Innovative Power

Strong Innovation Performance

Germany enjoys an excellent reputation regarding its dynamic and innovative R&D environment. This is regularly confirmed by leading international comparisons on innovative capability. The latest example can be found in the current Innovation Union Scoreboard (IUS), which is used as an instrument by the European Commission for the evaluation of the innovative performance of European nations. The IUS ranks Germany among the group of leading innovators. Within the EU, only the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and the UKare placed ahead of the German R&D location. With its high innovation output, Germany is a first rate location for R&D projects.

Map: Innocation Performance of European Countries
Map: Innocation Performance of European Countries | © Innovation Union Scoreboard 2017

The unique innovative potential of Germany as a research location is also acknowledged by international executives. According to a survey by Ernst & Young, a quarter of the decision-makers asked, think Germany is the most attractive R&D location in the world.

A further expression of the 'world class performance' of German R&D departments is provided by the results of the surveys by the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham). 75 percent of companies rate Germany’s research environment as “good” or “very good”. The survey further highlights the availability of highly qualified scientists as wells as the close collaboration of businesses with internationally leading research institutes and universities.

Bloomberg Innovation Index 2017

1Korea (Rep.)15Netherlands
7Japan28Czech Republic
10Israel36Slovak Republic

Ranking based on a country's overall ability to innovate, measured by R&D expenditure, manufacturing GVA, number of high-tech companies, number of graduates, research personnel and patents. Source: Bloomberg 2017.

Source: Bloomberg 2017

High Proportion of Innovation

In 2014, more than 53,500 EU companies from the manufacturing sector launched a new product. Almost 11,700 (22%) of these companies are German, illustrating Germany’s leading position in the European Union. Companies from France and the UK make up a combined share of 19%, while Italy ranks higher with a share of 23%.

The German Institute for Economic Research found that German research intensive sectors within the manufacturing industry achieve the highest turnovers in Europe (2010).Companies can secure market leadership in the corresponding niche by quickly bringing their latest innovations to market maturity.

European King of Patents

The great innovative power of German companies can be seen in their number of patents: In 2016, more than 18,728 German patent applications were approved by the European Patent Office, almost twice as many as French and British applications combined. Germany also leads Europe in triadic patents (series of corresponding patents filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) , the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japanese Patent Office(JPO)). In 2016, with about 68 patents per million inhabitants, Germany came in third behind Switzerland and Japan.

Bar Graph: Patents granted at the European Patent Office 2016
Bar Graph: Patents granted at the European Patent Office 2016 | © European Patent Office 2017
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