The massive economic crisis 2008/09 had substantial impacts on the innovation activities of the German economy. The loss in sales and profits resulted in a sharp decline of innovation expenditure. While capital expenditure for new products and improved processes were cut substantially, R&D budgets basically remained unchanged. Firms with innovation and R&D activities experienced significantly stronger impacts of the crisis compared to non-innovative enterprises. Falling innovation expenditure in innovating firms were offset by strategies that focused on opening up new markets, renewing products and investing in human capital and marketing. Released personnel resources were used to develop new technologies and solutions and to test an increasing number of innovation ideas. At the same time, a considerable number of small firms decided to resign from any innovation activity in 2009.
Rammer, Christian (2011), Auswirkungen der Wirtschaftskrise auf die Innovationstätigkeit der Unternehmen in Deutschland, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 11-070, Mannheim, published in: Vierteljahreshefte zur Wirtschaftspolitik. Download