistants for apprentices and foremen

Digital expertise is obviously important for the young generation of professionals; however, experienced employees are challenged, too: They must deal with changes in their duties and cope with new organisational structures and work processes. Continuing education is therefore the watchword in the companies. In a flexible working world, people with different qualifications and skills are confronted with production systems that are continuously evolving and adapting to new production requirements. Intelligent assistance systems help workers to operate complex machines. Whether on the touch screen, the smart phone, the tablet, or via HMD glasses – the support options range from operating instructions for imminent work steps up to emergency services. Based on the respective employee’s individual expertise, the digital assistants give the appropriate support. They thus contribute to a continuing education "on the job". In the technology programme "AUTONOMIK of Industrie 4.0" funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the joint project "APPsist – Intelligent Information Services for Smart Production", partners from research, industry and civil society develop prototypes for intelligent assistance systems. acatech supports the project with an advisory board counselling the project partners on strategic issues.

Overview of acatech's projects in the thematic field Education and Professionals in 2015

National STEM Forum II (in partnership with the initiative “MINT Zukunft schaffen”) July 2013 - Dez. 2015
The Laboratory within Engineering Education July 2012 - March 2016
Human Resources Group – Forum for HR directors on the Future of Work May 2014 - Dec. 2016
Barometer of Young Talents in the STEM Subjects (in partnership with the Körber Foundation) July 2013 - June 2017
Drop-out Rates in the Engineering Sciences Aug. 2015 - July 2017
Advisory board for the project "APPsist – Intelligent Information Services for Smart Production" June 2014 - Dec. 2017

Technology Communication

Shaping technology: the role of the public

Automated driving, fracking, genetic engineering – whatever innovative technology we consider, it will not be successful unless the public is involved, ideally at an early stage of its development. Knowledge is the basis for an informed debate. But how to kindle this kind of interest if a technology will clearly not be ready for use for a long time to come? How to impart the necessary knowledge to the general public? And how to include the perspective of the public into the development processes of a technology? acatech addresses these issues with a critical eye – both from the theoretical point of view, viz. regarding technology and science communication, and in the practical development of new dialogue formats.

Laboratory for technology communication: Understanding the other's perspective from the start

There is no magic formula how to involve the public. acatech trials new dialogue formats and tests hands-on how and when the public should best be included into the design of a technology. The project group "Artificial Fotosynthesis" approached the public with a Comic Workshop, successfully engaging young people in discussions about a technology at a very early stage of its development. Pictures are worth a thousand words – this motto in mind, the young participants, having received an introduction to the technology, outlined their visions for the future of artificial fotosynthesis with pen and paper. The project group considers this artistic approach a promising door opener for a public debate on the opportunities and risks of the technology.

A technology that has, for some time, been the subject of highly controversial discussions in the public, is fracking, a method for extracting oil, gas and geothermal energy from deep rock strata. Opponents fear risks for the environment and human health while advocates consider fracking an important option for securing our energy supply.

In October 2015, acatech, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina invited citizens to a Fishbowl-event on fracking. The discussion fostered the mutual understanding of different perspectives and interests. Appreciating the other person’s perspective is important in order to handle controversies constructively.

Another joint project with the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities was the Science Slam „City of the Future”, which took place in Munich in November 2015. In entertaining short lectures, seven young academics presented their research foci to the audience.

Communication processes in transition: Science and research in the light of social media

The joint statement of the Academies “On Designing Communication between the Scientific Community, the Public and the Media” served as basis for a public debate on science communication in the German Bundestag’s Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment in October 2015. acatech had already contributed its expertise to a policy paper on science communication, with which committee member Daniela de Ridder attempts to trigger a political discourse on the subject.

Under the direction of Peter Weingart, the second phase of the Academies' project was launched in April 2015. Its focus is the so-called social media: Information spread by mass media channels can now be passed on and indeed changed and commented via Facebook, Twitter or in blogs. The project focusses on the question of how the special properties of social media affect the communication of scientific content. The approach it has chosen links theory and practice: The working group has started its own blog “Wissenschaftskommunikation hoch drei” on Scilogs, posting its results and experiences for general discussion.

Training Workshop Technology Communication: Science meets practice

In order to share the experiences and research results regarding successful technology communication with young science communicators, the Academy and the initiative Science in Dialogue (Wissenschaft im Dialog ) have jointly established a Training Workshop Technology Communication. This format is specifically aimed at young professionals from science communication and journalism. The likewise jointly organised annual exchange of experiences further serves to bring technology communication into focus: as yet, its significance and role in the larger field of science communication has rarely been the object of a separate analysis. During the four-day Training Workshop in November 2015 in Munich, the 18 participants discussed such issues as participation processes and social media.

SHAPING TECHNOLOGY TOGETHER: ORGANISING DIALOGUE – THE EXAMPLE OF ARTIFICIAL FOTOSYNTHESIS. In the interdisciplinary project "Artificial Fotosynthesis – Development of Technology Futures" experts examine the different technology futures artificial fotosynthesis can enable, and analyse how best to engage in early dialogues on this technology of the future. Artificial fotosynthesis is a visionary technology apt to constitute a significant contribution to the future energy mix. Imitating the chemical processes in plants, the technology uses sunlight to produce highly energetic substances from water and carbon dioxide. Four dialogue sessions were organised, providing basic information on artificial fotosynthesis and giving interested citizens the opportunity to actively join in and contribute to the discussion. In order to make artificial fotosynthesis comprehensible, the project team outlined different technology futures as a basis for discussion in the respective dialogue sessions. The experiences made with the different dialogue formats were documented in the acatech POSITION PAPER "Shaping Technology together. Early public involvement based on the example of artificial fotosynthesis", published in early 2016.

"We approve of the participatory approach acatech has chosen to develop technology futures. However, we are still at the very beginning. As yet, we are lacking a comprehensible, overarching concept of how such a transdisciplinary approach should be designed. In this respect, I am looking forward to a further interesting exchange."

Steffi Ober, Director of the Civil Society Platform Research Transition (Zivilgesellschaftliche Plattform Forschungswende) and research consultant for sustainable research and innovation for the German Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union NABU, on the dialogue with the public established by the acatech project "Artificial Fotosynthesis".

Basic questions in Science and Engineering

acatech also concerns itself with the basic theoretical and practical questions in science and engineering. In an attempt to enhance the identity and self-perception of engineering and the technological sciences, the conference "Technological Sciences – Engineering Sciences – Natural Sciences" organised in October 2015 in Berlin addressed the interaction of technical sciences and engineering with the natural sciences and with the engineering practice outside academia.

Overview of acatech's projects in the thematic field Technology Communication in 2015

Symposium Industry – Infrastructure – Society June 2015 - Feb. 2016
Artificial Fotosynthesis – Development of Technology Futures Oct. 2013 - Feb. 2016
Communication between Science, the Public and the Media II (in partnership with the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, lead institution: acatech) April 2015 - Dec. 2016
Training Workshop Technology Communication Jan. 2014 - Dec. 2016
Event series Technology Communication (in partnership with the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities) Jan. 2014 - Dec. 2016

Challenges and Results


Innovation policy advice

New technologies require new partnerships

Germany's competitiveness and prosperity are based on innovations in science and industry. Preserving and strengthening innovation is a central policy objective. But what political measures are eligible in order to create propitious basic conditions for creative ideas and new marketable products? It is around this basic question that the Innovation Dialogue between the German Federal Government, Business and Science revolves. Organised by acatech since 2010, it has become the central platform for relevant stakeholders in the German innovation system to exchange their views.

Innovation Dialogue: Exploring relevant issues of the future

Twice a year, the Innovation Dialogue assembles the German Chancellor, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, the Federal Minister of Education and Research and the Head of the Chancellery along with 16 representatives from academia, industry and civil society to discuss important issues of the future. The Innovation Dialogue is chaired by acatech President Henning Kagermann. An operational office based at the Academy coordinates the process

Each topic of the Innovation Dialogue is thoroughly researched and compiled in a separate policy paper, providing the participants with a common level of knowledge and serving as a basis for the discussions with the Federal Government.

"Designing major issues of the future such as globalisation, digitisation and Industrie 4.0 requires open-mindedness and a partnership between academia, industry, the public and the government. In this sense, acatech has the role of a lighthouse, offering orientation in the German innovation landscape and promoting cooperations.”

Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy at acatech's Annual Meeting in October 2015

Digitisation: The potentials of connectivity

The reconstitution of the Innovation Dialogue in 2014 was followed by the second meeting of its members in this legislature on April 29, 2015. The participants discussed "Digital ecosystems and the future of value creation in the German economy". In digital ecosystems, platforms are collecting and processing data and create according new intelligent services. Thus, new business models evolve and previously static value chains are transformed into flexible value networks. For companies, this entails the challenge to shape and design the hence digitally interconnected work processes. For Germany as competitive production location, the digital transformation is also connected with the challenge of retaining technological sovereignty in the fields of hardware and software. The preparatory dossier was drawn up by the operational office in cooperation with Volkmar Denner (Bosch), Ralph Dommermuth (United Internet) and Reiner Hoffmann (German Trade Union Confederation).

Human-machine interaction: Connecting skills and creating experimental spaces

The Innovation Dialogue on November 10, 2015 continued directly on these lines, examining the central issues in more detail. The discussion revolved around the “Innovation Potential of Human-machine Interaction”.

Germany is in a good starting position to successfully participate in the global developments in the field of human-machine interaction. It requires, however, a better synergy of the skills and expertise present in Germany, for instance in the fields of machine learning or sensor and actuator technology.

Also, more open and experimental spaces are needed to accelerate the conversion of research results into successful innovations. Provided that such a process takes individual and social requirements and values adequately into account, Germany can benefit from the opportunities human-machine interaction offers in terms of further growth, competitiveness and quality of life. This topic was researched and prepared by the Innovation Dialogue office in cooperation with Andreas Barner (Boehringer Ingelheim) Reimund Neugebauer (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), Martin Stratmann (Max Planck Society) and Eberhard Veit (Festo).

Innovation Indicator: Promoting innovation in the mid-tiers

In 2015, acatech and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) for the first time jointly published the Innovation Indicator. The annual study compares the innovative strength of 35 leading industrialised and emerging countries and recommends actions to foster Germany’s competitiveness. The main results are these: Even in the difficult global economic environment, Germany is well positioned to stand its ground in the international competition in innovation matters. However, it still lags behind the leaders Switzerland and Singapore. Small and medium enterprises (SME) are considered the backbone of the German economy; their innovation needs to be strengthened. Although almost half of the hidden champions world-wide are from Germany, German SME do not play a prominent role in the international innovation competition. They are hampered by difficulties in accessing research programs, digital ecosystems and specialists from abroad.


International Affairs

World-wide knowledge networks for global issues of the future

As a hub for innovation, Germany is closely integrated in international interdisciplinary knowledge networks. Its international activities have enabled acatech to intensify numerous European and international networks in the past few years. In these networks, a variety of partners from academia, the industry and social groups work together, intensifying cooperation and launching new projects.

Scientific Advice Mechanism: Scientific policy advice in Europe

In May 2015, the European Commission decided to include the academies as an independent pillar into the new mechanism for providing scientific advice, the so-called Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). The cooperation between the academies follows the example of the German model of cooperation in the Coordinating Committee of academies. acatech will be coordinating the cooperation at the European level. In the Research Framework Programme "Horizon 2020", the Commission will provide 6 million euros to fund the provision of independent, science-based policy advice from the academies in Europe over the next four years.

This decision was preceded by a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a closer inter-academy cooperation in Europe, signed in March 2015 by acatech President Reinhard F. Hüttl in his role as President of the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering (Euro-CASE) and the respective Presidents of the European Academy Networks Academia Europaea, ALLEA, EASAC and FEAM. With around 100 member academies from all over Europe, each of which assembles hundreds of scientists from various disciplines, the Academy Networks are well placed to offer independent science-based policy advice to the European institutions.

[] © European Union, 2010

"I am very pleased that the European academies are joining forces to offer the European Commission independent, interdisciplinary scientific advice with view to supporting European policy development. We are looking forward to working together constructively."

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of the DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the European Academy Networks in March 2015

Commitment in Academy Networks: Sharing the experiences with the German energy transition

The work of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences CAETS revolved around the fields of energy supply, mobility and health technologies. acatech was particularly involved in the working group "Energy". The focus of the group was given to the “Opportunities for Low-Carbon Energy Technologies”. In this context acatech explained the German strategy to realise sustainable energy systems and underlined its conviction that the expansion of renewable energies can confidently be promoted even though adequate storage systems are still to be developed: Flexible producers such as biogas and natural gas power plants could indeed compensate for fluctuations in the power supply in the next ten to twenty years.

acatech also continued the cooperation with the Falling Walls Foundation for the seventh year running. At the occasion of the "Falling Walls" conference, acatech closed ranks with the Presidents of the National Sciences Academies and of the National Academies of Engineering Sciences from the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and France as well as with the Presidents of the European Academy Networks Academia Europaea, ALLEA, EASAC, Euro-CASE and FEAM in order to give impulses for science-based policy advice in the European context. Their according suggestions are taken into account in the processes of policy consultation for European institutions.

Promoting smart cities in emerging countries: cooperation with India and China

In addition to its commitment in the various Academies’ associations, acatech has strengthened its relations with other Academies of Science and Engineering and further selected institutions such as foundations and think tanks in Europe and worldwide. The deepening of cooperation with the Chinese and Indian counterparts in 2015 is exemplary for acatech’s efforts to expand its network beyond the European context. A Memorandum of Understanding between acatech and the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) dating back to 2012, was extended for another three years in order to continue cooperation in the fields of information and communication technologies and urban development. Only recently, German scientists and their Indian colleagues at the INAE conducted a study assessing the potential of Industrie 4.0 for emerging countries. Their conclusions are promising: Successfully integrated into the respective industrial and economic system, Industrie 4.0-technologies have the potential to foster economic growth and ensure environmental compatibility in emerging countries. They can also relieve urban mobility systems and generate new jobs. The academies further elaborated proposals as to how the German development cooperation can effectively support emerging countries on their way into a new industrial age.


Dialogue with the political sphere and the public

Sharing knowledge – discussing prospects

Experts from academia, the industry and society develop sound concepts as input for the public and political debate – these are acatech's guiding principles as formulated in its new mission statement. In 2015, as before, acatech lived up to its principles, engaging in dialogue with politics, media and civil society through various channels and discussing pioneering technologies and structural conditions for innovation. Thus, the Academy helps to form the public opinion and supports political decision-making processes.

Politics meets science: Expertise on complex technologies

acatech has developed guidelines for its consultancy of political and social players. In March 2015, they were duly presented to the German Bundestag’s Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment along with the Academy’s current spheres of action. acatech started off the beginning of the parliamentary debate on the eHealth-Act with another "Lunch with acatech" in the German Bundestag in June 2015. Incidentally, acatech introduced this discussion series in the Bavarian Parliament a month later, discussing issues of education and work in the digital world with members of the Bavarian Parliament. Industrie 4.0 was also the subject of an expert discussion in the context of a motion on Industrie 4.0 and Smart Services, which the ruling coalition introduced in the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment in December 2015. Invited to participate, acatech President Henning Kagermann shared his expertise with the committee members. Experts of the Academy were further asked to expound on these topics in various interviews, guest features and media inquiries. The activities include acatech’s support of the WDR (the regional public service television station in North Rhine-Westphalia) shooting a documentary on Industrie 4.0, subsequently broadcasted by ARD and ARTE in April 2016. Other hearings in the German Bundestag to which acatech representatives were invited concerned bills on the fracking technology or on Smart Services. All in all, acatech’s 2015 stock includes discussions with more than 100 federal and regional MPs.

"Politicians regard acatech’s events for MPs as an integral part of their schedule. We are always happy to participate and discuss current technology policy issues with experts from science and industry."

Patricia Lips (CDU), Chairwoman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, at a meeting with members of the acatech Executive Board in spring 2016.

acatech President Henning Kagermann likewise addressed the political echelons and the industry as Chairman of the German National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE). At the National Conference for Electric Mobility in June 2015 as well as in an article in the daily newspaper Handelsblatt, he expounded upon the market trend and launch of electric vehicles. In the second half of 2015, he was repeatedly questioned by the media as to the state of the market launch in Germany.

Discovering the future: Promoting interest in technology in various ways

The House of the Future (Haus der Zukunft) in Berlin offers a new space where the dialogue with the public on future-orientated technologies can evolve. In 2015, activities focussed on the definition of exhibition topics and of the conceptual framework of the exhibition. acatech has been actively involved in the process.

Under patronage of the Bavarian State Minister of Education, Science and the Arts, Ludwig Spaenle, acatech organises the school competition “Discovering Technology” which targets young people with a penchant for technology. The competition was launched in November 2015. Bavarian student teams from grades 6 to 9 are to shoot short videos explaining an aspect of technology in an illustrative and entertaining way. The prizes will be awarded in summer 2016. Appropriate to the target group, the competition has a Facebook-account and is available online at technik-entdecker.de.

Science online: contemporary formats for information and discussion

acatech likewise goes online with cooperation projects: At zukunft-der-industriearbeit.de, for instance, acatech and the Hans Böckler Foundation share the results of their joint workshop series on the Future of Industrial Work. The website presents practical examples as well as a short film showing the changes Industrie 4.0 will entail for employees.

This year's annual report is also adapted to new requirements. Like the newsletter TRANSFER, which has been published on a monthly basis and exclusively online since September 2015, acatech is publishing its review of 2015 online.

PUNKT PRIZE FOR TECHNICAL JOURNALISM AND TECHNOLOGY PHOTOGRAPHY. acatech's PUNKT Prize 2015 for technical journalism and technology photography was awarded as follows: The prize in the category Multimedia went to Thomas Reintjes and the team of the radio station Deutschlandfunk for their the multimedia report "1 or 0, life or death" on unmanned systems like robots or drones in warfare. Besides the relevance of the subject, the jury particularly praised the fact that the report uses different media channels. In the category Photography it was Karoline Tiesler who convinced the jury with her seven-part photo series "Snorers". The acatech Photography Grant was awarded to Konrad Lippert, a student of photojournalism.

Projects

Projects

The acatech Members join forces with experts from academia and industry in a variety of projects. The Academy’s work is organised under the following priority themes: Energy, Resources and Sustainability, Technologies, Education and Professionals and Technology Communication. These are complemented by interdisciplinary activities such as joint projects with other academies or scientific institutions. The list below includes all projects acatech was involved in 2015.

acatech projects

Projects with Cooperation Partners

Projects of the Coordinating Committee

In the Coordinating Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities join forces for political and social consultancy projects.


Events

Events

The dialogue between academia, industry, government and civil society is the hallmark of the Academy’s events: They provide a platform for people to freely share their ideas and engage in lively debate. The list below features the key events acatech organised in 2015.


Publications


acatech Publications

Series „acatech POSITION PAPER“

acatech publishes policy papers on strategic engineering and technology policy issues in the series acatech POSITION PAPER. They contain specific recommendations for action for decision-makers in politics, academia and industry as well as the general public. The papers are developed by acatech Members and further experts and are authorised and published by the acatech Executive Board.

Series „acatech MATERIALS“

Discussion papers, presentations and preliminary studies worked out in the context of the acatech project work are published in the acatech MATERIALS series.The content responsibility for the individual volumes lies with the respective editors and authors.


Series Academies' Project “Energy System of the Future”

Series Academies' Project “Energy System of the Future”

The Academies’ Project “Energy System of the Future” develops position papers and analyses for the implementation of the energy transition. Position papers are published in the series „Schriftenreihe zur wissenschaftsbasierten Politikberatung“ (Monograph Series on Science-based Policy Advice).

Analyses sum up the results obtained in a working group. The responsibility for the contents of an analysis lies with the authors. Should an analysis contain evaluations or appraisals, these reflect the authors’ personal opinion.


Monograph Series of the Coordinating Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina on Science-based Policy Advice

Monograph Series of the Coordinating Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina on Science-based Policy Advice

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities provide policymakers and society with independent, science-based advice on issues of crucial importance for our future. The Academies’ members and further experts are outstanding researchers from Germany and abroad. Working in interdisciplinary working groups, they draft position papers that are published in the series of papers Schriftenreihe zur wissenschaftsbasierten Politikberatung (Monograph Series on Science-based Policy Advice) after being externally reviewed and subsequently approved by the Coordinating Committee of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.


Publications with partners

Publications with partners


Voices on acatech

“As the world’s current no. 1 automotive stronghold, Germany provides the crucial impulses for the mobility revolution. If we wish to maintain this position, we need to ensure that key technologies for mobility 4.0 are developed, researched, tested and produced in Germany.” 

Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt on the occasion of the publication of the acatech POSITION PAPER "New autoMobility” in September 2015

“On the basis of acatech findings, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has developed its technology programme 'Smart Service Welt – Web-based Services for Businesses', the launch of which was announced at the IT Summit.” 

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel at the presentation of the final report "Smart Service World" in March 2015.

[] Foto: acatech/David Ausserhofer

"Using the great potential of digitisation also means facing the challenge of data security and data abuse. Therefore, we must ensure that every individual and every company remains in control of its own data. I'm convinced that if we approach NRW 4.0 as a common responsibility, we will all be able to profit by the great chances the new technologies offer."

Premier of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Hannelore Kraft at the acatech Academy Day in Hannover in April 2015

"The energy transition in Germany constitutes a great feat. To master it, we must rapidly develop new technologies and pool our research efforts. At the same time, we also need to involve the public at the G7-level. The transformation of the energy systems will not succeed without the support of the public."

Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka at the meeting of the G7-Science Ministers in October 2015 on the spirit of cooperation behind the Academies’ Project ESYS

"Young people about to enter their working life are nowadays faced with a variety of choices. In order to enhance our offers of consultation and support in the crucial process of choosing a career, we are evolving and modernising our career counselling towards a system of lifelong and integral professional guidance. With the slogan "Typically me!" and regardless of gender, we encourage students to consider career paths outside the traditional patterns and, more particularly, in STEM professions."

Reaction of Frank-Jürgen Weise, Chairman of the Federal Employment Agency, to the findings of the 2015 Barometer of Young Talent in the STEM Subjects.

“The shortage of skilled workers in the STEM related professions is rapidly becoming a risk. The latest Innovations Indicator has shown how important a general open-mindedness towards technology and innovation is in an industrialised country. Such a spirit must be encouraged.”

Ulrich Grillo, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) commenting the 2015 Innovation Indicator, a joint publication by acatech and the BDI.

[] Foto: acatech/David Ausserhofer

"Germany dependends on qualified STEM professionals – both from the academic and the training professions. In both fields young people will find attractive, flexible and equivalent career paths."

Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka at the 3rd National STEM Summit in June 2015

“acatech should keep up the courage to contribute inconvenient scientific input to the debate. Otherwise, the scientific community will lose its credibility.”

Ralph Lenkert, environmental spokesman / spokesman for science and technology policy of the parliamentary group Die Linke, at a meeting with members of the acatech Executive Board in spring 2016

[] © Ralph Lenkert MdB

"We approve of the participatory approach acatech has chosen to develop technology futures. However, we are still at the very beginning. As yet, we are lacking a comprehensible, overarching concept of how such a transdisciplinary approach should be designed. In this respect, I am looking forward to a further interesting exchange."

Steffi Ober, Director of the Civil Society Platform Research Transition (Zivilgesellschaftliche Plattform Forschungswende) and research consultant for sustainable research and innovation for the German Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union NABU, on the dialogue with the public established by the acatech project "Artificial Fotosynthesis".

"Designing major issues of the future such as globalisation, digitisation and Industrie 4.0 requires open-mindedness and a partnership between academia, industry, the public and the government. In this sense, acatech has the role of a lighthouse, offering orientation in the German innovation landscape and promoting cooperations.”

Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy at acatech's Annual Meeting in October 2015

[] © European Union, 2010

"I am very pleased that the European academies are joining forces to offer the European Commission independent, interdisciplinary scientific advice with view to supporting European policy development. We are looking forward to working together constructively."

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of the DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission at the signing of the Memorandum by the European Academies’ associations in March 2015

"Politicians regard acatech’s events for MPs as an integral part of their schedule. We are always happy to participate and discuss current technology policy issues with experts from science and industry."

Patricia Lips (CDU), Chairwoman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment, at a meeting with members of the acatech Executive Board in spring 2016.

"acatech’s strength lies in the fact that it contributes not only technological, but also economic expertise to the topics under discussion."

Heinz Riesenhuber (CDU), MP and doyen of the German Bundestag, at a meeting with members of the acatech Executive Board in spring 2016

"The school competition “Discovering Technology” encourages students to find a creative approach to technology and its significance for society. The competition is therefore a valuable addition to our efforts to promote STEM subjects at Bavarian schools and contributes to kindling enthusiasm for science and technology in young people’s minds."

Bavarian Minister of Education, Science and the Arts, Ludwig Spaenle about his patronage of the acatech school competition "Discovering Technology"

Photo: ©StMBK

Structure


Organisation

Members

The acatech Members, responsible for the content of the Academy’s work, are outstanding experts from the fields of engineering, applied sciences, humanities, economics and the social sciences. In the acatech projects, they work in interdisciplinary teams with scientists from other organisations.

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Senate

The Senate forms the second pillar of the Academy alongside the Members. The Senate members include distinguished personalities from technological companies, associations, societies and the political echelons, as well as the presidents of the major science organisations. The members of the Senate give advice on strategic issues and fulfil a liaison function between the Academy and the corporate world, pooling the proposals from the industry and ensuring that the acatech projects take their practical considerations into account.

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Executive Board

The Executive Board represents the Academy externally and is responsible for its management. Its composition reflects the Academy’s two-pillar structure: five Executive Board members and their deputies are elected by the acatech Members, two Executive Board members and their deputies are appointed by the Senate. The Secretary General of the acatech Office is a non-voting member of the Executive Board.

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Funding Council

As a non-profit organisation, acatech is supported by both the federal and regional governments as well as by private funding. The acatech Funding Council is responsible for raising private donations. The Funding Council consists of personalities from industry, academia, government and civil society. The Academy’s projects could not be realised without the contribution of our financial supporters.

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Board of Trustees of the Kollegium

The Board of Trustees of the Kollegium is composed of personalities from academia, industry, the political echelons and civil society. It primarily assists the Executive Board in issues concerning the Academy’s strategic orientation. The Board was constituted in June 2015 and assembles at least once a year.

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Members

Members

The acatech Members, responsible for the content of the Academy’s work, are outstanding experts from the fields of engineering, applied sciences, humanities, economics and the social sciences. In the acatech projects, they work in interdisciplinary teams with scientists from other organisations.

New Academy Members 2015

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Biermann

Director of the Institute of Machining Technology


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Lucienne Blessing

Professor of Engineering


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thorsten Buzug

Director of the Institute of Medical Engineering


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Prof. Dr. Michael Dowling

Institute of Innovation and Technology Management


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Franke

Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems


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Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Martin Gerzabek

Director of the Institute of Soil Research


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Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Gries

Director of the Institute for Textile Technology


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Prof. Dr. Martina Heßler

Professor of Modern Social, Economic and Technical History


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Prof. Dr. Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus

Professorin of Physical Chemistry


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Prof. Dr. Katharina Morik

Department of Computer Science VIII


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Max Mühlhäuser

Head of Department Telecooperation Lab


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Nebel

Chairman of OFFIS Institute for Information Technology


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Bernd Pichler

Director of the Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dierk Raabe

Chairman of the Executive Board and Director


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andrea Robitzki

Director of the Centre for Biotechnology and Biomedicine


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Sauer

Director of the Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Scholten

Department of Soil Science and Geomorphology


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Ulrich Schubert

Department of Organic Chemistry II


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Ansgar Trächtler

Department of Control Engineering and Mechatronics


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Birgit Vogel-Heuser

Department of Institute of Automation and Information Systems


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Prof. Dr. Brigitte Voit

Scientific Director of the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden


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Prof. Dr. rer. biol. hum. Heike Walles

Department of Chair Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine


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Prof. Ph. D. Achim Wambach

Department of Political Sciences


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wiegand

Director of the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute, Chair of Image Communication


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Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Sibylle Ziegler

Director of the Nuclear Medicine Hospital and the Policlinic


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New extraordinary Members 2015

Prof. Dr. techn. Dr. h. c. Josef Eberhardsteiner

Vice-rector for Infrastructure of the Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures


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Prof. Dr. László Monostori

Director of the Institute for Computer Science and Control


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Members who passed away

Prof. em. Dr. sc. techn. Dr. h. c. mult. Alfred Fettweis

Emeritus Professor of Communications Engineering


Prof. em. Dr. rer. nat. Dr. h. c. mult. Heinrich Nöth

Emeritus Professor for Anorganic Chemistry


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Gerhard Pahl

former head of the Institute for Product Development and Machine Elements


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Norbert Peters

former Director of the Institute for Combustion Technology


They are fondly rememberd by all at acatech.


Senate

Senate

 

The Senate forms the second pillar of the Academy alongside the Members. The Senate members include distinguished personalities from technological companies, associations, societies and the political echelons, as well as the presidents of the major science organisations. The members of the Senate give advice on strategic issues and fulfil a liaison function between the Academy and the corporate world, pooling the proposals from the industry and ensuring that the acatech projects take their practical considerations into account.

New Senate Members 2015

Dr. Christian Bruch


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Christin Eisenschmid


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Dr. Christoph Beier


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Fernando Carro


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Dr. Gernot Kalkoffen


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Hans-Georg Krabbe


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Dr. Martin Brudermüller


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Prof. Dr. Otmar Wiestler


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Dr. Robert Bauer


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Dr. Walter Weigel


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Winfried Holz


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Members who left the Senate 2015

Doris Ahnen


Achim Berg


Hermann Eul


Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek


Wolfgang Reitzle


Dr. Peter Terwiesch



Executive Board

Executive Board

The Executive Board represents the Academy externally and is responsible for its management. Its composition reflects the Academy’s two-pillar structure: five Executive Board members and their deputies are elected by the acatech Members, two Executive Board members and their deputies are appointed by the Senate. The Secretary General of the acatech Office is a non-voting member of the Executive Board.

New Members of the Executive Board 2015

Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer

Former Director of BASF SE


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Prof. Dr. Hermann Requardt

Former member of the executive board of Siemens AG


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Members who left the Executive Board 2015

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Utz-Hellmuth Felcht

Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn AG


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Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Mayrhuber

Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG


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Funding Council

Funding Council

As a non-profit organisation, acatech is supported by both the federal and regional governments as well as by private funding. The acatech Funding Council is responsible for raising private donations. The Funding Council consists of personalities from industry, academia, government and civil society. The Academy’s projects could not be realised without the contribution of our financial supporters. In the past few years, the Board of the Funding Council was supported by a board of trustees which was dissolved in 2015.

acatech would like to thank all its financial supporters.

Board of the Funding Council

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Dr. h. c. Ekkehard Schulz

Chairman of the Board and former Chairman of the Board of ThyssenKrupp AG


Dr.-Ing. E. h. Bernd Pischetsrieder

Deputy Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Munich Reinsurance Company AG


Secretary of the Funding Council

Manfred Rauhmeier

acatech Managing Director



Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is composed of personalities from academia, industry, the political echelons and civil society. It primarily assists the Executive Board in issues concerning the Academy’s strategic orientation. The Board was constituted in June 2015 and assembles at least once a year.

Members of the Board of Trustees

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Prof. E. h. mult. Dr. h. c. mult. Hans-Jörg Bullinger

Former President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


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Dr. Siegfried Dais

Associate of the Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG


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Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Utz-Hellmuth Felcht

Chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Bahn AG


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Prof. Dr. Peter Gruss

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry


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Prof. Dr. Renate Köcher

Director of the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. mult. Dr.-Ing. E. h. mult. Joachim Milberg

Former Chairman of the supervisory board of the BMW Group


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Dr. Reinhard Ploss

Chairman of the supervisory board of the Infineon Technologies AG


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Stefan Quandt

Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of AQTON SE


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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Siegfried Russwurm

Member of the executive board of Siemens AG


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Dr.-Ing. Eberhard Veit

Former Chairman of the supervisory board of Festo AG & Co. KG


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Ulrich Wilhelm

Chairman of Bayerischer Rundfunk


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Dr.-Ing. E. h. Manfred Wittenstein

Chairman of the supervisory board of Wittenstein AG


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Office


Finances

Revenues

Funding

Project Funding

Private

  • Bayer AG
  • Continental AG
  • Daimler AG
  • Ericsson GmbH
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Ford-Werke GmbH
  • IBM Deutschland GmbH
  • Jacobs Stiftung
  • KEX Knowledge Exchange AG
  • Körber-Stiftung
  • Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG
  • Quandt, Stefan
  • Bosch GmbH
  • Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH
  • Wacker Chemie AG
  • Wirtschaftsverband für Industrieservice e.V.
  • Zeidler-Forschungs-Stiftung
  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Funding Council

  • A.T. Kearney GmbH
  • ABB AG
  • Accenture GmbH
  • Atos IT Solutions and Services GmbH
  • AUDI AG
  • BASF SE
  • Bayer AG
  • Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG
  • Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA
  • BITKOM e.V.
  • BMW AG
  • BSH Hausgeräte GmbH
  • Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG
  • Carl Zeiss AG
  • Clariant SE
  • Daimler AG
  • DEKRA e.V.
  • Deutsche Börse AG
  • Deutsche Post AG
  • Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband e.V.
  • Duisburger Hafen AG
  • EARN + INVEST GmbH
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • EWE AG
  • Festo AG & Co. KG
  • Georgsmarienhütte GmbH
  • Google Germany GmbH
  • Grillo-Werke AG
  • Harting KGaA
  • Herrenknecht AG
  • Hitach Europe Ltd.
  • IBM Deutschland GmbH
  • Infosys Ltd.
  • Intel Deutschland GmbH
  • Jacobs Stiftung
  • Klöckner & Co SE
  • Linde AG
  • Merck KGaA
  • Muhr und Bender KG
  • Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG
  • Porsche AG
  • Quandt, Stefan
  • Robert Bosch GmbH
  • RWE AG
  • SAP SE
  • SCHOTT AG
  • SEW-EURODRIVE GmbH & Co KG
  • Sick AG
  • Siemens AG
  • SMS GmbH
  • Software AG
  • Stahlinstitut VDEh
  • Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.
  • Surteco SE
  • ThyssenKrupp AG
  • TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG
  • TÜV Rheinland Berlin Brandenburg Pfalz e.V.
  • TÜV SÜD AG
  • UNITY AG
  • Volkswagen AG
  • WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH & Co. KG
  • Weidmüller Interface GmbH & Co. KG
  • Wittenstein AG
  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Payments in Kind

  • BMW AG
  • Deutsche Lufthansa AG
  • Deutsche Telekom AG

Locations