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Top marks for research and development in the PTB

By order of the German Federal Government, the Wissenschaftsrat evaluates all the federal institutions with research and development assignments. Today the Wissenschaftsrat presented its scientific and political statement about the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) to the public.

The Wissenschaftsrat assesses the R&D work of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt as well as its science-based services overall as very good, in places even as excellent. The Bundesanstalt is positioned scientifically and technologically at the forefront of internationally leading national metrology institutes.

The Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Michael Glos, commented: "I am extremely pleased about the result of the evaluation. The PTB is a flagship for successful technology policies. Now we have to secure this excellence through sustainable forward-looking framework conditions. We will fall back on the competence of the Bundesanstalten (Scientific-technical Federal Institutes) more strongly in the future for our technology policy work, as the Wissenschaftsrat recommends."

The Wissenschaftsrat emphasises thematic focal points of the PTB like precision measuring techniques, medicine, electrical engineering or optics as particularly economically relevant. At the same time, it stresses the model character of the PTB in its close co-operation with other European institutes.

The Wissenschaftsrat sees the high competence and the visible motivation of the scientific personnel, the Bundesanstalt's excellent equipment with its research infrastructure as well as its convincing R&D management, as the basis of the "remarkable profile of performance" of the PTB. The innovative organisation of the departmental research between the PTB and the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) is regarded as a model for comparable federal institutions, e.g. the high degree of autonomy in the development of the research programmes.

At the same time, the PTB's work contributes to a considerable extent to the economic creation of value in Germany. Minister Glos said: "A clear competitive edge is given to the companies here through the technological developments, the technical infrastructure and the services of the PTB." The Bundesanstalt has a unique position in Germany and Europe regarding the quantity and quality of its science-based services, according to the opinion of the Wissenschaftsrat. This applies in particular to services in the calibration sector which are of great importance to trade and industry.

To support the economic development and processes of innovation in Germany more clearly, the Wissenschaftsrat recommends that the PTB is involved more strongly than it has been in discussions on possible areas for future development.

Both the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology's other scientific-technical federal institutes, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing) and the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources) belong to the top group of departmental research bodies.

The complete text of the Wissenschaftsrat's statement is available to the public on the internet (

Jens Simon | alfa
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