Week 2 – German Innovations (Part 2)

A few days ago we informed you all about Germany’s research climate, so let’s go back in time and look into why Germany is so good at not only inventing things, but adapting these inventions to create long-term business success.

Zwei Historiker arbeiten in der Bibliothek des Zentrums fuer Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam, 18.10.2016; Copyright: DAAD/Jan Zappner

There are three main reasons for Germany’s ability in creating globally successful innovations:

  1. Germany understands that for an invention to become widespread it cannot just be aimed at the high-tech sector of the moment, but rather, must result in productivity gains for the wider community. The country not only focuses on inventions which form new industries, but also spends a lot of resources on fuelling existing industries, such as the automobile industry.
  2. Germany has a variety of public institutions which help close the gap between research and industry across the entire industrial sector.
  3. Germany’s workforce is constantly trained. Companies understand that by continually training and educating their employees, they will find more innovative and sustainable ways to create and improve products. 

What are some other reason? Well, in addition to the big three there are other factors driving Germany’s research and innovation. Here are just a few of them:

  • Back when Germany was split into many kingdoms, kingdoms would rival each other in scientific advances to gain the upper hand. This motivated many researchers to become more creative and innovative than ever before.
  • Many ‘typical German characteristics’ contribute to their success in the research field, such as strong organisational skills, a process-oriented society and the high value of education.
  • Germany is a resource-poor country. You won’t find rich oil fields or large, high-quality coal mines in Germany, therefore, the country had to focus on research and development to utilise the few raw materials which were readily available.
  • Germany has a long history of very good universities and these universities are often the driving force behind innovations.
  • Germany has unfortunately seen many wars. Wars, as we all know, are incredibly destructive and Germany has learned to rebuild many times, each time utilising more efficient technologies.

Whilst it would take us hundreds of thousands of words to take you on a detailed journey of German innovations, we hope that these two blogs have given you some insights into Germany’s love for and success in research and development. Maybe we have even inspired you to pursue a research career in Germany!

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