It has been introduced in discussions, that the distribution of responsibilities for education,
research & development, extension and innovation support is split between the Federal
Government and the Länder governments, as well as between the departmental ministries
(education & research, agriculture, economic affairs). To add to the complexity the AKIS-
related governance system is constantly evolving as a result of institutional reforms.
A two-step reform of the German federal system in 2006 and 2009 had the aim to decrease
bureaucracy and ensure better strategic coordination between Federal and Länder level
and affected agricultural and education administration. Other reforms such as the Bologna-
reform or the introduction of the ‘Freedom of Science Act‘ (Wissenschaftsfreiheitsgesetz)
in 2012 have affected the education and research institutions. In early 2008 the federal
agricultural departmental research institutes were reorganized on the basis of a concept
for a sustainable departmental research (BMELV 2008).
The aim was to technically and
organizationally align the organisations to optimally support decision needs of the federal
ministry (BMELV 2008). This reform is a result of a number of studies and evaluations of
the German agricultural science and research system (Isermeyer 2003; Ober 2004).