Networks and Clusters
Over the last few years, the Federal Government has initiated a series of projects which aim to create networks and clusters that promote new technologies. They pool both industry and academic institutions in their research and development activities.
One key aim of these aggregations is to accelerate the process of making new technology products marketable.
Networks and clusters are arranged with respect to
- regional representation
- research topics
- specific application areas and future markets.
Both the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) support these types of aggregations with different programmes and competitions such as:
- Leading Edge Cluster Competition
- Innovation Alliances
- Kompetenznetze Deutschland Initiative (ended in April 2012)
Example: The Innovation Alliance on Lithium-Ion Battery LIB 2015
The Innovation Alliance on Lithium-Ion Battery LIB 2015 consists of some 60 project partners from politics, industry, science and research and is supported by the Federal Government. 15% of the research project is financed by the Federal Government (60 million euros) and 85% by the consortium of BASF, BOSCH, EVONIK, LiTec and Volkswagen (360 million euros), an example of how government incentives can advance research and development.The framework of networks and clusters also strengthens the country’s contribution to international research cooperation.
Research activities are performed in a variety of fields, e. g. engineering, biotechnology, energy and environment, chemistry and nanotechnology.
Statistics on the total budget are not available. Public funding is provided as seed money to form networks and clusters and support research projects on the precondition that industry and private investors share the financial costs.