Networks and Clusters

Researcher in a laboratory.

Over the last few years, the Federal Government has initiated a series of projects which aim to create networks and clusters that promote new technologies. Networks and clusters involve both industrial and academic institutions in their research and development activities.

Key features

One key aim of these bodies is to accelerate the process of making new technology products marketable. Networks and clusters are arranged with respect to

  • regional representation
  • research topics
  • specific application areas and future markets

Promoting networks and clusters

Various support measures, such as the Leading-Edge Cluster Competition and the go-cluster programme, aim to promote the development of powerful cluster structures that will strengthen cooperation between research and industry. Special support is provided for the development of cluster structures, the improvement of the quality of cluster management organisations, innovative service concepts and projects to implement internationally competitive cluster strategies.

Organisational Details

A comprehensive overview of the German cluster landscape and the activities of the Federal Government, the German states (Länder) and the EU in relation to clusters is available at Clusterplattform Deutschland. The website is a joint information portal of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It offers an overview of support measures and events for research clusters and facilitates access to the individual initiatives.

Research Activities

Research activities are conducted in a variety of fields – for example, environmental technologies, energy technologies, information and communications technologies and production technologies.

Research Budget

Statistics on the total budget are not available. Public funding is provided as seed capital to form networks and clusters and support research projects on condition that industry and private investors share the financial costs.

Both the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) support these types of associations with different programmes and competitions such as the following:

go-cluster: Exzellent vernetzt!

go-cluster: Exzellent vernetzt!

The “go-cluster: Exzellent vernetzt!” programme currently unites about 100 innovation clusters from all regions of Germany. More go-cluster: Exzellent vernetzt!

The Leading Edge Cluster Competition

The Leading Edge Cluster Competition

In the three rounds of the competition that have been held an independent jury has selected a total of 15 clusters from over 80 competition entrants. Large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, universities and research institutes work together in these clusters to develop solutions in different fields, such as the energy transition or adapting to demographic change. More The Leading Edge Cluster Competition

Entrepreneurial Regions

Entrepreneurial Regions

Entrepreneurial Regions is an innovation initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in eastern Germany. The initiative uses different funding programmes to support regional alliances that develop their core competencies into clusters of a high standard and with a strict market orientation. More Entrepreneurial Regions