The Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (ifm) is a central institution at the university of Mannheim carrying out research projects on subjet matters which are of high importance to small and medium-sized entities (SME). This institue was founded in 1989 on the initiative of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, but it works nationwide and deals with European topics as well.
The institute´s homepage is worth visiting not only because, in contrast to many other academic institutions, it is not merely meant to promote the institute´s public image, but it also makes available a lot of information material which can be directly accessed. Our example of a ifm survey consists of some modules which can be downloaded free of charge. Particularly interesting are the following ones:
- a data base of spezialized literature which can be used free of charge: “Bibliotheksrecherche Online“
- a continuously updated collection of ifm publications for download (PDF format)
- quite a comprehensive link collection on topics for SME and
- a table containing the results of surveys on the situation of SME and updated data sources
The above data and many other pieces of information being available on the website are part of a research project called “Strukturanalye Mittelstand” (SAM), which is a permanent study carried on by the institute.