(FINALIST 2019) Spaces designed to test new digital technologies in real-life conditions without risk to the public.

Drones, robots, artificial intelligence: new digital technologies are making their way into many areas of the economy, faster than ever before. Such innovations offer huge opportunities, but they might also have negative effects on consumers, companies and society as a whole, which are difficult to assess in the short term. The purpose of Regulatory Sandboxes, as a new policy instrument, is to learn about the opportunities and risks that innovations carry and to develop an effective, innovation-friendly regulatory environment which also provides an appropriate level of protection and is accepted by the general public.

Regulatory Sandboxes enable innovations to be tested for a specific length of time under real-life conditions. They help to review existing regulations and test out new ones by using experimentation clauses. The Regulatory Sandbox Strategy developed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy seeks to systematically create Regulatory Sandboxes in Germany. It consists of three pillars: 1. Fostering the greater use and development of experimentation clauses; 2. Providing information and networks to facilitate the creation of Regulatory Sandboxes; and 3. Launching and supporting Regulatory Sandboxes, e.g. through competitions or support for specific projects.


Peter Altmaier

Minister for Economic Affairs & Energy