Networks and Clusters
- © DAAD / Hofmann
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. They involve both industrial and academic institutions in their research and development activities.
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
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.
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 from Clusterplattform Deutschland. The website is a joint information portal of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that offers an overview of support measures and events for research clusters and facilitates access to the individual initiatives.
Research activities are conducted in a variety of fields – for example, engineering, biotechnology, energy and environment, chemistry and nanotechnology.
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 for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) support these types of associations with different programmes and competitions such as the following.