Where does Germany stand as an innovator?

Expenditure on innovations by German firms continued to rise in 2018. In total, they spent around 173 billion euros on innovations, thus meeting the expectations of the previous year. In the services sector in particular, expenditure on innovations increased substantially. The number of innovators also recorded an increase, with the share of firms actively engaging in R&D rising in 2018, particularly in the manufacturing industry and among large companies. Following a change in the definition in accordance with international standards, the number of innovators is now significantly higher, at 181,400 companies.
In 2018 German companies were less successful in implementing innovations. Product innovations saw a decline of around five per cent compared to the previous year. Between 2016 and 2018, more than 30,000 German companies participated in R&D or other innovation projects. The research-intensive manufacturing industries recorded the highest shares of innovative companies engaged in innovation projects. The two major obstacles to innovation in Germany are the shortage of skilled labour situation and the lack of internal and external financing sources.

The ZEW Innovation Survey

  • Since 1993, ZEW has been collecting data on the innovation behaviour in the German economy on an annual basis.
  • The Innovation Survey is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
  • It is conducted in cooperation with the infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • The results of the innovation survey currently include 47 sector groups.