Research in Baden-Württemberg

Baden-Württemberg - a land of innovators and inventors. Few countries in the world invest as much in research and development as Baden-Württemberg. 5.6 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product is invested in R&D, well above the average for other countries and regions (Germany 3.0%, European Union 2.0%, USA 2.8%, China 2.1%, and Japan 3.2%). Furthermore, when it comes to inventiveness, Baden-Württemberg tops the national table: 14,608 patent applications in 2018.

Baden-Württemberg also has one of the highest densities of universities and research institutions in Europe pursuing an extremely broad range of activities. Excellent and inquiring minds are engaged in basic and applied research at over 100 locations, from universities through to international and national big science centers. This setting offers a wide range of challenging opportunities for young and established scientists and academics alike.

"Cutting edge research is indispensable in finding answers to the key questions about the future of our society. That’s why the State of Baden-Württemberg supports cutting-edge research projects."

Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg

Today, Baden-Württemberg is still shaping the future. What does the future of mobility look like? How will we be able to make better use of renewable sources of energy in the future? What might a modern and sustainable economy be like that is wholly committed to the efficient use of biological resources such as plants, animals and micro-organisms?

These and many other future-oriented issues are at the heart of Baden-Württemberg's science strategy. This is why research into automotive engineering, mobile sustainability, biotechnology, biological economics and life sciences, not to mention lightweight construction and innovative sciences enjoys such a high profile in Baden-Württemberg.

The state government's policy aim of securing the future of science based in Baden-Württemberg is set out in its research policy guidelines:

  • Now and in the future, Baden-Württemberg intends to maintain and build on its international position as an important location for research. 
  • Baden-Württemberg has absolute confidence in the capabilities and performance of its research institutions and is therefore ready to accept the risk of a long-term commitment to research funding.
  • Above all innovations result from adequate basic research funding, thus laying the foundations for successful technology transfer.
  • Research excellence must also be appropriately recognized. Continuous monitoring of research output is an indispensable element of the promotion of excellence.
  • Only an interdisciplinary and internationally networked research landscape that includes all kinds of different universities will be competitive in the long term.
  • Ever closer cooperation, in which science and business are equal partners, will strengthen the status of research in Baden-Württemberg in the future.
  • It is especially important to ensure that young scientists are given a fair chance to engage in research of their own. 

The interplay on a very broad front between University and non-University research institutions in Baden-Württemberg has allowed a fine balance to be achieved between the basic research needed for technology transfer and application-oriented business-driven research.