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Federal Report on
Research and Innovation 2024


Federal Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF)




DLR Projektträger

State spending on research and innovation is at a record high. Such are the key results of this year’s Federal Research and Innovation Report (BuFI) published by the Federal Government on a two-yearly basis. The report delivers a comprehensive overview of research and innovation activities at federal and state level as well as providing data and facts from the German research and development system. This enables, amongst other things, a review of how research and innovation is being used to tackle societal challenges and how Germany’s research and innovation system stands in international comparison.

Together with DLR Projektträger, Prognos forms the administrative offices for the report.

German research spending and personnel at an all time high

The report gives a comprehensive overview of the research and innovation policy at federal and state level, on a two-yearly basis. In the process, it takes a view on central statements drawn from the German Research and Innovation (EFI) audit, presented to the Federal Government in February 2024.

  • Germany disposes of an efficient research and innovation system and is one of the leading innovation nations and most attractive scientific locations in the world. 
  • According to the latest edition, in 2022, research and development (R&D) benefitted from a total of 121.4 billion euros of investment from the state, industry, and universities. Compared to the previous year, spending rose by 8.2 billion euros, or 7.3 percent, representing an all-time high.
  • The preliminary R&D rate for 2022 is 3.13 percent. The federal government affirmed in its future research and innovation strategy its aim to increase the R&D spending share to 3.5 percent of GDP.
  • In 2022, around 785,000 people were employed in Research & Development (full-time equivalent). As a result, more people were employed in R&D in 2022 than ever before.
  • Germany as a scientific and research location is gaining in international appeal: the number of international scientific personnel in German universities rose between 2012 and 2021 by around 64 percent to 59,300 people. In 2021, around 15,900 scientists with foreign nationality could be found working in the four largest non-university research centres. Since 2011, that number has more than doubled (+112 percent).

As part of its future research and innovation strategy the federal government has strategical reorganised its research and innovation funding in key future fields making it more mission-oriented thus enabling the major challenges of our time to be tackled in a targeted manner.

Our approach

Together with DLR Projektträger, we form the administrative offices supporting the BMBF with the preparation of the BuFI report. In this context, we manage editorial tasks, work on draft texts, and graphic design. Furthermore, the offices have been instrumental in pushing forward the digitalisation of the report – available for the first time in digital form. The BuFI website undergoes continuous development and is constantly being improved to make it a more user-centric, interactive and networked information platform for research and innovation policy in Germany.

Links and downloads

To the Federal Report for Research and Innovation 2024 (in German)

Further information on the BuFI 2024 (BMBF website, in German)

Previous reports (in German)

Project team: Nils-Eric Carlhoff, Annalena Fuchs, Maria Henker, Anna Hornik, Jakobus Jaspersen, Paul Möhlmann, Ralph Rautenberg

Latest update: 22.05.2024

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Ralph Rautenberg


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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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