OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016

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The fully revamped and re-titled OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook is a biennial publication that aims to inform policy makers and analysts on recent and future changes in global science, technology and innovation (STI) patterns and their potential implications on and for national and international STI policies. Based on the most recent data available, the report provides comparative analysis of new policies and instruments being used in OECD countries and a number of major emerging economies (including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and South Africa) to boost the contribution of science and innovation to growth and to global and social challenges. In this edition, detailed country and policy profiles are available on line.

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Germany has a major export-led economy driven by a wide range of internationally competitive firms, notably in the manufacturing of machinery and transport equipment, which make up nearly half of all German merchandise exports. The country’s economic growth rebounded quickly following the global financial and economic crisis in 2009. Germany performs well on many indicators of economic performance and well-being, including unemployment. In contrast, investment – an important driver of productivity growth – has been slow to recover. In light of weakening growth in labour productivity and an imminent decline in the labour force as a consequence of ageing, Germany needs to promote and invest in productivity-boosting STI policies. In addition, considerable variations related to people’s age and socioeconomic background, such as well-being, education and life expectancy, prompted the government to shift the focus of its new High-Tech Strategy (Hightech-Strategie – HTS): while initially attending to the market potential of specific technology areas, as of 2010 the HTS has concentrated especially on society's need to develop and implement forward-looking approaches to policies. The third edition of the HTS, adopted in August 2014 (after 2006 and 2010), sees “civil society” as a third actor, alongside industry and research, and focuses on a number of new topics (such as the digital economy and society, a sustainable economy and energy system, the innovative workplace and civil security). New instruments to fund innovation seek to strengthen cooperation between enterprises, universities and research institutions and to enhance society’s active involvement in science, technology and innovation. Accordingly, the country’s upward trend in R&D expenditure is continuing: in 2014, Germany spent 2.90% of GDP on R&D, up from 2.73% in 2009. GERD is targeted to reach 3% of GDP by 2020. In the current legislative period an additional USD 3.8 billion PPP (EUR 3 billion) is being spent on R&D, despite ongoing fiscal consolidation.


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