Top Innovators

Germany's Quiet Visionaries, Pt. II

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German innovation is often implemented behind the scenes, as part of larger industrial or scientific projects. For example, Aspirin, the electron microscope and MP3s are German inventions. Despite the lack of fanfare on the consumer market, a new crop of German innovations have the potential to change the world.

  • Facts


    • In 2015, the German economy invested €62.4 billion in research and development, more than ever before.
    • From 2005 to 2016, German government spending on research and development increased from €7.6 to €16.4 billion.
    • According to the World Economic Forum’s index of global competitiveness for 2016–2017, Germany ranks third in terms of innovation. Switzerland and the U.S. are first and second, respectively. In 2010, Germany was ranked eighth.
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Germany offers a color broad spectrum of bright minds. Photo: Getty

As Part 1 of our series has shown, it isn’t just research departments at Germany’s blue-chip DAX corporations that are driving innovation. In fact, it is primarily the countless small and mid-sized companies – many world leaders in their niche markets – that have shown enormous potential when it comes to digitization and the development of new business sectors. As the German Mittelstand continues to blaze trails, we want to offer you an insider’s perspective by featuring the individuals leading the charge.

In Part II, we look at the numbers 11 through 15 on our list of the country’s top innovators. Stay tuned for our next installments.

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