Actors of the German research and innovation system

  • Joint Science Conference
Evaluation and advice
  • German Council of Science and Humanities
  • e.g. Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation

R&D-funding actors

  • Federal Government
  • Länder
Business enterprises
  • domestic enterprises
Foreign countries
  • i.a. European Commission
  • foreign enterprises
Private non-profit institutions
  • i.a. Societies
  • non-governmental organisations

Actors in public and private research

Higher education institutions
  • Universities
  • Universities of Applied Sciences
  • other types of higher education institutions
Federal institutions with R&D tasks
  • Federal institutions
  • Institutions of the Länder
Private sector research institutions
  • incl. Zuse Association
Civil society
  • i.a. citizens
Research organisations
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
  • Helmholtz Association
  • Leibniz Association
  • Max Planck Society
  • i.a. state academies of sciences and humanities
Research and development in the private sector
  • large and multinational enterprises
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Start-ups

Society, Economy

Other R&D-supporting actors
  • German Research Foundation
  • Public and private foundations
  • Stifterverband
  • Associations and chambers
  • AiF

The diversity of the German research and innovation system is the foundation of its success. R&D is carried out in a large number of public and private institutions. The funding for this is provided not only by the Federal Government, but also by the 16 state governments, as well as foreign and private contributors. R&D is carried out by public research institutions such as universities, non-university research institutions and institutions with federal and state ministerial research tasks, as well as private companies. In addition, various bodies and intermediaries, such as the DFG and non-profit foundations, play important roles in research funding. Research and innovation are thus in constant interaction with civil society and the private sector.