Innovative strength in Baden-Württemberg
On 12th July 2011, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics presented the results of two studies that evaluated the innovative strength of Baden-Württemberg in comparison to other regions around the world. The studies were carried out by the University of Hohenheim and the independent research institute BAK Basel Economics AG (BAK Basel) on behalf of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics and they were financed by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation. Based on several innovation indicators, the studies confirmed Baden-Württemberg’s innovative strength: of a total of 69 European regions evaluated, Baden-Württemberg took first place.
“The findings of the experts from the University of Hohenheim and the BAK Basel research institute enabled a scientifically founded cluster resolution of the regions to be established for the first time ever. In combination with the regional cluster atlas of the Ministry of Finance and Economics, the new findings will help us put in place new strategies for regional economic development,” said Daniel Rousta, Head of Department in the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economics.
In the first ever study of its kind, researchers comprehensively applied innovation indicators to twelve regions in Baden-Württemberg and found that all the regions showed a good level of innovation, and many of them an excellent level. Based on several innovation indicators, the studies confirmed Baden-Württemberg’s innovative strength and ranked Baden-Württemberg as the best of all European regions evaluated.
First place in a European comparison
The excellent ranking of Baden-Württemberg is mainly due to the state’s leading position in terms of research and development expenditure, the number of employees and the number of European patent applications, including those filed in the high-tech sector (5th out of 69). “The economic structure and the innovation system are well adapted to one another and this is of enormous benefit for the regions,” said Daniel Rousta highlighting in particular the regions of Stuttgart, Rhine-Neckar, East Württemberg and Southern Upper Rhine, Lake Constance/Upper Swabia, Danube-Iller and Heilbronn-Franconia.
Focus on China
The authors also found that the Asian regions that were also evaluated are pursuing relatively aggressive innovation and cluster policies, in particular in the field of environmental technologies. Rousta highlights in particular the situation in China, which has made considerable progress in terms of innovation development activities since the mid-1990s. Rousta believes that China is working to achieve a leading role in all fields of technology. While the activities related to renewable energies have increased in Baden-Württemberg, as well as Germany as a whole and the USA, the number of electric and hybrid cars used has increased in China, South Korea as well as in the USA.