A New Era for Research and Innovation? Innovation Policy in the USA and Germany After the Pandemic

Join us July 8 at 11 AM EDT for a discussion with leading experts from Germany and the US on the current status and the future of science and innovation policy, universities and basic research.

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This event will be hosted on Zoom by the German U15 university alliance. The event is free, but registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


We’re excited to welcome you to a discussion on the current status and the future of science and innovation policy, universities and basic research, featuring:

  • Kathleen Kennedy, Executive Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
  • Dr. Rena Conti, Associate Research Director, Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy, Boston University
  • Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch, President of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Chair of German U15
  • Moderated by: Dr. Jan Wöpking, Managing Director, German U15

The year 2021 marks significant political changes in both Germany and the US: the start of a new administration under President Biden and the September federal election in Germany which will mark the end of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship after sixteen years in office.

During the global pandemic, science and the tireless work of researchers in both countries have become essential to finding cures and solutions. The world quickly learned that large scale challenges cannot be faced alone and that international collaboration is more important than ever. One of the most prominent examples of transatlantic collaboration is the partnership between BioNTech from Germany and the US company Pfizer, who together developed the first mRNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 that is saving lives around the world.

In the U.S., concern about the erosion of America’s innovation dominance led policymakers to propose a massive investment boost for research to strengthen the country’s competitive edge over China. And in Germany, discussions are beginning about lessons to be learned from the pandemic: Does R&I policy need to be more agile and mission-oriented? Or does the success of BioNTech teach us how important visionary basic research is?

Does Europe also need investment pushes similar to those in China and the USA? What are the goals that the U.S. wants to achieve with investments in basic and technology research? What instruments do we need to promote the transfer of research into applications, especially also in biotechnology and the life sciences?

Our Experts:

Kathleen Kennedy is Director of Special Projects at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with the Center for Collective Intelligence at the MIT Sloan School to help coordinate campus initiatives and build collaborations with organizations around the world. Kathleen formerly served as Director, Special Projects, for the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of MIT, and co-founder of HUBweek, a first-of-its-kind civic collaboration and weeklong festival that brings together the most creative and inventive minds making an impact in art, science and technology. In her 16 years at MIT Technology Review, most recently serving as its President, Kathleen helped to redefine the magazine brand and expand its global footprint, developing international programs and producing world-class events. She was awarded the Folio: 40, which recognizes the most innovative and influential people in the media industry, and named by the Women of the Harvard Club as one of Boston’s Most Influential Women of 2017.
Kathleen Kennedy - Executive Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
Rena M. Conti is the Associate Research Director of Biopharma & Public Policy for the Boston University Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy. She is also an Associate Professor at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. From 2006 through June 2018, Professor Conti was an Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Chicago Medical School and the Harris School of Public Policy. Dr. Conti is a health economist. Her research focuses on the organization, financing and regulation of medical care. She has written extensively on the pricing, demand and supply of prescription drugs.
Dr. Rena M. Conti - Associate Research Director, Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy, Boston University
Georg Krausch has been a Professor of Physical Chemistry at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and the Chair of Physical Chemistry at Bayreuth University. Krausch has more than 160 research publications and was appointed a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2009. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. As President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Krausch was a founding director of the Mainz Research Alliance and is currently Deputy Chairman of the State University Presidents' Conference for Rhineland-Palatinate. Since his election in 2007, Krausch has placed his main emphasis on the continuing development of the university’s profile in research, teaching, and the advancement of young researchers. In 2020, Krausch was elected Chairman of the German U15 association of 15 large research-oriented universities, which he had served as Deputy Chairman from 2014 to 2020. Krausch was appointed as Rhineland-Palatinate state government's coordinator for biotechnology in June 2021. Rhineland-Palatinate aims to become a leading location for biotechnology.
Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch, President of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Chair of German U15

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Event Information

July 8, 2021, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Online
Organizer: German U15, German Center for Research and Innovation