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Innovation

Foto: iStock

R & D accelerates technical progress, drives economic growth and creates jobs. Large conglomerates are the keenest innovators; small and medium-sized enterprises still have some catching up to do.

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Patents offer an incentive for R & D. They protect companies which conduct research from competitors intent upon copying their innovations. Overall there is no shortage of ideas in Germany but too rarely are they developed into marketable products. One cause of this is the complicated system of research subsidies, which are restricted to selected technologies.

The state must abandon its conviction that it is a better judge than business of what will be in demand tomorrow. A general tax break for R&D activity would be a better solution. A further obstacle to innovation in Germany is the shortage of young people with the appropriate technical background. In recent years there have been too few graduates in technical subjects. Women, especially, are showing too little enthusiasm for subjects like mechanical and electrical engineering and chemistry.

Vera Demary

Dr. Vera Demary

Head of the Research Unit Digitalization, Structural Change and Competition

Tel+49 221 4981-749

Mailvera.demary@iwkoeln.de

@V_Demary

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Enno Kohlisch

Enno Kohlisch

Economist for MINT report and engineering labour market

Tel+49 221 4981-879

Mailkohlisch@iwkoeln.de

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Oliver Koppel

Dr. Oliver Koppel

Senior Economist for Innovation and S+E

Tel+49 221 4981-716

Mailkoppel@iwkoeln.de

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Louisa Marie Kürten

Louisa Marie Kürten

Economic Research Consultant

Tel+49 221 4981-785

Mailkuerten@iwkoeln.de

@Louisa_Kuerten

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