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Baden-Württemberg number one in EU

In 2005, 4.2 per cent of the gross domestic product was spent on research and development in Baden-Württemberg according to the Baden-Württemberg Statistical Office.

With the investment of 4.2 per cent of its gross domestic product in research and development, Baden-Württemberg leads other German states and European countries in this sector. “The top position in 2005 stands out for the fact that the state’s research activities were once again better than previous assessments, in particular in the industrial sector,” said the State Statistics Office president, Dr. Carmina Brenner.

For the first time in several years, Baden-Württemberg succeeded in overtaking the city-state of Berlin, which, with an R&D intensity of approximately 4 per cent in 2003, came ahead of the German territorial states. Berlin currently comes second with 3.8 per cent R&D spending. Bavaria (2.9 per cent) is also among the German states with the highest R&D spending. The German states Schleswig-Holstein, Saarland and Saxony-Anhalt spend the lowest percentage (1 per cent) of their gross domestic product on research and development.
R&D intensity - national comparison (Figure: Baden-Württemberg Statistical Office)
R&D intensity - national comparison (Figure: Baden-Württemberg Statistical Office)

International competition in innovation is increasing

Baden-Württemberg also takes a leading position on the international level. Baden-Württemberg’s 4.2 per cent R&D spending in 2005 could not be topped by any other European country. In 2003, Baden-Württemberg still lagged behind Berlin and Sweden. The 27 European states spent an average of only 1.8 per cent of their gross domestic product, whereas the Scandinavian countries, Sweden and Finland, as well as the USA, Japan and South Korea, spent a considerably higher percentage on research and development. Nevertheless, their research intensity lagged behind that of Baden-Württemberg.

The fact that Baden-Württemberg obtained such excellent results, especially in comparison with the USA, is partially thanks to the fact that it is a small region, with some 11 million inhabitants, being compared to an entire nation. Some American states spent – relative to their overall economic performance – considerably larger amounts on research and development than Baden-Württemberg. In a worldwide comparison of nations in 2005, only Israel topped Baden-Württemberg. However, the number of participants in the international competition for innovation has increased, especially as fast-growing threshold countries like China are increasingly spending more on R&D. Within the last ten years, the People’s Republic of China more than doubled its investment figures to 1.3 per cent and nowadays makes more investment than countries such as Ireland, Italy and Spain. India and Singapore are also making huge efforts to catch up in technological terms.

FuE expenditures are concentrated in the economic sector

The higher intensity of research in Baden-Württemberg can be principally attributed to the state’s strong, above-average economic sector. Approximately 80 per cent of all R&D expenditure is concentrated in this sector, in particular in research-intensive industries such as vehicle construction, mechanical engineering and electrotechnology. The non-university research institutes, including the institutes of the Max Planck Society and the Fraunhofer Society, and universities each account for a tenth of the total R&D spending.

According to the State Statistical Office, Baden-Württemberg’s R&D spending in 2005 amounts to approximately 13.7 billion euros, i.e. 1.3 billion (11 per cent) more than two years previously. In terms of full-time equivalents – i.e. pure person years – approximately 110,300 people in Baden-Württemberg companies, universities and non-university research institutions were involved in R&D activities, an increase of 5,800 people compared to 2003. Based on these figures, Baden-Württemberg is the leading R&D region in Germany. With almost 25% of all German R&D resources located here, Baden-Württemberg is ahead of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Source: Baden-Württemberg Statistical Office, Stuttgart - 12.02.2008
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