Länder institutions

Lander Institutions Teaserbild
Experiments with mobile robot systems: DFKI staff are experts in the forward-looking field of AI.

The German states (Länder) and municipalities act as research funding bodies and operate several research institutes that support state research activities. There are over 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. Some 230 scientists, engineers and technicians and 90 student assistants and trainees are currently employed at ZSW’s three sites in Stuttgart, Ulm and Widderstall. 

Another example is the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), which is based in Kaiserslautern and has sites in Saarbrücken and Bremen and a project office in Berlin. It is one of the world’s leading research centres in the field of AI. 

Facts and figures

Over 160 research organisations

6,100 staff, including more than 2,600 R&D personnel; among them 1,300 researchers

Internal expenditure: 520 million euros in total, including 220 million euros for R&D (2017)

Research activities

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


Budget Research länder institutions 640x360
Source: Federal Statistical Office

State institutions that conduct research are primarily state-funded. Approx. 9% of these research institutions’ revenues come from their commercial activities. The total budget in 2017 was approx. 520 million euros, of which 220 million euros were allocated to R&D.