Which areas of research will be important in the long term? Which topics can
be thoroughly dealt with in Germany because they fit in with German science
and business skills? Which research and technology areas have enough synergies and influential impact to enable them to provide an impetus in other
areas? Which future fields cover a range of disciplines, promise outstanding,
pioneering science and technology knowledge gains, and will therefore contribute significantly to people’s quality of life and to sustainable resources use?
These were the questions posed at the outset of the BMBF’s Foresight Process,
which started in the autumn of 2007.
1.2 Overview of results
Future topics in established fields
The starting point for this foresight process was the 17 thematic fields of the
German High-tech Strategy and ongoing foresight activities in the departments,
i.e. the BMBF’s portfolio. By mid-2009, a set of advanced methods of future research had been developed to identify new research and technology focuses in
14 selected established future fields. This resulted in the so-called future
topics in the areas of health research, mobility, energy, environment and sustainable development, industrial production systems, information and communications technology, life sciences and biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials, substances and their manufacturing processes, neurosciences and learning
research, optical technologies, services science, systems and complexity research, and water infrastructures.