About the High-Tech Forum

The High-Tech Forum is the central committee that advises the Federal Government on implementing its High-Tech Strategy 2025. Its task is to provide tangible recommendations for implementing and actioning the Federal Government’s research policy. It publishes discussion papers on an ongoing basis, focusing on topics including the 3.5-percent target, open science and innovation, social innovations, innovation and skills, sustainability within the innovation system, and biology and digitisation. The High-Tech Forum meets two or three times a year, with the duration of its advisory activities tied to the current parliamentary term.

The advisory process

The High-Tech Strategy is a learning strategy. This means it is refined on a continuous basis and will be adapted to suit technological and social developments. This dynamism is also reflected in the advisory process followed by the High-Tech Forum: it publishes its findings on an ongoing basis in the form of discussion papers, and is also able to suggest new topics on which to give advice. This enables it to provide suggestions swiftly, with a direct link to the political process.

Ensuring that the advisory process is transparent and accessible is of central concern to the High-Tech Forum. The following graphic offers an overview of the six phases that make up the advisory process:

Topic selection

New topics are inspired by current political discourse. Once the committee has decided on a topic, a team of HTF members is put together to formulate recommendations on the topic in question.

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Advisory work

The team working on the topic defines action areas and develops proposals relating to specific questions and problems. The objective is to bring together as many relevant perspectives on the topic as possible, from the fields of science, business and society. The team is free to choose the shape that their work takes. For example, stakeholders can be involved in workshops or interviews, or expert opinions can be sought from other specialist areas and sectors.

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Discussion of the recommendations

The spokesperson for the team working on the topic will present their findings at a meeting of the High-Tech Forum. The committee will discuss their recommendations, with their notes subsequently being consolidated.

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Publication of recommendations

After a period of consolidation, the recommendations will be published on the High-Tech Forum’s website in the form of a discussion paper.

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Public consultation

Once the recommendations have been published, the High-Tech Forum invites people to comment on them. To this end, stakeholders such as associations or participants in expert workshops are approached in a targeted manner and asked to pass comment. However, the comment process is open to anyone and everyone, even to people who are not explicitly approached by the High-Tech Forum. The administrative office gathers all the comments, passing them on to the High-Tech Forum and to Federal Ministries.

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Discussion by the round table of State Secretaries

The spokesperson for the team working on the topic will pass their recommendations, including feedback received during the consultation phase, to the round table of State Secretaries for the High-Tech Strategy 2025. This group was designed as a format for internal coordination, with the aim of steering collaboration between various policy areas. The State Secretaries can draw on content suggested by the High-Tech Forum and initiate their implementation in the departmental group.

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History of the High-Tech Forum

First introduced in 2006, the Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy aims to define the focus of its research policy. The High-Tech Forum published its key recommendations for implementing and developing the previous High-Tech Strategy 2014-2017 under the leadership of Professor Andreas Barner, President of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, and Professor Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.