• Strengthening our innovation capacity
• 4 action areas for overcoming company-internal obstacles
• Strengthening innovation culture
• More awareness for technological breakthroughs
• Increased speed and efficiency
• Strengthening the effectiveness of innovation processes
• Lessons learnt

Germany is finding it ever more difficult to defend its top position as an industrial location: global competition is intensifying. Emerging economies are striving to become high-tech centers, not merely manufacturing locations. To this end, they are investing massively in education, research and development. This is reflected in their R&D spending, specialist trade publications, patents and shares of global trade in research-intensive goods, among other indicators. China, for instance, surpassed Germany in R&D spending in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in 2010. With a share of 27.6 %, Chinese specialist publications are now the leader in the chemical sector. Germany’s portion, by contrast, fell from 8.3 % (2000) to 6.2 % (2014).

Furthermore, industrialized nations such as the US, Japan and South Korea are also stepping up their innovation processes. They are additionally aided by local advantages, for instance low energy and raw-material costs in the case of the US and countries in the Middle East. In Germany, on the other hand, industrial production has virtually stagnated. This threatens to have a negative impact on the value chains of the entire industrial innovation network. As Germany cannot compete with regions like Asia on cost, innovation leads are becoming increasingly important. The innovation capacity of the German industry is an important key to securing the competitiveness of the industrial location.

In  its  study  “Paving  the  Way  for  Innovation”,  prepared  in  collaboration  with  Santiago, the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) identified the most  important internal and external barriers to strengthening the innovation capacity of the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry and derived action recommendations for businesses and policymakers. The study results were received by policymakers with great interest and met with broad agreement. Conclusion: Germany’s innovation-policy parameters must be improved overall. The VCI followed this up with a 12-point plan that described the most important levers for overcoming external innovation obstacles from an overall industry perspective.

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Strenghtening innovation capacity -
faster, more effective, more disruptive 

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