Analyses of Saxony as an innovation location

The German state of Saxony has put in place an innovation strategy as the foundation of its regional innovation policy since 2013. This strategy is the master plan for innovation support and defines innovation policy's objectives and thematic priorities. At the same time, it serves to fulfil the ex-ante conditionality for the European Regional Development Fund, i.e. obtain authorization for the regional operational programme by the European Commission. The state government wants to create a strategic basis building on the existing innovation strategy that can be adapted to changing framework conditions.

Against this background, a comprehensive, evidence-based study will be conducted of Saxony's innovation potentials and innovation-relevant framework conditions.

Following the structure of the innovation strategy, it will determine the positioning Saxony as an innovation location. On the one hand, it will update and critically review available information on the current innovation strategy's main fields of focus from different perspectives ('fields of the future', key enabling technologies, 'interfaces' and 'domains'). On the other hand, it will compile facts from education, science and industry that are generally relevant for the topic of innovation and analyse recent cross-sectional trends.

The contract includes the description and analysis of
  • Saxony's smart specialisation fields
  • Saxony's potentials in education and science
  • cooperation, transfer and start-up activities
  • innovative capacity and performance of Saxony's economy
  • regional differences in Saxony's innovation system
  • Saxony's international position as an innovation location

A mix of qualitative and quantitative methods is applied to cover the breadth of topics and consider the diverse causal relationships. This includes:

  • patent analyses
  • publication analyses
  • funding data analyses and
  • structured expert interviews


The report documents dynamic and downward trends and strengths and weaknesses in different areas and draws conclusions based on this for political decisions concerning the forthcoming funding period.




Saxon State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport (SMWA)


  • ZEW Centre for European Economic Research
  • Prognos AG