ZEW Sponsors’ Association Says Goodbye to Claudia Diem and Luka Mucic and Welcomes Clemens Schmid to the Board

Dates and News

ZEW Sponsors’ Association Honours Outstanding Academic Work at ZEW in 2021/22

From left to right: Luka Mucic, Claudia Diem and Dr. Ralph Rheinboldt at the 31st general meeting of ZEW - Förderkreis Wissenschaft und Praxis e.V.

The 31st general assembly of the ZEW Sponsors’ Association for Science and Practice on 8 December 2022 was marked by three changes in its board. By the end of March 2023, Claudia Diem, board member of BW Bank, and Luka Mucic, board member at SAP SE, will retire from their position at the board of the Sponsors’ Association after six and eight years respectively. The Sponsors’ Association confirmed Clemens Schmid from Roche Deutschland Holding & Roche Diagnostics GmbH as a new board member.

The chairman of the board, Dr. Ralph Rheinboldt, acknowledged the outstanding commitment of the association’s treasurer Claudia Diem and the deputy chairman Luka Mucic and thanked them on behalf of the board and all members of the association. ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach and ZEW Managing Director Thomas Kohl echoed this sentiment. Achim Wambach emphasises that “for many years Claudia Diem and Luka Mucic have been active supporters of ZEW’s research. The opportunities to exchange ideas at the interface of science and business were valuable and enriching for the work of the association, for our institute and for me personally.” Thomas Kohl highlights that “the treasurer and the deputy chairman have been instrumental in the further development of the Sponsors’ Association in recent years and have thus ensured its future success. We are particularly thankful to Claudia Diem for her initiative in organising yearly ZEW meetings on the premises of BW Bank in Stuttgart. These are valuable opportunities for our institute to show presence and gain greater visibility in the capital of Baden-Württemberg. We wish Claudia Diem and Luka Mucic all the best for the future.”

The Sponsors’ Association confirms Clemens Schmid as board member

Clemens Schmid, managing director at Roche Deutschland Holding & Roche Diagnostics GmbH, who had been appointed to the board on 18 October 2022, was now confirmed in office by the general assembly. At Roche, Schmid is responsible for HR as Head of People & Culture Germany. He succeeds Alexander Moser, board member of Roche Diabetes Care GmbH, who left the board on 17 October.

ZEW Sponsors’ Association awards science prizes for 2021/22

From left to right: The winners of the 2021/22 science awards, Dr. Terry Gregory, Dr. Ulrich Zierahn, Theresa Bührle, Prof. Dr. Christoph Spengel and Leonie Fischer together with Dr. Ralph Rheinboldt, chairman of the board of the Förderkreis.

Following a talk by Professor Monika Schnitzer which was part of the series First-Hand Information on Economic Policy, the Sponsors’ Association awarded this years’ prizes for outstanding academic performances and economic policy advising projects at ZEW in a festive ceremony. Both prizes are endowed with 5,000 euros each.

The prize for the best academic performance went to Dr. Terry Gregory and Dr. Ulrich Zierahn (both part of the ZEW Research Unit “Labour Markets and Social Insurance”) and their co-author Professor Anna Salomons. In their study “Racing With or Against the Machine? Evidence on the Role of Trade in Europe”, they raise the question of whether machines and algorithms may supersede human labour. They show that, despite all apprehensions, automation has a positive net effect on labour demand. The authors analysed data from 1999 to 2010 from all EU countries and found out that over the surveyed period 1.6 million jobs were lost, particularly in production. However, as computers and robots made goods cheaper to produce, this prompted consumers to buy more and created new jobs. The companies made more profit, which also led to more consumption and more jobs. In this way, three million new jobs were created, twice as many as were destroyed by machines. The prize-winning paper was published in the Journal of the European Economic Association.

The Sponsors’ Association gave the prize for the best economic policy advising project to “Unternehmenssteuern und die Corona-Krise in Deutschland: Eine Studie im Auftrag der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung”, a study on the Covid-19 tax relief measures for businesses on behalf of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Theresa Bührle, Leonie Fischer (both from ZEW’s Research Unit “Corporate Taxation and Public Finance”) and Professor Christoph Spengel (ZEW Research Associate and University of Mannheim) examined the effectiveness of the COVID-19 tax relief measures for businesses. The study evaluated measures from the first three Coronavirus Tax Relief Acts, including a more generous tax loss deduction and the extension of previously applicable depreciation methods. The authors draw a clear conclusion: The measures lacked ambition. The results show that the measures taken by the government essentially only led to a temporary deferral of tax payments and thus helped to secure a company’s liquidity. However, they do not represent a permanent tax relief. It was also found that smaller businesses, e.g. start-ups, received too little support compared to medium and large enterprises. After the publication, the government took on board the recommendations of the ZEW project team and implemented them in the fourth Coronavirus Tax Relief Act.

Dr. Ralph Rheinboldt, chairman of the Sponsors’ Association, highlighted in his laudatory speech the great response that both works received and how the researchers bridged the gap between research and practise in an exemplary manner. “The two science prizes honour excellent research and economic policy advice at ZEW,” said ZEW Managing Director Thomas Kohl. We would like to thank the Sponsors’ Association for the appreciation shown to our work through the award ceremony.”

About the ZEW Sponsors’ Association

Through their membership in the ZEW Sponsors’ Association, around 140 medium and large firms as well as private individuals support the work of ZEW. Among other things, the ZEW Sponsors’ Association provides funding for research projects and supports the organisation of lecture series with top-level speakers from the areas of politics, business and academia at ZEW.

For further information, please visit the ZEW Sponsors’ Association website (in German only).