Germany is one of the world’s leading countries in research and development. This is due not least to its strong system of research support. It not only finances infrastructure and institutions, but also and especially provides support for university-based cutting-edge research and researching enterprises, for cooperation between industry and science and for innovative business start-ups.
Here we will introduce you to the most important instruments of government research funding.
Germany has set itself the goal of spending 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product on research and development by the year 2025, one of the highest proportions of any country worldwide. Among others, framework programmes like the High-Tech Strategy define which areas will be prioritised and how the money will be invested.
Universities and higher education institutions are important research actors in Germany. They and the publicly funded non-university research organisations spend approx. 32.6 billion euros a year on research and development. The Federal Government and the German states have established special funding programmes to secure the sustainability – also in personnel terms – of educational, scientific and research organisations, to enable cutting-edge research and improve the quality of teaching.
Universities of applied sciences (UASs) – or Fachhochschulen – form the second pillar of the German higher education landscape alongside more traditional universities. The training students receive here is practice-based and work-related, while the research is application-oriented. UAS.International is a programme that aims to strengthen the internationalisation of studies and teaching at these higher education institutions by supporting their students and staff on stays abroad as well as universities engaging in collaborative projects with international partners.
www.daad.de > UAS.International
The focus here is on cooperation: science and industry working closely together in an interdisciplinary way and across national borders. This aims not only to strengthen regional potential, but also to address global challenges.
Research at Universities of Applied Sciences
Feasibility and practical application are the main focus of research at universities of applied sciences in Germany. Providing targeted support for this research and making its findings accessible to the economy and beyond are the goal of the programme “Research at Universities of Applied Sciences”.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often excel as so-called hidden champions and are technological pioneers in their field. It goes without saying, however, that it is not particularly easy for small businesses to finance fundamental or larger research projects. As a result, many funding programmes aim to support these enterprises and their research projects.
Young firms are already of major importance in several economic sectors. Business founders from the world of science and research can receive support from funding programmes that assist, for example, in obtaining venture capital from private investors.
The Federal Funding Advisory Service on Research and Innovation informs potential applicants about the federal research structure, funding programmes and the points of contact as well as about current funding priorities and initiatives.