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R&I System

How is the German research and innovation system constructed? Which institutions and stakeholders pursue the research objectives in the public and private contexts? Who finances the research and how is Germany´s situation by international comparison?

The German research and innovation system

How is the German research and innovation system constructed? Which institutions and stakeholders pursue the research objectives in the public and private contexts? Who finances the research and how is Germany´s situation by international comparison?

A high-performance research and innovation system is crucial to maintaining Germany’s prosperity and international competitiveness. Today’s social and global challenges call for a multifaceted research and corporate landscape that is underpinned by a variety of institutions and stakeholders. To this end, the close intermeshing of basic research, applied research and industrial development – combined with the concerted efforts of different disciplines – are prerequisites for finding solutions to global challenges.

By international standards, the German research and innovation system (R&I system) excels by virtue of its high degree of continuity and division of labour. By interacting on all levels, the various stakeholders create framework conditions that are conducive to translating high-grade innovations from research and development (R&D) in enterprises into marketable products and services. The Federal Government regards research, innovation and education policymaking as primary fields of action. Over the long term, its targeted measures add to Germany’s performance capacity and competitiveness as a hotspot for research and innovation.

Relevant indices show Germany’s excellent position among international research and innovation centres: Germany consistently ranks among the leaders in the Global Competitiveness Index published by the World Economic Forum. The European Commission’s Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 ranks Germany in the group of European Innovation Leaders, together with the Scandinavian Member States.