• 07.18.2016

Future Council of the Bavarian Economy presents recommendations on big data

TUM President: “Entrepreneurial agenda for the big data era”

The Future Council of the Bavarian Economy today presented the study “Big Data im Freistaat Bayern” (Big data in the Free State of Bavaria). According to its findings, there exists great economic potential and good opportunities for the implementation of big data technologies. However, there are also some obvious obstacles standing in the way, such as inadequate data-specific know-how, a lack of specialists and legal uncertainties. Wolfgang A. Herrmann, TUM President and Chairman of the Future Counsil called for the creation of an “optimistic entrepreneurial agenda” for the big data era.

TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann
President Wolfgang A. Herrmann champions the interaction between science, economy and society in the Future Counsil. (Photo: Heddergott / TUM)

Based on the study, conducted by the consulting firm Prognos and the University of Passau, and commissioned by the Bavarian Industry Association, the Future Counsil has compiled a catalog of recommendations for action. These include among others:

  • developing a big data strategy for the Federal Government and the State of Bavaria
  • supporting big data projects in the Bavarian State funding of technology with a separate line of financial backing
  • developing study courses to enable universities to produce big data specialists who, in addition to computer expertise, also acquire knowledge pertaining to crucial legal framework conditions
  • discussing ethical and social questions in more depth for which the State should provide some foundation; for example, by way of suitable forums to allow all social groups and scientific disciplines to participate
  • strengthening start-ups in the big data sector who aim to grow and expand rapidly
  • creating opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to test suitable applications or “to buy off the shelf” so to speak in an innovation shop
  • starting initiatives to define standards and promoting cooperation between companies with secure data exchange and data linking
  • aligning labor law with the requirements of a much more flexible, far less location and time-dependent, and much more specialized working world
  • ensuring high-performance Internet connections across the board
  • taking moderate modernization measures for data protection
  • introducing an IT security seal with voluntary certification

Intelligently networked factories and personalized medicine

“The digital revolution has founded the era of big data in which we live,” explains Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann, Chairman of the Future Counsil. “Technological progress enables us to refine fuzzy knowledge from incredibly large quantities of data and to derive new, economically advantageous courses of action from complex multi-parameter relationships. This will result in the emergence of intelligently networked factories, personalized genome data-based medicine, automated mobility, soil and climate-related land utilization (“precision farming”), and methods for sustainable, energy-efficient planning and building. Consequently, our economic and industrial structures are subject to a fundamental process of change. The Future Council of the Bavarian Economy wants to use its recommendations to help bring the opportunities and risks of the Janus-faced big data era to an optimistic entrepreneurial agenda.”

Alfred Gaffal, also Chairman of the Future Council and President of the Bavarian Industry Association, stresses: “Bavaria is one of the leading high-tech regions in the world. The only way to safeguard our wealth and employment is to lend further support to innovation and technology leadership. Big data is a driver of growth for our location’s future success. The intelligent analysis and use of large quantities of data is increasingly becoming a success-critical competitive factor for companies. We must support small and medium-sized enterprises in particular in recognizing and exploiting their potential through big data.”

Bavaria’s Minister for Economics, Ilse Aigner, commented at the presentation of the study: “Big data is a great opportunity for our economy. By utilizing the knowledge from large quantities of data, companies can become more efficient and establish a competitive position. It is vital that we make the most of this opportunity: that is why we are building the research infrastructures in Bavaria and supporting the economy with the development of new technologies and business models in this sector. At present, just over half of Bavarian funding in the information and communication technology sector goes to supporting big data and cloud computing. My goal is to make Bavaria a pioneer in big data, and to bring added value and employment opportunities to the region.”

New study courses and professorships at the TUM

The TUM sees itself as a pioneer both in terms of training specialists and in terms of interdisciplinary research on the topic of big data, from new methods of data analytics as an instrument for research right through to the social impact. In recent months, it has established new professorships for Large-Scale Data Analytics and Machine Learning, for Computational Social Science and Big Data, and for Political Data Science. This coming winter semester sees the start of the new Master’s courses “Mathematics in Data Science”, “Data Engineering and Analytics” and “Science and Technology Studies.” The latter course examines the interactions between technology, science and society.

The TUM also plays a leading role in the networking of research institutes and companies in Bavaria: Prof. Manfred Broy is the founding president of the Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern (Digitalization Center Bavaria), which was brought into being by the State government in 2015. Furthermore, the TUM’s entrepreneurship program has supported various start-ups involved in big data technology.

More information:

Recommendations by the Future Council of the Bavarian Economy (in German)

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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