Foundations for Policy Consensus
Germany has dominated news about the European Union (EU) in recent years, mostly due to its role in supplying emergency financial aid to EU nations and banks in distress. But as Europe’s largest economy, and as a technological leader, Germany has another important role – as a driver of innovation. This role has major importance, because when the EU financial crisis is finally resolved, EU nations will then begin to address the key issue, how to restore economic growth. When this issue becomes foremost on the agenda, so will innovation, and Germany’s voice will be heard. This chapter presents Germany’s innovation ecosystem. We begin with a short overview of Germany’s economy and competitiveness. Next, we examine Germany’s global competitiveness, broken down according to the key elements of its “competitiveness landscape”, and Germany’s economic freedom and ease of doing business, as well as the innovative spirit in its managers. Overall, Germany emerges as a nation with few economic weaknesses, with the possible exception of public debt and labor market rigidity. We then present Germany’s key anchors and processes that drive innovation, and how they interact. Finally, we discuss Germany’s innovation ecosystem, along with a case study of Berlin’s high-energy entrepreneurial activities.
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