Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism, has appointed university professor Dr. Katharina Hölzle as her new technology officer, effective April 2023. "With Professor Hölzle, I am pleased to be able to recruit an outstanding and experienced expert in all matters of research and innovation policy for this important task. In view of the future challenges facing politics and business in the transformation, it is important from the point of view of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to have a neutral contact person in all fields of technology policy and development," said the Minister of Economics. "I am grateful that Professor Hölzle will support our innovation policy work with advice and action over the next three years. I am convinced that she will provide new and valuable impetus for our state's innovation policy," said Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut.
The new technology officer, who heads the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, will start work shortly and is expected to present her first ideas before the summer break. She will be supported in her tasks by an office based at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Research and consulting expertise with a focus on the innovation system in Baden-Württemberg and Germany
Professor Katharina Hölzle on her appointment: "I am honored to take on this office and am very pleased about this task and the trust placed in me. As the Technology Officer of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, I bring extensive experience and knowledge from my scientific and business networks for the benefit of the companies and work with them to drive forward the future of Baden-Württemberg as a business location. Thanks to my interdisciplinary research and consulting expertise in the context of people, technology and organization, I have holistic and practical insights with a special focus on the innovation system in Germany and Baden-Württemberg."
Commenting on the existing challenges and tasks for the coming years, the new technology officer said, "We are currently observing an extraordinarily high speed at which scientific knowledge is being gained and new technologies developed." Minister Hoffmeister-Kraut added: "I see these challenges not least in the areas of generative AI, robotics, quantum technologies, ClimateTech, hydrogen and digital health. Here in particular, rapid action is essential if we also want to score in terms of value creation in these fast-growing markets and also create such future technologies ourselves and not just buy them in."
Countering the pressure to innovate with versatility
"Multiple crises and the shortage of skilled workers are a major challenge for many companies and increase the pressure to innovate. We should focus more on diversity and, for example, involve women even better in the innovation system in the future," said Hölzle. In recent years, she said, Baden-Württemberg's companies and regional ecosystem have repeatedly demonstrated that innovation is the most important response to economic and social challenges and ensures economic success. "As Technology Officer, I would like to do my part and contribute to making the economy in Baden-Württemberg future-proof, resilient and sustainable," said Dr. Katharina Hölzle.