Innovation & IP Asset Consulting
Convergence for divergent trends

Germany lags behind global innovation leaders at the 12th place

Bildschirmfoto 2016-01-25 um 10.38.26The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a U.S. think tank on technology policy, delivered its ranking of more than 50 countries concerning their impact on global innovation. The report considers worldwide per capita contribution for supporting innovation. The researchers considered both the funding allocated for research and education as well as the structure of the tax system in the chosen countries. Environment and conditions that could adversely impact innovative capacity were penalized by point deduction. Among other factors, a weak patent system had a negative result on the score. The final ranking was between 15.6 points for the worldwide innovation leader Finland and negative 20.1 points for Argentina. Sweden and the UK followed close behind Finland. Austria was ninth in the ranking. Germany scored 9.4 points landing on the twelfth place, with Switzerland settling for the twentieth place. The U.S. reached a modest tenth place. Germany benefited not from a direct promotion of innovation, but rather from a good legal and political framework. Switzerland was downgraded due to what the researchers viewed as obstructive regulations – as for innovation promotion, it scored higher than Germany.

Stellbrink IP sees this as another warning sign that innovation landscape in Germany needs to be actively supported.

Germany’s most innovative companies

A minor example of our capabilities

€uro TitelTogether with one of the leading German business magazines, the €uro magazine, we have benchmarked 70 of the German publicly listed companies. Our findings are dealt with in the title story of the November 2014 edition of €uro:

We can measure and benchmark innovation forces with all our global data and our skills in the fields of innovation management, IP practice, data acquisitions and analyses. This makes the difference and allows picking the right indicators for almost any criteria of interest. For the innovation benchmarking we have developed a model on the basis of business and technological figures, global patent data, stock data and have also considered peculiarities of industrial sectors as well as economic cycles.

Our model has undergone several tests. The DIX, Germany’s new stock innovation index, developed by the €uro magazine and us shows that the companies we considered to be the most innovative ones have clearly outperformed compared to the other publicly listed companies. This demonstrates that consequent and systematic innovation activities pay well off:Bildschirmfoto 2014-10-20 um 10.29.22Bildschirmfoto 2014-10-20 um 10.29.41

New big steps in development and increasing speeds in most fields of industry make it necessary to analyze the situation carefully and in detail. Managers, investors, economists, start-ups, analysts, business consultants and many others will appreciate our in depths insights with finely granulated technology clusters, benchmarks and trend analyses.

Should you be interested in our findings, should you have any remarks or should you like to receive our periodic Newsletter, please let us know.

Not to forget, we would be happy to clarify the status quo for you and to make your investments fit for the future.

Third largest german automotive supplier ZF seeks to expand

The third largest German automotive supplier ZF headquartered in Friedrichshafen is in talks with the American automotive supplier TRW about a possible takeover. As the world’s largest independent transmission manufacturer, ZF is not listed on the stock exchange, but currently in possession of the owner. However, ZF would not only catch up to its greatest competitor Continental and Bosch, but with TRW, its core business, fill a gap especially in the areas of electronics with video and radar systems. The CEO Stefan Sommer is anticipating to compete alongside the Internet giant Google for the promising future to develop autonomous driving technology. Google already started the race with his prototype Aptera, which was previously reported by Stellbrink IP extensively on May 28th.  Read the Rest


Opposition is stirred against the digital revolution. For example, German Amazon employees in distribution centers or even taxi drivers, are resisting the placement of private chauffeurs through apps. It is very difficult to find the golden mean in the discussion about what is technically possible and socially desirable. On the one hand it is critical to question how far companies submit to the progress, but on the other hand, they must stay competitive, especially to China, Korea or the U.S. in order to continue to guarantee prosperity. It is therefore advisable to at least pro-actively pursue modernization and innovations as well as, to increase the pace of adaptability, if necessary.  Read the Rest


Since smoking bans and dissuasive pictures of black lungs on cigarette boxes, the cigarette industry finds itself in a sales crisis. Therefore, many of the powerful tobacco manufacturers are now investing in the e-cigarette. A rapid growing market which offers a real alternative for more and more smokers. So far, the hardware is still handmade in China, but machines to drive the automation process are already being constructed in the Netherlands.

The federal government in Germany is skeptical of this upswing. The vaporized liquid is composed of the fumigation agent propylene glycol, which is indeed approved as a food additive but cannot cause respiratory irritation if inhaled. For this reason, the federal government wants to ban the e-cigarette for children and adolescents not to encourage a possible addictive behavior.


By late summer, the Federal Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel wants to introduce a new stock-segment for companies and organizations together with the German Stock Exchange, called the “market 2.0”. The transition to enter capital markets for German start-up companys as well the issues of follow-up financing are to be facilitated, for young, modern, and creative entrepreneurs have trouble attaining capital and are lacking the option of follow-up financing.  Read the Rest


In German litigation cases it is common, for the unsuccessful party to bear the costs of the procedure as well of the prevailing party (known in English “fee shifting”), which has so far only been done in extremely rare cases in the United States. As a matter of fact, even the presumably prevailing party, for economic reasons, usually compares themselves to the expected unsuccessful party. Since legal procedure costs are much higher in America than in Germany, which bothers most companies, has this so far led to billion-dollar costs and has mainly been exploited by so-called “trolls”.  Read the Rest


According to Simon Hage and Christoph Neßhöver from the Management Magazine, only two German suppliers such as T-Systems and SAP can keep up with the competition of the hundred largest technology companies. A strength of the Germans is the optimization of already established products, while the core objective must not only aim at assuring the continued existence. Creativity and risk-taking are lacking factors in this country. Large corporations are primarily about profit maximization, which blocks courageous entrepreneurs and start-ups. At the time of the “founding boom” they had the vision to conquer markets and realize preliminary losses. In order to not loose world ranking, new business ideas and marketplaces must increase, because the result of the lack of vision is as follows: Although there are some German world leaders in niche markets (for example, dog leashes), however, in megatrends (such as smartphones) the German economy’s performance appears rather weak. Creative minds wander off, because other nations lure with far more attractive conditions: creation and innovation is encouraged, creativity promoted, as well as from the political side. There, Germany cannot contend.


Germany does no longer surpass China in its international economic relations, both as a destination for exports as well as a supplier. Likewise, direct investors have discovered the land for themselves: China lays second place after the U.S. and thus in front of all EU countries.

China is currently in a huge structural change. As actual incomes rise and a high-income middle class is created, followed by an increased focus on consumer goods and services, away from investment and capital goods. Germany must not make the mistake and only put forth on profitable business models and market segments. Reaction is a must because in the future China will be able to offer competitive alternatives, especially in the fields of mechanical engineering and electronics, and discover market segments for themselves, where Germany was the market leader. Especially in fields such as environmental, energy, new materials, food industry, health, education, entertainment and tourism industry, China’s rapid advancements are quickly. As from this result, many services, especially through the Internet and e-commerce, must be developed such as the home and export market, simultaneously with the result that Germany automatically will approach China as a market. It would continue to be a mistake to see China as a rival and thus to follow America. So far, the Chinese industrial investments have been positive and in the future, world trade will no longer be shaped without China.


In the so-called Performance Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 for Research and Innovation, Germany still falls in the category of innovation performance well above the EU average, but slips below Sweden and Denmark at rank 3, followed by Finland. Germany’s innovative growth grew strongly while Sweden’s growth rate is almost stagnant. Only in the area of ​​the science, regarding open, excellent and attractive research systems, does Germany fall behind the average. Denmark is here above all others this year’s front-runner.

When Europe is viewed as a whole, Switzerland retains its position as the absolute leader of innovation, and in global terms South Korea, the U.S. and Japan still stand before the EU. While the EU is catching up to the U.S. and Japan, South Korea’s lead stretches even further. In international comparison, the EU, however, is still before Australia and Canada as well as in front of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). However, China is on track to close its gap of 44% of the innovation performance.

Less strong EU Member States must catch up and in a global context, the EU should not remain standing still. Above all, the culture of innovation needs to be further promoted with a focus on networking and entrepreneurship.