all projects

Innovation Index
Germany 2023


Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications GmbH



The expansion of the internet supply network provided additional economic growth of over 5 billion euros between 2013 and 2020. The network expansion project lays the foundation for a long-term increase in value added and prosperity in Germany. In addition, an efficient network enables more flexible reaction to crises.

On behalf of the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, Prognos analysed whether and to what extent network expansion has strengthened Germany’s innovative power and economic performance and the regions where this has been particularly notable. The result: the Innovation Index Germany IID.2023.

Innovation Index 2023 affirms the positive effects of network expansion

The Innovation Index 2023 confirms the positive effects of the network expansion on the German economy and its innovation strength. The calculations are based on network expansion data from the years 2010 to 2021. The impacts of network expansion have a delayed effect on the respective indicators.

Here are the most significant findings:

Regions across the whole of Germany have benefitted from network expansion

  • All regions in Germany have benefitted from network expansion.
  • Due to their better initial conditions, large cities are best able to make use of the digital impetus with an average 10% higher effect there than elsewhere.
  • Rural regions benefit in comparison with medium-sized towns or cities, above all, in terms of wages and business registrations.
  • Bavaria leads the Innovation Index occupying 42 out of the top 100 districts.
  • The winners of the network expansion endeavour, alongside Dresden, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and Frankfurt are city districts such as Erlangen, Wolfsburg, Regensburg, and Ingolstadt.

Network expansion as reliable economic support

  • More than 5.3 billion euros additional GDP per year can be traced back to the network expansion.
  • Since 2013 the expansion of the network has contributed to around 42 billion euros additional value added.
  • That represents almost 7% of the value-added growth in the German economy as a whole between 2013 and 2020.
  • Particularly in times where growth is weak network expansion offers a reliable economic boost.

Network expansion driven digitalisation secures Germany 130 billion euros during the pandemic

  • At the beginning of the covid pandemic, companies that were already digitalised were able to make the switch to working from home and online trade more rapidly and could thus avoid interruptions to trading.
  • Digitalisation allowed potential national economic losses of around 130 billion euros to be avoided.
  • In this sense, digitalisation has played as important a role in reducing the consequences of covid as the economic aid provided by the Federal Government.
  • The ICT sector and business-related services were able to avoid around 15 billion euros of value-added shortfall between 2020 and 2022.
  • Thus, demonstrating network expansion and digitalisation to be cornerstones of a robust and resilient economy.

Importance of digital infrastructure for the economy

The Innovation Index Germany is based on a time and region comparison of the 400 districts and independent cities between 2010 and 2021. Using precise data, the innovation effects of network expansion in Germany are not only presented overall, but also at district level.

Through panel data analysis we estimate the average connection between network expansion and economic, qualification, as well as employment and innovation indicators. Finally, we compared the actual development of an indicator with the development that could have been expected in the absence of network expansion. The result is the respective growth contribution directly attributable to the network expansion.

Already in 2022, on behalf of Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, Prognos calculated how strong an effect the advancing network expansion really has on the development and stability of the German economy.

The Innovation Index 2023 brings the results up to date with real data and elucidates, in particular, the significance of digital infrastructure for the economic performance capacity of the districts and district-free cities during the covid pandemic.

Links and downloads

To the interactive Innovation Index (in German)

To the study (PDF in German)

Further information, in German (Vodafone Institute website)

Project team: Dr Oliver Ehrentraut, Josh Klier, Dr Georg Klose, Philipp Kreuzer, Dr Andreas Sachs, Jonathan-Aton Talamo

Latest update: 25.1.2024

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Jonathan-Aton Talamo

Project Manager

View profile

Dr Andreas Sachs

Project Manager

View profile

Dr Georg Klose

Principal, Head of Digital Development

View profile

Mehr Studien & Projekte zu diesem Thema

More studies & projects on this topic

AI players in the federal state

| Project

Which companies are already using or developing artificial intelligence? Which companies would benefit from the use of AI? Prognos created an interactive dashboard for one federal state.

Study on Poverty and income inequality in the context of the digital transformation

| Project

The study for the European Commission examines the impact of digitalisation on the employment situation in the individual member states as well as on the EU economy as a whole.

Development of a group-wide raw materials strategy

| Project

Our retail industry client commissioned us to develop a group-wide raw materials concept. We assisted the company from conception stage right through to the launch of the interactive web tool.

Dossier: The role of clusters in regional transformation processes

| Project update

The dossier, which was created as part of the NRW.innovativ competence centre, highlights the role that cluster organisations play in the digital and green transformation in NRW.

Green Tech: Digital technologies and sustainability

| Project

The Federal Ministry of Economics promotes digital technologies that drive forward the economy’s green transformation. Together with partners, we are responsible for the accompanying research.

Evaluation of Eurostars-2, the European SME support programme

| Project

On behalf of the EU Commission, Prognos and its partners examined the Eurostars-2 SME fund-ing programme as part of the evaluation study of the European Framework Programmes Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.

Evaluation of EU funding programme for the development of digital solutions for older people

| Project

Digital solutions can make life easier for older people. The EU's Active and Assisted Living Programme (AAL2) has actively contributed to the development of novel solutions.

Innovation strategy for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region

| Project

Innovation is more and more frequently emerging across regions and industries. Together with IMP³ROVE, we developed a strategy for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (MRH) including out-standing innovation projects.

Innovation Index Germany 2022

| Project

How does the expansion of the digital infrastructure affect regional innovation strength? The IID.2022 provides clarification.

Blockchain in the creative industry

| Project

Technology enables new business models for creative professionals. And offers solutions for key industry challenges.

About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

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.

Learn more