Brussels, 28 Nov 2002
'In a discipline as dynamic as informatics, Germany cannot afford to tread more slowly, the competitor is not sleeping. We have to gather together all of our strength now. After all, informatics and IT are the driving forces of the modern economy.'
These were the words of the President of the German Society for Informatics (GI), Heinrich C Mayr, in Bonn on 28 November, following the 2003 budget announcement, which revealed that funding for large research institutes will remain frozen at the 2002 level.
'If the government runs the research institutes dry now and, at the same time, halts planned, urgently needed projects, we will soon feel the consequences: The Champions League is taking place elsewhere and our advantage has been given away,' said Mr Mayr.
German Minister for Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn maintained on November that 'for us, training and research are priorities.' Mr Mayr, however, is not convinced: 'This is primarily a policy where, because of spending constraints, everything is being lumped together.'
Support for innovative regions in the former East German federal States will, however, rise under the 2003 budget. The InnoRegio programme will provide funding of 65 million euro, an increase of 81.6 per cent. 'With this we will create the important conditions for economic upturn in eastern Germany,' said Ms Bulmahn.