Go back

German industry research spending on the increase

Industrial research and innovation spending in Germany has increased by 3 per cent over the past three years, according to the latest German research ministry data.

German businesses spent €130 billion on innovation last year, and €121bn in 2010, figures show. This is 3 per cent more than in 2008, and signifies a spending increase rate above inflation.

The data also show that the number of businesses engaging in some form of innovation has risen from 43 per cent of all registered businesses to 48 per cent.

The most successful business innovators are in car and machine manufacturing, electronics and pharmaceutical development.

Annette Schavan, the research minister, put the spending increase down to the success of the country’s hi-tech strategy. The strategy’s aim is to encourage innovation spending by providing low-risk research funding loans for companies, particularly small businesses.

“The targeted spending by the government over the past years has contributed significantly to making Germany’s innovation system more competitive,” Schavan said. “It is important to invest in the future and support new ideas, products and systems developed in Germany, especially in times of crisis. Germany’s businesses have realised this.”

However, the report also found that businesses still have a wary outlook about future spending. Most of those surveyed said they did not expect innovation spending to go up in 2012, despite continuous increases in recent years.

The innovation report was published on 31 January. It was compiled from a survey of 15,800 businesses in Germany.