through policy recommendations, regular reports, and evaluation exercises. A major focus of the institute is the socio-economic study of individual openness, risk aversion, and entrepreneurial behavior. Such studies, he said, provide insights that strengthen its recommendations to policy makers. He highlighted the recent finding of Alexander Kritikos, DIW’s research director, that the most successful entrepreneurs are those with a moderate level of risk aversion.1 Entrepreneurs who are too risk averse, Dr. Kritikos found, have a higher likelihood of failure; those who are “too risk-loving” likewise show a high incidence of failure. Achieving a “moderate level” of risk, he concluded, should be a key goal of policy makers as they shape innovation policy and subsidies.

Based on the “impressive line-up of speakers both from Germany and the United States,” Dr. Wagner predicted that the symposium would help identify best practices in stimulating innovation in key industries, as well as in suggesting areas where the two nations can cooperate in the future. The first day would include topics of general interest, he said, followed by the second day’s discussion of specific sectors, such as finance, CO2 reduction, electric vehicles, the biomedical industry, and solar energy.

He thanked the major sponsors of the symposium, including the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, GMBR and UFS Universal and Management Services, and the organizers of the symposium, including the staffs of DIW Berlin and the U.S. National Academies. He thanks also the German Embassy of the United States and Engelbert Beyer of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); Alan Wolff, the chair of the National Academies’ Committee on Comparative National Innovation Policies, and Charles Wessner, program director of the National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) and his staff; and David Audretsch of Indiana University, a symposium speaker and head of CGRW’s advisory board.

Alan Wm. Wolff
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
Chair, U.S. National Academies Committee
on Comparative National Innovation Policies

Ambassador Wolff joined Dr. Wagner in welcoming the participants to the symposium, noting in particular the presence of their Excellencies State Secretary Georg Schütte, Minister of State Werner Hoyer, and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy. He commented that the DIW Berlin and the U.S.


1Marco Caliendo and Alexander Kritikos, “Searching for the entrepreneurial personality: New evidence and avenues for further research,” Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(2):319-324, April 2012.

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