In my institute we’re conducting the German part of the Community Innnovation Survey–a pan-European survey about the R&D activities of firms. This week the final report for the 2015 survey wave got published with data for 2012 until 2014. It shows that not much has changed in 2014 compared to 2013. In total, German firms spent 145 billion euro on reserach and innovation activities. This is almost exactly the same amount as in the year before. For 2015 firms planed to increase their spending by 6% (see the Figure below). And the positive trend is supposed to continue in 2016. These are still estimated figures though, based on the firms’ economic forecasts and therefore still subject to changes.
45.6% of German firms are engaged in innovation activities, and 11.5% do this continuously, on a regular basis. Unsurprisingly, vehicles is the most innovative sector in Germany, followed by electronics and chemistry. The aforementioned planned increase in R&D spending is mostly driven by the automobile industry. These days it’s a very dynamic sector with a lot of development going on and possible disruptive changes ahead of us. This is mirrored in the firms innovation activities.
These were only the most important figures about the macro trends. You can find the full report with much more detailed information here (only in German unfortunately).