In the Bundestag, my focus is on research and education policy. I am a member of the Committee on Education, Research, and Technology Assessment. I am also a substitute member of the Committee of Transport and the Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the Subcommittee on Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy.
In addition to the committees, I work in parliamentary groups in which members of the Bundestag maintain contacts with other countries. I am a member of the parliamentary groups Germany-Belgium-Luxembourg, Germany-Netherlands and Germany-Korea. I am also a deputy member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
As Clerk of the Bundestag, I support the President of the Bundestag in chairing plenary sessions and votes.
As a member of the Commitee on Education and Research, I am responsible for the transfer between science and practice and for the promotion of technological and social innovations on behalf of our group.
Three topics are particularly important to me: universities of applied sciences, the DATI, and industry and mobility research.
Universities of applied sciences
The universities of applied sciences are closely intertwined with SPD policies. More than fifty years ago, they were established by the social-liberal coalition under Willy Brandt. And they are a success story. When they were founded, HAWs focused on teaching, and they promised primarily students from non-academic families an educational advancement through the possibility of academic study. In recent decades, HAWs have evolved and research is now one of their compulsory tasks, along with teaching.
This makes HAWs an important pillar of our science and research system.
They offer an indispensable perspective on science and research: the perspective of the application of research results in practice and the transfer between science and society.
However, compared to the other pillars of our science system, such as universities or non-university research institutions, HAWs still receive too little support for their work. This is particularly evident in the HAWs’ endowment of staff and research funds.
That is why I am campaigning in the Bundestag to strengthen the universities of applied sciences with more funding for staff and research. And most importantly, I support a strong role for HAWen in the DATI – the German Agency for Transfer and Innovation.
Our coalition will establish DATI, the German Agency for Transfer and Innovation. DATI is one of the most important science and research policy projects in this legislative period. With DATI, we will break new ground.
DATI will fill a gap in German research funding, a gap in the funding of application-oriented research and in the funding of universities of applied sciences. With DATI, we want to promote social, ecological and technological innovations. We promote the transfer between universities and society, between research, industry and public organizations, and thus the application of research results in practice.
DATI will support innovations and transfer projects that are regionally based. So that the transfer of science into practice happens directly on site and so that innovations address the challenges on site in a very concrete way.
In my view, one thing is particularly important for the success of DATI: the HAWs, the universities of applied sciences. The HAWs are experts for transfer and application-oriented research. And they meet DATI’s regional aspirations because the HAWs are already anchored in their regions and already networked with local industry, business and civil society.
That’s why I advocate that HAWs play a central, a leading role in DATI’s broad-based consortia. So that HAWs can benefit from DATI and DATI can benefit from HAWs.
German Agency for Transfer and Innovation
Research for industry and mobility
Our coalition promotes research at universities, colleges and non-university research institutions.
To this end, the German government adopted the Future Strategy for Research and Innovation at the beginning of 2023, which names six research missions: Climate protection and nutrition, health, digitization, space and oceans, and the research mission for which I am responsible in my parliamentary group: competitive and climate-neutral industry and mobility.
This strategy addresses the major challenges facing our society in the coming years and decades, for which research and innovation are indispensable. It aims to secure Germany as a business location, protect our livelihoods, and strengthen our society’s resilience.
These challenges are defined in more detail in the individual research missions. In this regard, industrial and mobility research is central to addressing the climate crisis. It studies the industry and mobility of the future, the change from fossil to renewable energies, and the future availability of raw materials and new materials. It is about the expansion of wind power and solar energy, storage technologies and power grids of the future, green hydrogen and fusion energy.
We promote research that can be applied in practice and can solve the challenges facing our society.