Is the economy more important than science?

about us

The core topics and fields of action of the Stifterverband are education, science and innovation. To this day it is the only organization in Germany that provides holistic support in all three areas, with projects that build on each other and mutually reinforce their effect. The Stifterverband is committed to equitable education, excellent universities and internationally competitive research institutions. Its instruments range from extracurricular talent promotion to structural programs in higher education to detailed analyzes of the science and innovation system, which serve as the basis for political recommendations for action.

In the field of education, the Stifterverband is particularly committed to children and young people, schoolchildren and students. The aim is to give young people the best possible chance of education, along the entire educational chain. The spectrum of activities ranges from the individual promotion of young talents through student competitions and summer academies to a foundation set up specifically by the Stifterverband to promote civil society engagement in the education sector, to large-scale structural programs to improve university teaching.

In the field of science, the Stifterverband is active as a driving force and strategic partner of research institutions and universities in Germany. The Stifterverband advocates an increase in the quality of academic education and campaigns for autonomous universities in a competitive system. It also supports cooperation and exchange between business, science and civil society. As a think tank and agenda setter, it supports politics with assessments that serve as orientation in decision-making processes and are intended to improve the framework conditions for science as a whole.

In the field of innovation, the Stifterverband examines and evaluates the framework conditions of the German innovation system. It is an important partner for business, science and politics when it comes to the future viability of companies and society. In this field of action, the Stifterverband relies primarily on analyzes, advice and evaluation. He uses a combination of his own empirical research and networking with practice and science to stimulate and help shape political, social and economic discourses on innovation issues.

In addition to these three fields of action, the Stifterverband is one of the most important Sponsors of the foundation system in Germany. He is committed to a strong and lively civil society and supports people who want to get involved in the common good. For more than 50 years it has been a strong partner for founders who want to have their heads free for the content-related work and therefore want to put formalities and administration in the hands of a trustworthy partner. Today, the Stifterverband looks after around 670 foundations with total assets of more than 3.2 billion euros through its subsidiary Deutsches Stiftungszentrum. Last year, around 142 million euros flowed into charitable purposes. The activities of the foundations complement and enrich the work of the Stifterverband.

The greatest strength of the Stifterverband are its partners. First and foremost, these are the companies that have jointly assumed responsibility in the Stifterverband for science in Germany and for an efficient and livable society since 1920. Their commitment is supplemented and reinforced by the foundations, which set individual and important accents under the umbrella of the Stifterverband. A special partner is politics, which is closely linked to the Stifterverband in numerous joint projects. The future education initiative plays just as important a role as questions of transfer from science to practice or cooperation between business and science.

Associations and clubs. Many others belong to the unique network of the Stifterverband: scientific organizations, associations, but also individuals who are committed to common goals. For decades, the Stifterverband has maintained close cooperation with associations and organizations from business (BDI, BDA, DIHK, etc.) and science (DFG, HRK, Science Council, DAAD, Fraunhofer Society, etc.), as well as with central institutions of civil society and leading foundations in Germany.

The Stifterverband is particularly closely associated with a number of business associations. For example, the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV) recommends its members to support the work of the Stifterverband. The Verband der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA) - one of the founding fathers of the Stifterverband - levies an annual contribution from its members, which benefits the work of the Stifterverband.

Together with the major business associations, the Stifterverband initiated the establishment of the Tönisstein Circle around 50 years ago, a discussion group of internationally experienced executives from business, science and politics. The members of the Tönissteiner Kreis are still affiliated with the Stifterverband today.