Germany has had its own Internet institute since September 21, 2017. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is backing the institute in its first five years with up to €50 million.
The new German Internet Institute in Berlin is seeking to find out how the digital transformation is changing society, politics, and the economy. Operators of the institute – officially the "Weizenbaum-Institut für die vernetzte Gesellschaft" (Weizenbaum institute for the networked society) – are the city’s four main universities, the University of Potsdam, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS); the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) is responsible for its coordination.
According to the German federal government's digital agenda, some 100 scientists will be working in 20 interdisciplinary research groups in six research areas. Although a large number of vacancies are yet to be filled, research is scheduled to get underway in November. The institute is named after German-American computer scientist and critic Joseph Weizenbaum.
It remains to be seen whether network researchers will also get on board, since there are already several institutions focusing on similar fields, including the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Bochum and the Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute (FSTI) in Stuttgart, a research institute for digitalization and networking.