Cross-sectional issue research infrastructures

Large research infrastructures are essential for FONA’s preventive research. They determine the performance, innovative power and international competitiveness of Germany as a science and business hub. Only through research infrastructures will it be possible to fill elementary gaps in knowledge and open up new research areas. They are used, for example, to generate basic climate data or ecosystem information in order to better understand the complex correlations in global climate events or the dynamics and consequences of species loss. This knowledge is urgently needed to make political decisions and initiate social transformation processes.

Due to their high costs, research infrastructures can often only be set up and operated jointly with several partners. In Germany, for instance, the non-university research organisations the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and the Leibniz Association (WGL) are the owners of large research facilities. The HGF is Germany's biggest provider of research infrastructures, for example in the form of large-scale equipment and research vessels, from which scientists benefit both nationally and internationally.

The FONA Strategy is designed as an open framework for action over five years. The 25 actions are therefore designed in such a way that the focus of the research content can be adapted in a targeted manner and continuously evolved. Key concomitant aspects are political decisions on the direction to be taken, science communication based on dialogue, and an evaluation of the FONA Strategy. In this way we aim to engage the broad participation of socially relevant stakeholders to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a politically targeted way.

We base our evaluations on robust data, comprehensive balance sheets and established indicators, which provide orientation for us and all stakeholders involved. FONA also uses criteria derived from the catalogue of criteria recommended by the European Commission. Particular attention will be paid to effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and relevance. In principle, a FONA evaluation always aims to improve quality, increase the effective achievement of objectives, raise efficiency, and develop appropriate recommendations for action. In addition, we pursue systematic research monitoring that provides information on the impacts of projects and funding measures. In doing so, we keep an eye on current research and innovation needs and market developments, taking them all into account.

Target group-specific science communication will bring research outcomes into social and political discourse in the form of orientational knowledge, an understanding of systems and operational know-how, and can thus serve as a basis for knowledge-based decisions. It is therefore the basis for transferring insights from research to politics, economy and society. The website is a portal we have created to report continuously on our research projects and findings – it is diverse, multimedial, and tailored to the general public and relevant multipliers.

One of our key instruments for professional ideas exchange is the FONA Forum. This is where we discuss and evaluate future issues, conflicting goals and risks with stakeholders from the science and research community, businesses, local authorities and civil society at an early stage of development. With our eye on finding solutions and based on this multi-stakeholder approach, we involve our target groups in agenda processes in which we discuss research needs and policies for the coming years – and we aim to raise the involvement of the broader population in this process.

We want to connect open discourses and practices in science, business and civil society more intensively across the disciplines – especially in the handling of data, digitalisation and sustainability. The BMBF is pursuing this goal as part of the High-Tech Strategy’s mission ‘Finding new sources for new knowledge’ in collaboration with the Open Innovation Culture Forum (innOsci), which is organised by the Stifterverband (donors’ association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany). The forum sees itself as a platform, think tank and experimental space; it networks initiatives and brings stakeholders together. We want to make knowledge freely and digitally accessible and harness it through Open Access. In this way, we can guarantee an unhindered flow of information within science and research as well as into all areas of business and society. Accordingly, we support Open Access as a standard for scientific publishing – for example, by covering publication costs for Open Access publications through our project funding.

Linked meassures

No entries could be found.

Last updated on