Angela Merkel pledges to continue the Innovation Dialogues and expand the NPE into a general mobility platform
Berlin, 08 May 2018
“Ever since its inception in 2008, acatech has been a national academy of international stature.” With these words, German Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced the handover of the presidency of acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering on 8 May 2018 in Berlin. Henning Kagermann’s position will be taken over by Karl-Heinz Streibich, the outgoing CEO of Software AG. Chancellor Merkel announced the continuation of the Innovation Dialogue between the Federal Government, Industry and Science, and the expansion of the German National Platform for Electric Mobility into a general mobility platform.
Having reached the end of his second term of office, Henning Kagermann is duly handing over his role as acatech President to Karl-Heinz Streibich. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her gratitude to the outgoing President: “As one of acatech’s two Presidents, you have led the Academy for almost nine years. In this time, you have established yourself as the voice and champion of the technological sciences, and your opinion has become an essential point of reference.” Chancellor Merkel also highlighted acatech’s role in the innovation system: “If our country wishes to be a global leader, we must ensure close cooperation between science and industry in order to fully leverage Germany’s potential as a research and high-tech location.” Under Henning Kagermann’s guidance, acatech carried out strategic projects on topics such as Industrie 4.0, smart services and learning systems.
As Chair of the German National Platform for Electric Mobility, Henning Kagermann has helped to coordinate Germany’s transition to electric mobility. As Chancellor Merkel went on to say: “Under Henning Kagermann, the German National Platform for Electric Mobility couldn’t have been in better hands. We will now be expanding the NPE into a general mobility platform.” Staying on the subject of electric mobility, the Chancellor also advocated the development of a battery production capability in Europe.
Since 2009, acatech has prepared the content of the Innovation Dialogue between the Federal Government, industry and science. Moreover, the steering committee of this advisory body is chaired by Henning Kagermann. Angela Merkel announced her intention to continue the Innovation Dialogue during the new parliament. “It is genuinely important that it should continue. After all, we don’t have a monopoly on progress, as demonstrated by the example of artificial intelligence. Having originally been among the leaders in this field, we are suddenly discovering that we have fallen behind in terms of the widespread deployment of this technology.” Looking back over the Innovation Dialogues held during the previous parliament, the Chancellor highlighted the topics of breakthrough innovations, biotechnology and human-machine interaction.
As well as overseeing the development of the innovation policy advisory bodies during the current parliament, Henning Kagermann will also be taking over as Chairman of the acatech Board of Trustees. acatech co-President Dieter Spath paid tribute to Henning Kagermann’s track record as a trusted intermediary between science, industry, government and civil society organisations. As well as originating concepts such as Industrie 4.0, he ensured that all the relevant stakeholders were involved from an early stage. Today, the different sectors of industry and the social partners have all bought into the Industrie 4.0 strategic project, which has become a unique selling point for Germany on the global stage.
Chancellor Merkel had the following words for acatech’s new co-President, who is taking over the helm alongside Dieter Spath: “I am delighted to welcome Karl-Heinz Streibich as acatech’s new President. He will be only too aware from his previous roles that there is no shortage of issues and challenges.” Dieter Spath added that “In Karl-Heinz Streibich, we are gaining an innovative mind with extensive industry experience. He has been involved in partnerships such as the IT Summit for many years and can claim to have been one of the earliest pioneers of Industrie 4.0.” At Software AG, he has implemented many of the concepts developed by acatech. “Karl-Heinz Streibich has always put acatech’s most important recommendation into practice: that innovation first and foremost requires cooperation across company boundaries and research disciplines.”
Karl-Heinz Streibich will step down as CEO of Software AG at the end of July. Today, he spoke for the first time in his new role as co-President of acatech: “Henning Kagermann has positioned Germany in the digital world both prudently and with a focus on pragmatic solutions. This will also be my chief mission as acatech President. Together with Dieter Spath, I will strive to promote an innovation climate in which society moulds technological progress for the benefit of humanity.”
Henning Kagermann’s long-time colleague Bernd Leukert, Member of the Executive Board with responsibility for products and innovation at SAP SE, thanked him for the time they spent together at the company – Herr Kagermann was Chief Executive Officer of SAP AG between 2003 and 2009. He reminded everyone that, in his role as acatech President, Henning Kagermann created the “global brand Industrie 4.0”. Dieter Spath and surprise guest August-Wilhelm Scheer then treated the audience to a musical performance that embodied the notion of cross-sectoral cooperation – together, the ergonomist and IT pioneer played a few minutes of In a Sentimental Mood on the guitar and saxophone.