This paper provides in-depth insights into patenting activities intechnologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Germanyand worldwide between the years 1990 and 2016. The descriptiveanalysis of these digital inventions at the current technological fron-tier yields several main findings. Germany is a leader in 4IR innova-tions, accounting for 12% of all 4IR patents filed wordwide. Digitalinventions are predominantly filed in the ICT sector, yet comparedto other 4IR leaders, Germany‘s 4IR patents are relatively more di-rected to the motor vehicles sector and less so to the ICT sector. This isdriven by Germany‘s high R&D-intensity in this sector, rather than alarger share of 4IR inventions in the motor vehicle sector. Germany‘sleading position is driven by its high number of patent applicationsrather than a specialization in 4IR.

Behrens, Vanessa and Steffen Viete (2020), A Note on Germany‘s Role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung Working Paper 09/2020, Wiesbaden. Download