The online tool “Research institutions” presents almost 550 institutions that conduct research and development in Germany outside of the private sector and universities or that conduct research abroad as non-university research institutions. In addition, locations of about 400 Higher education institutions are provided.

This presentation of the research institutions addresses the distinction between the groups of actors in the German research and innovation system introduced in the main volume of the Federal Report on Research and Innovation and is divided into five categories:

Non-university research institutions include the four major research organisations (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V., Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e. V., Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz e. V., Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.), the Max Weber Foundation, and other institutions.

Institutions of departmental research comprise mainly of institutions of the Federal government, which are predominantly organised in the form of authorities and are subject to ministerial supervision. In addition, departmental research takes place within the framework of regulated and continuous cooperation with some non-university research institutions, most of which are organised under private law.

Research institutions that receive at least 50% of their core funding from the respective Land (Federal state) are counted as state institutions. A list of these institutions is provided by the respective competent Land ministries. Research institutions that belong to one of the four major research organisations (Fraunhofer, HGF, Leibniz Association, MPG) or are Academies of Sciences are not included in this list.

Organisations and institutions that support R&D include intermediaries that form an essential part of the research landscape as support infrastructures. Archives, libraries, museums and comparable institutions are not listed unless they are part of the Leibniz Association.

The institute profiles comprise a brief description of the research focus and fields of activity and state the address of the head office, the website, the year the institute was founded and the number of employees at the particular institution. The profiles were written under the sole responsibility of the respective institutions and organisations. Allocation to the different scientific disciplines was also carried out by the institutions themselves. Multiple allocations were possible. The classification of scientific disciplines is based on the most recent Frascati Manual (2015) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which provides guidelines for the international collection and reporting of R&D data. Due to their interdisciplinary orientation, R&D supporting organisations were not categorised according to individual scientific disciplines. No further verification of the information was conducted.

The presentation of the German higher education landscape is based on data from the Higher Education Compass and the German Rectors' Conference (HRK).

The regional allocation in the map and list views is based on the main locations of the entity. Further locations are indicated in the profiles.