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News from the Elite Doctorate Programs

ENB FORUM in Regensburg: Innovation in Germany

On Thursday, October 6, 2016, the ENB FORUM was hosted by the International Doctorate Program Evidence-Based Economics at the University of Regensburg. Under the auspices of Beate Lindner (ENB), Kerstin Radler (member of the city council of Regensburg) and Prof. Udo Hebel (president of the University of Regensburg), more than 150 participants were eager to hear Brigitte Zypries, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as a round of panelist discuss how innovation and startup activity can be fostered.

Prof. Andreas Roider, State Secretary Brigitte Zypries, Prof. Udo Hebel and Prof. Monika Schnitzer

The participants of the panel discussion

The panel discussing with the audience

The close proximity and interaction of the University of Regensburg and the two innovation and startup centers TechBase Regensburg (with a focus on IT) and BioPark Regensburg (with a focus on biotechnology) made it natural to collaborate in organizing the ENB FORUM. In her keynote address, Brigitte Zypries emphasized the strengths of innovative activity in Germany, but she also identified some major challenges, such as a relatively low number of startups (in particular, in non-service industries), the need to foster innovative activities of small and medium-sized businesses, and a too harsh view on failure in Germany as compared to the US.

These issues were put under further scrutiny in the subsequent panel discussion, which was chaired by Prof. Dr. Andreas Roider (University of Regensburg and member of the International Doctorate Program Evidence-Based Economics). Prof. Dr. Monika Schnitzer (LMU Munich and member of both the International Doctorate Program Evidence-Based Economics and the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation at the German Federal Government), Dr. Thomas Diefenthal (managing director of BioPark Regensburg), Matthias Wegele (innovation manager at Continental Automotive GmbH, Regensburg), and Dominik Wagner (founder and head of the startup companies Wasotech GmbH and Wmocs GmbH, Regensburg) offered their views on the state of innovation in Germany from a variety of angles.

The FORUM highlighted the importance of innovation for German economic success. It identified strengths and key challenges for innovation policy in Germany. To foster innovation, careful evaluation of what might work best is called for, and the International Doctorate Program is the only one in Germany with such a focus on evidence-based advice.

Evidence-Based Economics (EBE)

Evidence-Based Economics (EBE) is an Elite International Doctorate Program at the University of Regensburg, FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, and LMU Munich. It has been supported by the Elite Network of Bavaria since 2013. Its unique combination of theoretical and empirical methods for identifying causal effects offers a cutting-edge education to young economist on how to design and evaluate policy interventions and firm behavior.

Text: Prof. Andreas Roider

Fotos: Felix Peterhammer

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