Greater Munich and Stuttgart are still by far the leading regions in Germany in terms of research and development. This is the finding of a study by the German institute for economic research (DIW) in Berlin. It also turned out that urban regions are more and more becoming important for industrial research while most regions in the east of Germany with the exception of Dresden have fallen further behind. A comprehensive article on this subject matter can be found in the 39/2008 issue of the DIW´s weekly report which is available for free-of-charge download.
In the period from 1998 the number of jobs which are subject to social insurance contributions grew by 15% in the German research and development industry. In the same period the number of people employed in the German industry as a whole decreased. There is still an intensive process of concentration taking place in the field of research and development. “It is remarkable that urban regions have caught up significantly in this respect”, said Mr Alexander Eickelpasch who is an expert with the DIW. “Two out of five such regions have caught up with regard to the intensitiy of their research and development or even increased their competitive edge”.
Striking is the difference between the east and west of Germany: among those few eastern regions which were more than average innovative ten years ago only Dresden could further improve its competivity. However, none of the less developped regions werer able to improve their standing with regard to research and development while the majority of most such regions in the west were more successful in this respect. “Structural change towards more research and development has mainly taken place in West Germany while East Germany has concentrated on production”, warns Mr Eickelpasch.