Companies & Industrial Research
- © BMWGroup
- Innovation made in Germany: The automotive sector.
German companies are among the most innovative in Europe. Industry based and financed investments account for almost two thirds of all R&D funding in Germany. Companies are especially involved in the field of applied research, working together with the global network of Fraunhofer Institutes and the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations “Otto von Guericke“ (AiF). Environmental research is an example of successful technology transfer, as is evident by the growing markets for renewable energies that range from photovoltaics to wind energy.
Close cooperation between industry and research
Industry and research cooperate in many areas. For example, there are numerous joint programmes and research projects involving companies as well as research and research funding organisations.
Companies co-operate especially closely in the field of applied research, working together with globally operating Fraunhofer Institutes and the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations "Otto von Guericke" (AiF). The Helmholtz Association has 2,800 collaborative projects with industry – for example, in energy research or in nanotechnology and biotechnology. The Max Planck Society runs Max Planck Innovation GmbH, a separate technology transfer company. Since 1979 it has concluded approx. 2,000 utilisation agreements and supported roughly 100 spin-off companies since 1990. The Leibniz Community has set up a transfer portal through which the various offerings of Leibniz Institutes can be accessed. The German Research Foundation (DFG) supports knowledge transfer by research institutions and facilitates the foundation of research training groups in which universities and companies work closely together.
Facts and Figures
shares of the internal industrial research budget: 13.5% small enterprises (up to 249 employees), 8.3% medium-sized enterprises (250-500), 78.2% big enterprises (more than 500 employees) (2009)
332,500 research staff,
including 183,00 scientists (2009)
annual budget (2012, estimated):
approx. 49.9 billion euros (internal R&D expenditure)
Roughly 36% of internal R&D spending in industry was invested in the automotive sector, some 16% in the electrical engineering sector, a good 15% in the chemical industry and abouet 10% in mechanical engineering.
Where does industrial research take place?
The Federation of German Industries (BDI) is the umbrella organisation for enterprises and industry-related service providers. The BDI coordinates the views and recommendations of its members and provides business support, i.e. the information covering all fields of economic policy. Particularly in the field of applied research, companies are working together with universities and research institutes on joint projects which are co-funded by public institutions. Shares of the industrial research budget are distributed as follows: 13.5% small enterprises (up to 249 employees), 8.3% medium-sized enterprises (250-500), 78.2% big enterprises (more than 500 employees) The ten big enterprises listed below account for the lion's share of the total industrial research budget.
Companies with the highest R6D spending in Germany in 2010
- Volkswagen (6,258.0 million euros ): www.volkswagenag.com
- Daimler (4,852.0 million euros): www.daimler.com
- Siemens (4,241.0 million euros): www.siemens.com
- Robert Bosch (3,824.0 million euros): www.research.bosch.com
- Bayer (3,211.0 million euros): www.bayer.com
- BMW Group (2,773.0 million euros): www.bmwgroup.com
- Boehringer (2,453.0 million euros): www.boehringer.com
- SAP (1,730.0 million euros): www.sap.com
- Contintental (1,524.9 million euros): www.conti-online.com
- BASF (1,507.0 million euros): www.basf.com
- Source: Eurostat 2009
German industry spends approx. 49.9 billion euros on internal research (2012, estimated). Industry is responsible for carrying out and funding at least two-thirds of R&D activities.