Innovation indicator 2017 Bad grades: Germany only 17th in digitalisation

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

Compared to other industry nations, Germany needs to catch up with its digitalisation strategy. According to a report, the country is far behind in digitalisation. Overall, Germany comes fourth in innovation, after Switzerland, Singapore and Belgium, the innovation indicator says.

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The German industry is not connected well enough: 17th place for digitalisation.
The German industry is not connected well enough: 17th place for digitalisation.
(Source: CC0 Public Domain)

The annually published Innovationsindikator (innovation indicator) is a report conducted by Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) on behalf of Acatech (National Academy of Science and Engineering) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Its results were recently published and they show: Germany is not as well digitised as it seems.

For the report, the researchers analysed 35 nations and ranked them according to their ability to create and use innovations. Germany comes fourth in the overall comparison. of the innovation indicator. The additional digitalisation indicator, which has been created particularly for this year's report.

The strengths of Germany according to the Innovationsindikator are

  • good vocational training with a high proportion of top-qualified academics in the so-called MINT-subjects
  • a high contribution of the high-tech industries to the added value
  • an extensive state financing of the scientific system
  • a high number of patent applications compared to other industries

The main weaknesses compared to the report of 2015 are

  • the decline in German trade of high-tech goods
  • the proportion of employees in knowledge-intensive services
  • venture capital investments in relation to gross domestic product
  • Different from most other countries, the German gouvernment renounces tax encouragement for R&D