Number of the Month: 600,000

This article was published in our newsletter. Sign up here.

More and more people in Germany work in the field of research and development (R&D). According to the “Federal Report on Research and Innovation 2016” (BuFI), the number reached a record level in 2014. For the first time, in excess of 600,000 people in Germany were employed in R&D. Never before have there been so many jobs in research and development. Published by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research(BMBF), the BuFI appears every two years. The number of people working in R&D was 22 percent higher in 2014 than in 2000 – an increase of more than 100,000 people.

Where exactly do R&D employees work?

more and more people in Germany are working in R&D.

Most R&D personnel are employed in the business sector. Around 360,000 people, or 61.2 percent of R&D employees, were working here in 2013. The number two spot in terms of R&D personnel is the government sector, employing 22.1 percent of the total in 2013. Significant increases can also be observed in the higher education sector, where 16.7 percent of R&D personnel were employed in 2013.

More women employed in R&D

First the good news: numbers of women in R&D, as a percentage of total R&D personnel, have risen by 33.3 percent since 2005. Overall, however, women are still significantly underrepresented among R&D personnel. Of the 590,000 persons employed in R&D in 2013, roughly 163,000, or somewhat more than 27 percent, were women. Whereas women accounted for nearly 43 percent of the total R&D workforce in higher education institutions, and for 39.7 percent of R&D personnel in non-university and departmental research institutions, they only accounted for around 19 percent of the private sector’s R&D workforce.

Numbers of doctoral degrees have risen

Doctoral degrees are an important resource for R&D personnel. A positive trend can also be seen in this area: 28,147 doctoral degrees were completed in Germany in 2014 – a new record high.

More international researchers

The number of international researchers at German higher education institutions has also risen. It was 38,000 in 2013, of which nearly 2,900 were professors. The overall proportion of international researchers has increased by 74 percent since 2006.