Updating lists of R&D-intensive goods and industries and knowledge-intensive economy

The aim of this project is to develop an updated list of research- and knowledge-intensive goods and industries. This list is supposed to adapt the currently used “NIW-ISI-ZEW lists” of and knowledge-intensive goods and industries from 2013 and adjust it to economic developments of the recent years. The new list, like its predecessor, will be based on the classification of economic activities (WZ2008 or (NACE Rev. 2) from 2008. In addition, a list for the current Standard International Trade Classification (SITC Rev.4) will be created. The lists will cover both, the industry as well as the service sectors.

Following a review of the current state of research, we will evaluate indicators of research intensity at the level of economic sectors. On this basis, the list of research-intensive economic sectors is compiled. This list will also be mapped to the classification of goods in foreign trade statistics. Knowledge-intensive industries will also be identified by developing and evaluating indicators of knowledge intensity.

Within the project, R&D statistics are evaluated on a national as well as the international level. The analyses are accompanied by analyses of foreign trade and patent analyses.

The result is an up-to-date list of research-intensive and knowledge-intensive goods and industries by industries as well as commodities, which can be used for future analyses of developments in high-tech sectors.


01.12.2020 – 29.10.2021


EFI-Geschäftsstelle Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft


  • ZEW
  • Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft