The implementation strategy “Shaping the course of digitisation”
The Federal Government aims to shape the digital transformation and make Germany fit for the digital age. To this end, it adopted its (in German) on 15 November 2018. It builds on the to provide clearly defined principles to guide our policies to shape the digital transformation for commerce, workers and citizens. It aims to further improve the quality of life for everyone in Germany, to unleash the economic and environmental potential offered by digitisation, and to safeguard social cohesion in the digital age. Further information about the implementation strategy can be found at (in German).
In drafting the implementation strategy, the Economic Affairs Ministry has placed a special focus on digital innovations and Germany’s future competitiveness.
New digital innovations – particularly in the field of artificial intelligence – are to be facilitated with a view to safeguarding our prosperity and upholding our fundamental values in Germany and Europe. Germany has the desire, the capability and the tools to innovate. At the same time, we wish to promote specific products and practical solutions. The aim is to use outstanding technological research to bring outstanding technology products “made in Germany” and “made in Europe” to market.
Artificial Intelligence Strategy
The Federal Government adopted its Artificial Intelligence Strategy on 15 November 2018. The Strategy was drawn up jointly by the Economic Affairs Ministry, the Research Ministry and the Labour Ministry. The Federal Government’s aim is to safeguard Germany’s outstanding position as a research centre, to build up the competitiveness of German industry, and to promote the many ways to use AI in all parts of society. The focus is to be placed on the benefits for people and the environment, and the intensive dialogue underway with all sections of society about AI is to be strengthened. You can learn more and at (in German).
Making a success of the digital transformation in Germany´s administration
German administrations also want to keep pace with the digital transformation. Germany has embraced a statutory commitment that citizens and companies will be able to handle their applications, documentation and reporting obligations online by 2022 at the latest. The basis for this is the Online Access Act. The Economic Affairs Ministry is working with Hamburg, which has the lead responsibility amongst the Länder, to realise the “Leading and developing companies” section, i.e. the digitisation of most administrative services relating to businesses. This involves roughly a thousand individual services. The digitisation of business-related administrative services entails substantial changes to legislation.
The study entitled "Top 100 – the most important and frequently used administrative services for businesses” did valuable preparatory work for this. The study is available for download (in German).
Digital Summit – one central platform for developing digital policies
We can make best use of the opportunities of digitisation for business and society if all the stakeholders work together on this. The (in German) (previously the National IT Summit) and the work that takes place between the summit meetings form the central platform for cooperation between government, business, academia and society as we shape the digital transformation.
The National IT Summit was renamed the Digital Summit in 2017. This takes account of the fact that the digital transformation affects not only the telecommunications sector, but all sectors and society itself – from the to . The next Digital Summit will be held in Dortmund on 28 and 29 October 2019. Its is also available in English.
Boosting business through smart networking
The Federal Government’s Smart Networks Strategy (lead ministry: Economic Affairs Ministry) aims to tap the potential for digitisation in key sectors of the economy and society (education, energy, health, transport, administration). By making optimal use of the possibilities created by digitisation and networking, it is thus making a major contribution towards boosting prosperity in the interest of the overall economy and society as a whole. The Strategy is underpinned by a unit (Smart Networks Initiative) which provides good examples of smart networking and reduces the costs of the stakeholders in terms of obtaining information and engaging in coordination. .
High-speed networks are key
The comprehensive digitisation of our economy and society requires outstanding broadband networks which permit gigabit-per-second speeds (both download and upload), reliable real-time-capable transmission and high-quality secure internet services.
With a view to Germany’s future competitiveness, it is important for the roll-out of gigabit networks to take place rapidly in the landline (fibre-optic networks, high-performance broadband cable networks) and mobile (5G) sectors. For this reason, the Federal Government has set itself an ambitious target: gigabit networks which cover pretty much the entire country by 2025. This will open up the possibility for many different new business opportunities and business models for network operators, but will also require a willingness to undertake significant investments.
Telecommunications regulation in particular can provide strong incentives for private-sector investment in new gigabit networks. The Federal Government is working in Brussels to ensure that the new framework for European telecommunications law offers sufficient scope for pro-investment incentive mechanisms for cooperation on the roll-out, and the best possible use should be made of this in the forthcoming revision of national legislation.
Driving forward digital inclusion and skills development
Digitisation is particularly affecting the areas of knowledge, education and training: our job roles will be fundamentally transformed. This means that a special focus needs to be placed on digital inclusion and education. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding the ‘’, which is the most relevant study for assessing to what extent Germany has been digitised so far.
The focus is no longer exclusively on helping people gain access to the internet, but on securing an adequate supply of skilled workers and on digital integration. At the 2016 National IT Summit, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy presented a paper on digital education outlining how digital learning and skills development are to be enshrined across the entire education chain.