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Research & Technology

German chemical industry makes massive investment in research

The chemical-pharmaceutical industry in Germany will spend €11 billion on research and investment this year. The Verband der Chemischen Industrie (Chemical Industry Association [VCI]) is calling for greater involvement from the government.

02 Sep. 2018
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German chemical industry makes massive investment in research (Chart: VCI Verband der Chemischen Industrie e.V.)

Compared to all other sectors, the chemical-pharmaceutical industry has the greatest commitment to innovation. According to the VCI , 63% of all chemical and pharmaceutical companies engage in research, while in industry as a whole that figure is just 28%. The exponential increase in computing power, the Association continues, is accelerating research into new chemicals enormously. The latest hardware can calculate a significantly larger number of variants for chemical reactions and product formulations than was the case five years ago, for example.

At the same time, the Association is calling for more state support, as Germany is only ranked seventh in this area compared to other countries. In addition to direct support through tax relief, Thomas Wessel, chair of the Research, Science and Education committee of the VCI, is asking for better support for private venture capital investors in startups. In his view, tax losses carried forward should remain unrestricted in terms of time and amount.

Mechanical engineers in Germany, who will be spending €5.6 billion on research and development this year, are also hoping for more support in these areas. The VDMA industry association argues that larger medium-sized companies, in particular, are facing a funding gap, while small startups and large industrial companies currently have better chances of attracting public funding for their projects.