Länder Institutions

Photovoltaic module on flexible substrate made of enamelled steel.

The German states (“Länder”) 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). A co-founder of ZSW, Professor Dr. Werner H. Bloss, began conducting pioneering research on unconventional energy conversion in the late 1950s. 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 system analysis. There are currently around 230 scientists, engineers and technicians employed at ZSW’s three sites in Stuttgart, Ulm and Widderstall. In addition, there are 120 research associates and student assistants.

Facts and Figures

  • approx.160 research organisations
    in 16 German states (“Länder”)

  • approx. 6,300 staff;
    3,200 scientists and researchers (2011, including municipal institutions)

  • 510 million euros
    for R&D: 263 million euros (2011, including municipal institutions)

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.