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Technological and Regional Patterns in R&D Internationalization by German Companies

Author

Listed:
  • Heike Belitz
  • Jens Schmidt-Ehmcke
  • Petra Zloczysti

Abstract

An analysis of patent applications filed with the European Patent Office reveals that German companies primarily expand their research activities abroad in high-tech sectors in which they already conduct long-term intensive research. These sectors are: electrical engineering, control technology, engines, pumps, turbines, thermal processes, mechanical components, and transport. German R&D internationalization is thus founded on fields of research that are highly productive domestically. By contrast, there is cause for concern for Germany as a location for research in the fields of telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. In these areas German companies have been intensifying their research activities abroad due to relative weakness at home. A particularly controversial topic in the political arena concerns the global competitiveness of Germany as a location for research. Empirical investigation of German research and its main competitors yields surprising results: Germany's competitors are almost exclusively Western European countries, particularly Austria, Switzerland, and France - all German neighbors. While the US continues to play a central role as a location for research funded by German companies, its importance has declined drastically since 1990.

Suggested Citation

  • Heike Belitz & Jens Schmidt-Ehmcke & Petra Zloczysti, 2008. "Technological and Regional Patterns in R&D Internationalization by German Companies," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 4(15), pages 94-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr4-15
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    Keywords

    Innovation system; Composite indicator; Industrialized countries;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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