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VWL IX: Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek hands over EFI annual report to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz

EFI annual report 2024

Übergabe des EFI-Gutachtens an Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (v.l.n.r.: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Friederike Welter, Prof. Dr. Guido Bünstorf, Prof. Dr. Carolin Häussler, Prof. Dr. Uwe Cantner, Olaf Scholz, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek, Prof. Dr. Till Requate). Foto: David Ausserhofer.

The Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI) presented the annual report to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on February 28, 2024. Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek, Professor of the Economics of Digitalization at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) and Head of the "Digital Economy" research department at the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim (ZEW), is a member and Deputy Chair of the Commission.

The following topics are the focus of this year's report:

  • Commentary on current R&I policy
  • Causal analysis of policy effects
  • New technologies for sustainable agriculture
  • International mobility in the science and innovation system
  • Social innovations - an essential instrument for overcoming social challenges
  • Artificial intelligence

In its new annual report, the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI) states that Germany and the European Union (EU) urgently need to catch up in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI). The report also emphasizes the need for an efficient AI ecosystem in Germany and the EU in order to maintain technological sovereignty and exploit the potential of AI in various economic sectors. Prof. Bertschek points out obstacles to the use of AI in companies, such as a lack of resources and a lack of specialist knowledge.

The EFI recommends increased support for basic AI research, the development of high-performance computing and a competitive data infrastructure to drive technological development and promote AI skills.

About the EFI Commission

The EFI provides scientific policy advice on behalf of the Federal Government. It presents an annual report on Germany's research, innovation and technological performance. In connection with the reports, comprehensive analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of the German innovation system are carried out in international and chronological comparison. Based on the latest scientific studies, the prospects for Germany as a location for research and innovation are also evaluated and proposals for national research and innovation policy are drawn up.