Scientific Support Action for the German Hightech-Strategy 2025



This project supports the implementation of the Hightech-Strategy (HTS) 2025 of the German federal government that aims to address societal challenges by the means of research and innovation policy. The cornerstone of the current Hightech-Strategy 2025 (adopted in 2018) is the introduction of 12 dedicated missions, addressing a broad variety of transformation areas and striving for systemic change. Compared to the previous Hightech-Strategies, the new strategy represents a step change by specifying relatively well-defined goals and areas of action within the context of broader societal challenges, however, with varying levels of ambition, complexity, and different approaches to implementation.
The supporting role of this project is closely linked to the federal government’s chief advisory body for the Hightech-Strategy, the so-called Hightech-Forum, and aims to provide strategic intelligence and policy recommendations. On the one hand, the project develops an innovative concept to measure the impact of mission-oriented research and innovation policy. On the other hand, it supports the implementation of the mission-oriented policies by providing evidence-informed scientific policy advice to tackle the challenges arising from the high complexity of the new missions.

It consists of a generic and a mission-specific part. Findings from both parts will feed into the development of an innovative concept for impact measurement and will support the generation of implementation advice. The generic part includes literature reviews on mission-oriented innovation policy and state-of-the-art concepts of impact measurement, indicator development, data collection, and analyses of selected mission-oriented policy strategies in other countries (e.g., UK, Sweden, The Netherlands). The findings from the mission-specific part will support the implementation process by accompanying three to four selected missions with the following steps: i) repeated status-quo analyses („light touch“) of missions, actor landscape, and existing governance arrangements, ii) specification of mission goals in workshops, iii) development of intervention logics in order to find a suitable mix of policy instruments, and iv) supporting the coordination and policy learning by identifying best practices and policy recommendations based on the aforementioned steps.

The project contributes to the research on transformative innovation in several ways. First of all, it engages in the study of the relationship between policy and transformative change. The typology that is developed aims at understanding the complexity of mission-oriented policy and highlights the importance of governance structures and coordination for policy implementation (conference theme 1 – New ways of defining and conceptualising transformative change). Thereby, it advances the conceptual understanding of mission-oriented policies and the conditions under which it can contribute to transformative changes and seeks to outline a framework of impact assessment that in later stages can be applied to other cases. Secondly, the envisaged in-depth study of selected mission of the German Hightech Strategy 2025 sheds light on the mechanism and technicalities of one of the major European mission-oriented innovation policies (conference theme 7 – Mechanisms and practicalities of TIP).

Ralf Lindner (PI), Florian Wittmann, Miriam Hufnagl, Stephanie Daimer, Jakob Edler – Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Project Resources

Developing a Typology for Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies

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