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Education & Knowledge

Ambitious Cutting-Edge Research

Germany consciously invests in research and science and is setting itself ever new objectives at the same time.
Ambitionierte Spitzenforschung
© Fraunhofer IGCV mit Airbus

Science and research enjoy a high profile in Germany. Businesses and politicians have continually increased budgets for scientific activities in recent years.

In 2020, spending on research accounted for 3.13% of Germany’s GPD. The intention is for this to rise to 3.5% by 2025. This puts Germany among a leading group of nations that spend more than 3% of GDP on research and development (R&D). Germany also ranks fourth internationally among the world’s most research-intensive economies. In 2020, spending on R&D in Germany amounted to just under 107 billion euros. The business sector spent 71 billion euros, with higher education institutions and non-university research institutes accounting for 19.3 and 15.6 billion euros respectively. 

The strength of cutting-edge research in Germany is reflected in the number of publications produced by researchers. In the 2022 “Nature Index”, which evalu­ates the publication performance of research and higher education institutions, Germany was ranked highest in Europe. Against its international competitors, Germany is ranked third, behind the front runners US and China.

High-tech strategy promotes innovation

In 2006 Germany developed a unique tool in the form of its High-Tech Strategy. Since then, High-Tech Strategy research projects have prompted a raft of innov­ations – from energy-saving LED bulbs to a tissue-engineered heart valve. The High-Tech Strategy 2025 was adopted in 2018 and focuses on seven priority areas: health and care, sustainability, climate protection and energy, mobility, town and country, security, and business and work 4.0. The specific goals of the High-Tech Strategy 2025 include the fight against cancer, reducing plastic in the environment, and advancing greenhouse gas neutrality in the industrial sector.