Why is science so competitive

Karliczek: Using data to promote technological sovereignty, competitiveness and science

The digital cabinet of the federal government meets this week. Data, especially research data, are a decisive factor in digitization. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is committed to making research data usable for the state, economy, science and society. In the future, the BMBF's measures and initiatives in this area are therefore to be bundled in the “Research Data Action Plan”, thus enabling a culture of sharing and re-use. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:

“Data is the fuel of digitization. The processing and use of data holds enormous potential for new technologies, value chains or business models. For a successful digital future, we have to make the best possible use of this potential. The basis for this is that we create systematic and sustainable access, in particular to research data. Because these are the basis for scientific knowledge and innovations.

With a new 'Action Plan for Research Data' we want to summarize our data initiatives and make the potential of research data widely usable. In doing so, we set impulses for a strong data culture in the digital age and, above all, enable new knowledge, added value and ultimately social added value to arise from data.

To make this happen, we advocate research-friendly framework conditions, promote the research and development of innovative digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, green ICT or quantum computing, and support the development of data infrastructures and data skills in science.

The corona pandemic is currently showing us very clearly how important it is to share data and research results. For example, genome data of the virus was made available to other researchers early and freely, which made it possible to decipher the virus more quickly. It is only by sharing such knowledge that uniform diagnosis and treatment plans can be developed and research and care can be coordinated across national borders. "


Research data is often only stored locally and temporarily. As a result, data treasures are lost. This is where the “Research Data Action Plan” comes in.

The action plan consists of three key elements:

  • First, as a contribution to the technological sovereignty of Germany and Europe, research and development of innovative digital technologies must be advanced. This is the only way to build and operate high-performance, energy-efficient, secure and trustworthy infrastructures.

    With the National Research Data Infrastructure and GAIA-X, for example, the BMBF has given strong impetus. The programs will give citizens, businesses and society at large faster access to the latest scientific knowledge. It is now important to ensure interoperability, i.e. consistency, of the various data infrastructures and to establish the link to high-performance and high-performance computing.
  • Second, data should turn into insights, ideas and innovations faster and better. To this end, the use of the data generated in science and research must be made easier. This requires new approaches, for example the FAIR principles can be used in project funding.
  • Thirdly, those involved in innovation, especially researchers, need the skills necessary to deal with digital data.

With these three core elements, the BMBF Research Data Action Plan forms the basis for a reliable and competent culture of data provision and reuse. Such a data culture means added value for society: it strengthens science, promotes competitiveness and contributes to the digital sovereignty of Germany and Europe.