Kiel University at the Hannover Messe 2019

Podium Discussion: "Cutting-edge research as an innovation driver in Germany"

The current knowledge society is now developing into a science society. More and more technical and social innovations come from the creative environment of colleges, universities and research institutions.
In view of ever-shorter innovation cycles and global competition, they are becoming increasingly important for economic development. Therefore, companies are looking to be close to the scientific community, and to the resulting start-ups surrounding them.
The podium discussion with entrepreneurs, politicians and representatives from the science system aims to illuminate how this process can be organized and promoted meaningfully, in order to optimise the interplay of those involved, and to ensure long-term prosperity.

Sophia Hatzelmann

Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen (VdU)

"The small and medium-sized enterprises were and are the most important innovation drivers of the German economy. We need better contact and an unbureaucratic transfer between cutting-edge research and small and medium-sized enterprises. This is the only way these companies will remain the key to the economy’s success in Germany in the future."

Prof. Dr. Lutz Kipp

President of Kiel University


"In the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments, we have created the 'Kiel Way'. To continue following this successfully, it is important for us to know what expectations business and politics have of the science system. This is the only way we can continue to be successful as the flagship of cutting-edge research in the north.«

Steffen Krach

State Secretary for Science and Research in Berlin

"The excellence competition has triggered great dynamic in the science system as a whole. For Berlin, the Excellence Initiative was a great success. The city has raised its international profile – as a location for science as a whole, but also that of the individual universities. We now see the new excellence strategy as a great opportunity for successful further development. And we are delighted that it is agreed upon for the long term, and doesn’t need to be renegotiated every five years."

Jean-François Ricci

Campus Development Manager, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)


"We need to take into account that science and technology are becoming more and more central, more and more complex and increasingly global. An international culture is required to relentlessly push the limits of fundamental knowledge on which innovation is based today. Science is global in essence. At the same time, our European roots should help us to go beyond over-specialization, as the success of universities in the European sense is historically characterized by a determination to confront all forms of knowledge."