This study builds on the results of research conducted in 2003 and 2005 into the role of the chemical industry in providing impulses for innovation in other sectors. This project focuses on two main topics. The first is the current development of (a) the chemical industry´s role as a source of innovation for other sectors, (b) innovation activity in the chemical industry in Germany in international comparison and (c) the parameters that define Germany as a location for innovation. The second focus is on specific changes and challenges resulting on the increased globalisation of research, production and demand in the chemical industry. One of the questions under investigation is what consequences the globalisation of the chemical industry has for the role of chemistry as a driver of innovation in sectors that buy its products, and what consequences for research and production in Germany as a whole.

The aim of the study is:

  • to use R&D and innovation indicators to describe the significance of the chemical sector for the German innovation system and the contribution chemistry makes to innovation in other sectors.
  • to describe the defining characteristics of innovation processes in the chemical industry, paying particular attention to collaboration with the academic world, cooperation with customers and the role played by business start-ups.
  • to analyse the performance of the chemical sector in Germany in international comparison, in the areas of research, innovation, production and foreign trade.
  • to analyse current globalisation trends in chemical research and innovation (including the areas of scientific publication and patent applications), with particular reference to China, India and other up-and-coming economies as new locations for innovation.
  • to use case studies to illustrate the globalisation processes at work in the German chemical industry.

These findings will be used to identify challenges for Germany as a site for chemical innovation and to draw conclusions for innovation policy.

Selected Publications


Rammer, Christian, Anja Schmiele, Wolfgang Sofka, Harald Legler, Olaf Krawczyk and Mark Leidmann (2007), Innovationsmotor Chemie 2007 - Die deutsche Chemieindustrie im globalen Wettbewerb, Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V., Mannheim. Download