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Scientists from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) have investigated the activities of around 100 of the most research-active companies in Germany in a study funded by the Hans Böckler foundation . It shows that one in four of them develop their inventions abroad, but in doing so focus on technologies in which they have a strength in Germany. According to the authors of the study, the research abroad is carried out from a “position of technological strength in their home country”. In most cases, no research is taken away from Germany, but the knowledge acquired here is expanded abroad.

According to an analysis by the auditing company EY from 2018, the research outputs of the German economy put it in the leading group in the world. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector invests the most in research and development worldwide, followed by IT and healthcare. Industry is in sixth place.