Evaluation of the aviation research program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology

On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology, the Institute for Innovation and Technology (iit) in cooperation with other experts carried out the evaluation of the aviation research program. An essential task within the scope of this assignment was to develop an indicator-based, sector-specific evaluation system for the aeronautics research program. This evaluation system formed the basis for conducting an ex-post evaluation of the Aeronautics Research Programme III (2003 until 2007), an accompanying evaluation of the Aeronautics Research Program IV (beginning 2006), and an ex-ante evaluation for the Aeronautics Research Program V (from 2014). The goal of the evaluations was to analyze and assess the effectiveness, efficiency, and efficacy of the program in terms of the goals of the federal government in order to make recommendations for program management and the design of the follow-up programme.

In addition to the analysis of secondary material on the context of the program - including the funding programs of other European countries and the EU - and the analysis of the German corporate and institute landscape in aeronautics, the evaluation is based in particular on the analysis of process data available at the project management organization, a written survey of all 195 collaborative projects of Aeronautics Research Program III and all 664 collaborative projects of LuFo IV, in which high mean effective response rates of 68 percent (LuFo III) and 73 percent (LuFo IV) were achieved, and the conduct of more than 50 interviews. The future technological challenges of aeronautics research were outlined for the five core areas in technology profiles. In two large workshops at the beginning and towards the end of the evaluation, all those involved in the program were informed about the purpose and implementation of the evaluation and its results. The results of the discussions were incorporated into the final report.

Based on the results of the ex-post evaluation and the accompanying evaluation as well as the analysis of existing strategies in Germany and Europe and the most important technological trends, the evaluation team derived recommendations for action for the design of the aeronautics research program V. These recommendations for action relate to two complementary topics. First, to the instruments of program design: from the critical appraisal of the current practice of program implementation and the results of the programme, design recommendations were made for the adaptation and new introduction of instruments of program control. Secondly, on the content priorities for the follow-up program: The technology profiles as well as their connecting trajectories showed the priority areas in which research funding seems particularly worthwhile in the coming years. The recommendations for action were externally validated by an international jury of experts as part of a strategic audit.


January 2012 until January 2013


German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi)