Länder Institutions

Photovoltaic module on flexible substrate made of enamelled steel.
Photovoltaic module on flexible substrate made of enamelled steel.

The German states (Länder) and municipalities act as research funding bodies and operate several research institutes that support state research activities. There are approx.160 institutes covering a broad range of research areas.

One example is the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). The state of Baden-Württemberg set up ZSW in 1988 as a non-profit foundation bringing together universities, research institutes and companies. Today, it is one of the leading institutes for applied research in the areas of photovoltaics, renewable fuels, battery technology, fuel cells and energy systems analysis. It is renowned for its technology transfer in the fields of CIGS thin-film solar cells, power-to-gas (P2G) and for its research production line for the manufacturing of lithium-ion cells for automotive use. Around 230 scientists, engineers and technicians are currently employed at ZSW’s three sites in Stuttgart, Ulm and Widderstall. In addition, there are 70 student assistants and trainees.

Facts and Figures

  • More than 160 research organisations

  • Approx. 6,300 staff;
    3,200 scientists and researchers (including municipal institutions; 2012)

  • 485 million euros; for R&D: 262 million euros
    (including municipal institutions; 2012)

Research Activities

Research activities are conducted in engineering, the humanities, health research and natural sciences.

Research Budget

State and municipal research institutions (without Leibniz Association)

State institutions that conduct research are primarily state-funded with occasional external funding.