Meeting in Meseberg; Source: Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann

© Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann

During its meeting in Meseberg, the Federal Cabinet took stock of the implementation so far of the Digital Agenda and the next important steps to be taken for a successful digital transformation of the economy in Germany and Europe.

Minister Gabriel declared: "We need to shape the digital transformation of our economy successfully in order to maintain our competitiveness. Our Digital Agenda has already achieved a great deal, such as the Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition or the Wifi Act. The IT Summit platforms "Innovative Digitisation of the Economy" and "Industrie 4.0" have presented key concepts for digital sovereignty, launched a broad-based campaign to raise awareness amongst small and medium-sized firms, and drawn up the reference architecture model for Industrie 4.0, which is now being fed into the international standardisation bodies. But we need to think further ahead about digitisation. I have made some proposals for this in the Digital Strategy 2025."

The measures adopted today include the promotion of key skills, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and the expansion of funding programmes to develop digital technologies. The Plattform Industrie 4.0 will take measures to implement this and will press ahead with cooperation with key national and international partners like China and Japan.

In the Digital Strategy 2025 (www.de.digital), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has shown ways in which we wish to shape the digital transformation "made in Germany" beyond the current legislative term. These range from funding for fast optical fibre networks to incentives for more investment in digitisation by small and medium-sized firms, the establishment of an innovation-friendly environment for young technology companies and start-ups, and a "digital learning" strategy.

Minister Gabriel declared: "We need more ambitious funding for the growth of start-ups. On the one hand, we have already achieved a number of improvements in this field. Targeted programmes now cover the start-up and growth phases of companies. But we want further tax measures to further improve the statutory conditions for investments, to provide incentives and to help both providers and users of capital."

The cabinet meeting at Meseberg also welcomed Estonia's Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who provided an overview of the Commission's work in the field of digitisation since the presentation of the Communication on the Digital Single Market Strategy and explained the new packages on eCommerce and eContent.

Minister Gabriel declared: "The technology package presented in April, with its overarching Communication on Digitising European Industry, is particularly important for us. I believe that Germany is a pioneer here. It is now important to get the other Member States on board. The aim is to work together to make Europe the world's leader in the field of Industrie 4.0."