Overview of the German research and innovation system

Germany's research and innovation system boasts close interrelationships between its stakeholders, centres of compentence and funding structures. Whether universities, companies or non-university research institutions, the state supports all stakeholders that conduct research and are crucial in maintaining Germany's competitive edge.

In future, a high-performance research and innovation system will continue to be crucial in maintaining Germany’s competitive edge.

Germany’s R&I system boasts close interrelationships between its stakeholders, centres of competence and funding structures. The main structural features include the high proportion of research conducted and funded by the private sector compared to other countries, the broad spectrum of research fields, the high degree of specialisation in core areas of university research and the marked distribution of tasks in non-university research.

Since the formulation of the Lisbon Strategy in 2000, the Member States of the European Union have been striving to reach an R&D investment level of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP). In December 2015, the Federal Government and the Länder confirmed the increase in R&D expenditure as a share of GDP as an intermediate objective of the Europe 2020 strategy. According to provisional estimates, this amounted to 2.88% in 2014. An international comparison confirms Germany’s excellent performance, ranking fifth in Europe behind Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Austria.