Week 2 – German Innovations (Part 1)

We hope that you enjoyed week 1 of our Oktoberfest for Teens learning materials. This week is all about the wonderful world of German science and technology.

Few countries have contributed so many innovations to the world as Germany has. Everything from cars and helicopters to aspirin and gummy bears – you name it, Germany invented it.

… but the real question here is why? How has one country managed to contribute so much in only a few centuries?

Since Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in Germany in 1440, the “Made in Germany” success story has continued. Centuries of inventions have helped shape the world in which we live in today and have promoted scientific, cultural, and economic progress around the globe.

One of the German government’s top priorities is investing in research and development, and there are numerous funding opportunities available for both German and international researchers in Germany. Research is performed at a variety of both public and private institutions. On the public side it starts with schools and moves up to universities, colleges and universities of applied sciences. General universities have a boarder approach, whereas universities of applied sciences have a strong focus on applied research. The non-public institutions include a variety of private and non-profit institutions such as academies, foundations, and centres for innovation and research.

In addition to above mentioned private and public institutions, the government itself invests a lot into research – from local to state and federal government. The government invests a lot into research to aid them in making policy and administrative decisions.

Finally, various industries play an important role in Germany’s research and development. More than two-thirds of Germany’s annual investment in research comes from the private sector – generally large companies who are investing in research for their own company, or joint with partner institutes from the scientific community. Most research from this sector is based on real-world applications which produce utilisable results.

Now that you have a better understanding of the research climate in Germany, stay tuned for our next blog where we will delve further into Germany’s history and into the roots of research in Germany.

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