Innovation in the German economy: What is the status quo of the German innovation behaviour?

Expenditure on innovations by German businesses rose significantly in 2017, surpassing last year’s planned figures. In the services sector in particular, expenditure on innovations increased at an above-average rate. The share of companies engaging in research and development (R&D) activities in 2017 was below the previous year’s level, with the chemical and pharmaceutical industry being the sector with the highest share of businesses carrying out R&D on a continual basis. German companies were highly innovative in 2017, recording a strong increase of 14.5 per cent when it comes to introducing product innovation compared to the previous year. In the period from 2015 to 2017, around 39,000 businesses and almost one in two large companies in Germany actively collaborated with a scientific institution (universities and research institutions). The situation with regard to qualified workers remains tense for German businesses. In 2017, approximately 200,000 positions in innovation-oriented sectors remained vacant, which corresponds to 18.3 per cent of all vacancies in Germany.

The ZEW Innovation Survey

  • 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).

Download file (in German only) (pdf, 580 KB)


Rammer, Christian
Behrens, Vanessa
Doherr, Thorsten
Hud, Martin
Köhler, Mila
Krieger, Bastian
Peters, Bettina
Schubert, Torben
Trunschke, Markus
von der Burg, Julian