German Innovation Maintaining Germany’s Lead Role as Innovator

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

“As a center of innovation, Germany is amongst the best in the world,” boasted Dr. Ulz Tillmann, director general of the VCI, at yesterday’s opening press conference. He attributes this leading position to a number of factors, including the most modern process and engineering technologies, well educated and trained specialists, high-quality research institutions and close cooperation between science and industry.

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VCI chairman Dr. Utz Tillmann
VCI chairman Dr. Utz Tillmann
(Picture: VCI/Mendel)

Nevertheless, competition is increasing. Since 2000, R&D spending in the U.S CPI has tripled — and in China it has increased tenfold, noted Tillmann. “To remain relevant on an international level, the breeding ground for innovation in Germany must be more fertile,” Tillman said. “As a ‘fertilizer,’ we suggest implementing a tax incentive for the funding of research.”

Also, the bureaucratic processes for entrepreneurs in Germany are much too time consuming and difficult, Tillman said. “Even in Finland, Israel and Ireland, private stakeholders invest up to two-to-three times more venture capital.”

In addition to investing more money in MINT education, Tillmann stressed the importance of public acceptance of innovation. He warns that Germany is making the same mistakes when it comes to “fracking” as happened in the past with regards to GMOs. If we strictly limit the use of basic technologies, or even prohibit them all together, then we risk a loss of jobs and production in the medium term, warns Tillmann. “In the end, the research base will leave the country.”