Study Aug 03, 2017

IW Innovationsatlas 2017: Bavaria is world class

Bavarian economic areas are think tanks of international standing. This is proved by the current “Innovationsatlas 2017 - Die Innovationskraft deutscher Wirtschaftsräume im Vergleich” (Innovation Atlas 2017 – A comparison of the German economic areas’ innovation) study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW).

IW analysed regional innovation throughout Germany using the five indicators: “the economy’s regional R&D expenditure”, “number of academics employed with MINT qualifications”, “number of technology-based start-ups”, “broadband provision” and “number of patent applications”. Bavaria achieved outstanding results in the process. With its highly innovative flagship regions around Munich and Ingolstadt, the Bavarian state even achieves a global level comparable to Silicon Valley or Singapore.


Southern Germany dominates by far with almost all indicators. If the whole country were to conduct research like the South, Germany would be ranked first in the world in terms of innovation, in the experts’ opinion. However, the study does reveal a strong North/South or East/West gap. The other federal states lag significantly behind the innovative hotspots in the south.


Patent applications are an important benchmark for innovation. Bavaria was in first place again in the German Patent and Trade Mark Office patent statistics among all the federal states in 2016 too. One in three German patent applications came from the Bavarian state. Bavaria occupied top place among the most active federal states in terms of patents once again in the European Patent Office Annual Report 2016 and was the European region with the most applications at the same time. Many companies are based in Bavaria which develop technologies with a high number of patents and therefore make an important contribution to innovation, growth and employment.


The results of the “Innovationsatlas 2017” study are presented by IW here.

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