The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim is a nonprofit and independent institute with the legal form of a limited liability company (GmbH). Founded in 1990 on the basis of a public-private initiative in the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg in co-operation with the University of Mannheim, ZEW is one of Germany's leading economic research institutes, and enjoys a strong reputation throughout Europe.
ZEW pursues four key objectives:
The Institute focuses on decision-makers in politics, economics, and administration, scientists in the national and international arena as well as the interested public. Regular interviews on the situation on the financial markets and the economic situation of the information industry as well as the large-scale annual study on innovation activities in the German economy are representative for the different types of information provided by ZEW.
Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest, the president of the Institute, and Thomas Kohl, the director of business and administration, ZEW currently employs a staff of 182 in six research departments, three research groups, and three service areas.
In order to ensure a high standard of excellence in research, ZEW promotes international co-operation with universities (e.g. integration in doctoral programmes) and the ongoing development of its staff by granting periods of paid release from normal project work. These sabbaticals can be used for postgraduate doctorates, postdoctoral theses, or fellowships at renowned universities and research institutions.
The high quality of ZEW's research work was confirmed in 1998, when the German Council of Science and Humanities evaluated ZEW and recommended its inclusion in the joint state and federal funding programme. Since 2005, the Institute has received basic funding from this programme. ZEW is a member of the Leibniz Association, a network of research institutes with outstanding scientific qualifications.
An excellent evaluation result in 2009 characterised the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) as an institution of international significance. Due to this assessment, the Leibniz-Association Senate recommended to the German federal and state governments to promote ZEW according to national strategies of science policy. The senate explicitly stated that "ZEW is an extraordinarily successful institute of empirical economic research with great prospects".
Founded: 1990 Legal form: GmbH (Limited Liability Company)
Number of employees: 182 (127 Scientists, status: 31.12.2012)
Executive Directors: Prof. Dr. Clemens Fuest (President/Director of Science and Research), Thomas Kohl (Director of Business and Administration)
Total budget 2012: EUR 20,50 million
Institutional funds: 47%
Third-party funds incl. other income: 50%
Reserve funds: 3%
German Federal Government and Foreign Ministries: 53%
Institutions of the European Union: 24%
German Research Foundation: 3%
ZEW's guiding mission is to study the "optimal performance of markets and institutions in Europe". To this end, ZEW applies a plurality of methodologies, with a clear focus on microeconomic and microeconometric research. The Institute co-operates closely with other scientific disciplines as necessary to address research questions. In this context, the research institute distinguishs itself, inter alia, in the analysis of internationally comparative questions in the European context and in the creation of data bases which are eminently important as a basis for scientific research. In addition, ZEW provides external persons and bodies with excerpts of selected data stocks for the purpose of scientific research.
Evaluations in regular intervals ensure the quality of the work performed in the research fields and its orientation towards the Institute's research programme. Evaluations are carried out by the Scientific Advisory Council of ZEW, which is composed of renowned German and foreign scientists as well as of executives from the economy and public administration.
The Institute co-operates closely with a number of partners and particularly with universities and scientific research institutes in Europe and the USA as well as in China, India, Australia, and New Zealand. ZEW is thus part of a tight national and international research network. Visiting academics at ZEW and scientific workshops with participants from Germany and abroad enhance the creation of networks. The annual ZEW Summer Workshop particularly aims at improving qualifications of young economists. We enjoy an especially close co-operation with Mannheim University. The president of ZEW is also full professor at the local Faculty for National Economics. The institution of Research Associates and Research Fellows is vitally important for ZEW research. Such professors are university professors working as project managers in ZEW, and thus continuously contributing new ideas and scientific insights to the research work of the Institute.
ZEW's research findings are disseminated in professional circles and corporate training seminars, as well as through studies, publication series, and the media. ZEW publishes two monographs – ZEW Economic Studies and ZEW Wirtschaftsanalysen – and magazines like the ZEWnews, that are nationally and internationally distributed.
ZEW is funded in part by the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. Since 2005, the Institute has also received basic funding from a partnership between the state and federal governments. 50 percent of the Institute's financial resources are obtained from research projects for third parties, including the European Commission, ministries, and institutions of the federal and state governments, as well as companies, associations, and local authorities.
ZEW's work is conceptually and financially supported by the ZEW Sponsors' Association for Science and Practice (Registered Society), which was founded in 1993. The firms belonging to this organisation facilitate a constant exchange between the domains of research and practice. Dr. Dr. Peter Bettermann, spokesman for the management board of Freudenberg & Co. KG, chairs the association. Dr. Kurt W. Bock, CFO of BASF SE, serves as vice-chairman.
You will find additional information about ZEW and its activities in our Annual Report and in our flyer "ZEW in brief", as PDF (1.01 MB), as well as the chinese version of ZEW Information Brochure "ZEW in brief", as PDF (1.18 MB).
Back to top