Study to evaluate start-up activity in Germany with a special focus on public research institutions
There is insufficient data in Germany on the number, success rates and effects of start-ups, especially from public research institutions and universities, so that a well-founded assessment of the situation and discussion of the problem is not possible.
As part of a project initiated by the Fraunhofer Headquarters, various institutes have dealt with spin-offs from public research institutions in general and from Fraunhofer in particular. In the sub-project "Spin-Offs from Public Research Organizations in Germany", Fraunhofer ISI carried out an international analysis of the start-up activities of research institutions together with the ZEW in Mannheim (Leibniz Institute) on behalf of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany. In addition, representatives of leading international institutes were interviewed on their start-up activities and a method for the identification of knowledge-based start-ups was developed.
Two other parts of the project, financed and carried out exclusively by Fraunhofer, were conducted. These were analyzing spin-off activities in East and West Germany and the addressing the question of what support Fraunhofer already offers for spin-offs and start-ups. In its East-West comparison, the Fraunhofer IMW has shown that Fraunhofer spin-offs contribute to regional structural change. Spin-offs are particularly successful where there are innovation ecosystems - whether in East or West. In their analysis, based on interviews with internal and external start-up experts, Fraunhofer IAO and Fraunhofer IZM have identified existing structural, legal and financial obstacles for spin-offs. One of the central results, however, is that the incentives for setting up a business are almost non-existent and, accordingly, no broad start-up culture has been able to develop.