Just as large-scale enterprises are facing the upcoming challenges and chances of globalization, so are medium-sized enterprises. The internationalization of research and development (R&D) and innovation activity is no longer limited to big business which had until now been the heart of research in previous studies. Gaining market- and technology based know-how by the use of internationalized innovation processes in significant markets is increasingly gaining importance for internationalized small- and medium-sized businesses.

The objective of the study is

  • to analyze to what extent medium-sized German enterprises have already take advantage of the opportunity of enforcing innovation processes in foreign countries
  • to find out which channels those corporations already use (Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Greenfield Investments)
  • to find out which branches hold the highest degree of internationalization in their innovation activities
  • to discover which obstacles and barriers affect the execution of innovation activities in foreign countries
  • to research in which regions innovation activities outside of Germany take place
  • to investigate to what extent  international innovation activities contribute to ward raising the international competitiveness of small- and medium-sized companies
  • to analyze how satisfied enterprises are with the results of R&D activities abroad
  • to acquire information about how the overseas R&D activities are involved in the business processes

The problem in every case should refer to the specific steps of the research activities. Additionally there should not only be a differentiation of the innovation processes at home or abroad, but the geographic emphasis of the innovation processes overseas - according to country groups- should also be taken into consideration.

Project duration

01.01.2008 - 31.12.2008

Project members

Prof. Dr. Christoph Grimpe (Coordinator)
Anja Schmiele
Associate Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sofka