Germany comes second worldwide with regard to inventions, but ranks only in midfield as far as innovations are concerned. In future so-called clusters between newly- founded companies and market-oriented scientists may help to turn inventions more frequently into innovations which can be commercialized. A decisive disadvantage regarding the commercialization of innovations in Germany is a lack of venture capital. This is one of the first findings of the innovation summit organized by DIW Berlin which recently started in Berlin.
Axel Werwatz, head of the deparment for “Innovation, Industry and Services” at the DIW presented the so-called innovation indicator developed by the DIW. On behalf of the BDI and Telekom-Stiftung each year the Berlin-based DIW institute investigates how innovative the leading industrial nations are compared to each other. The ranking is led by the USA, followed by the Scandinavian countries. After place 7 last year Germany came 6th this year. Werwatz said that this improvement was a small step ahead, but other nations had also gained ground. According to the DIW Berlin particular German weaknesses are the educational system and the financing of innovations.
Hendrik Brandis from Earlybird Venture Capital GmbH pointed to the dramatic shortage of early-stage venture capital in Germany: whereas the percentage of early-stage venture capital as compared to GDP amounts to 0.16 percent in the leading USA, it stands at only 0.014 percent in Germany.