Global change, technological progress and far-reaching changes in society will bring new and demanding challenges for civil security research in the next few years. In response, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research conducted what is known as an “agenda process” to set the agenda for a continuation of the “Research for civil security” framework programme beyond 2017. Experts from the research, business and user communities plus interested members of the public were able to actively contribute with their ideas and suggestions for topics.
The agenda process took its cue from the global, technological and societal change processes that are expected to shape civil security in the future.
They include the impact of global changes such as integration of economic processes and infrastructures. This change is leading to ever more complex national and international interdependencies but also to more vulnerable global supply and production chains.
Technological progress also brings numerous opportunities and risks for civil security. One question is how the potential offered by digital technology can be harnessed while also complying with basic rights and values - for example, in anti-crime measures or measures to improve protection for critical infrastructures.
Closer investigation is also required in the area of fundamental social and cultural change processes that affect social co-existence and thus civil security. These include, for example, demographic change, ageing populations and consequences of immigration.
Since the task of civil security research is to confront the challenges that such global, technological and societal change processes will pose in the future, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research conducted a broad-based, transparent dialogue as part of the agenda process. Experts from the research, business and user communities plus interested members of the public were able to actively contribute with their ideas and suggestions for topics.
The agenda-setting process for the security research programme is based on two elements.
First, three agenda workshops were held between October 2016 and January 2017:
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research specifically invited experts from public authorities, rescue and aid organisations, businesses and non-governmental organisations as well as an interdisciplinary range of researchers to the workshops. The aim was to identify the challenges and research topics for civil security for the period up to 2030.
Second, during the agenda process, the specialist community/research and all interested groups (e.g. associations, research organisations and public authorities) were able to submit their own papers on future topics and needs in the area of civil security research.
In addition, all governmental departments responsible for civil security matters are closely involved in the agenda-setting process for the framework programme.
The entire agenda process was supervised by Scientific Programme Board, an independent body that advises the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on strategic and content-related aspects of civil security research.
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