Research in Baden-Württemberg is characterised by a wide variety of types of higher education institutions, study courses and prize-winning universities. More than 70 state-run and private higher education institutions offer over 2,660 different study courses. The Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), Germany's first and only state-run university that combines theoretical academic studies with practical workplace training, is especially unique.
In international rankings, the nine universities in the Southwest regularly come out ahead of those in the rest of the country: Three of eight German universities that were listed among the first hundred in the World University Ranking in 2019 are from the Southwest. In Baden-Württemberg, value is placed on the excellence of research and on the close interaction of the latter with industry. 4.9 per cent of the gross domestic product is invested in research and development alone (2017). In a comparison of the 78 EU regions, Baden-Württemberg is therefore right at the forefront with a clear lead over all others in this particular regard. More than 100 research institutions are located in the southwest, including 12 Max Planck institutes, 14 Fraunhofer institutes, two centres of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and seven Leibniz institutes.
As a location for science and industry, the German Southwest concentrates on promising fields that offer great potential for future growth in the state. These are, in particular, sustainable mobility, renewable energies, resource efficiency and health as well as information & communication technologies and Green IT.