Handbook on Science and Public Policy
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Handbook on Science and Public Policy

Edited by Dagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm and Weert Canzler

This Handbook assembles state-of-the-art insights into the co-evolutionary and precarious relations between science and public policy. Beyond this, it also offers a fresh outlook on emerging challenges for science (including technology and innovation) in changing societies, and related policy requirements, as well as the challenges for public policy in view of science-driven economic, societal, and cultural changes. In short, this book deals with science as a policy-triggered project as well as public policy as a science-driven venture.
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Chapter 14: Innovation, excellence and reputation: the persistence of the German science system

Andreas Knie and Dagmar Simon


Two major issues have dominated the science policy discourse in Germany in recent years: innovation and excellence. The chapter focuses on the Excellence Initiative, which was first launched in 2005 and has so far received more than EUR 5 billion in funding. Although the primary focus of the initiative was not on innovation, it was assumed from the outset that the funding programme could also significantly increase the innovative capacity of science. We therefore investigate the actual role played by innovation, that is, what goals and tasks universities use to focus their activities. This also raises the question of to what extent was the envisaged thematic and institutional diversity actually achieved. The chapter shows that the reform project to allow more sectoral permeability and to promote more flexibility and an expanded culture of recognition in order to strengthen the innovative capacity of the German science system is still in its infancy.

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