IWH R&D Micro Database

All developed economies today use, to a greater or lesser extent, instruments for funding research and development (R&D). The use of R&D funding programmes is normally justified with the fact that "market failure" prevents the optimal scope of R&D. As a result, there would be too less innovations, which today are the driving force of (regional) economic growth.

From the scientific perspective, a market failure is however verifiable only under extremely restrictive conditions. Scientific support of government funding measures is therefore necessary.

IWH R&D Micro Database

IWH examines the transformation-related economic specialities as well as the continuous process of economic integration in Europe. An important aspect in this context is the research of the connection between productivity at the company level and innovations. This includes the analysis of the R&D funding programmes used.

In practice, there are numerous programmes for funding R&D and innovations, which are also subject to an institutional change (target groups, funding rates, funding object, etc.). The following figure illustrates this for (selected) programmes of the federal government, which were used in the new states since Germany's unification.

Remarks concerning the figure:
* Nationwide programmes. – UR: Initiatives of the "Unternehmen Region [Entrepreneurial Regions]" programme family.  –

** Network funding normally includes the support of network management, while cooperation funding focuses on the execution of research projects. Start-up support programmes are not included.


The IWH R&D Micro Database currently includes six data sets of various programmes of direct R&D project funding of the federal government, the states and the European Union. The data originates from the Public Project Management Institutions or the competent ministries. The access is free in case of some data sets; others can be obtained only exclusively through the ministries.

Research Questions

The research with R&D micro-data at IWH currently focuses on two aspects:

  1. analyses of the extent of innovative projects of various players (universities, non-university research facilities, private economy) as well as of the linking of the players among themselves
  2. analyses of the effect of the R&D funding

Besides purely scientific evaluation, the data also serves for targeted economic policy consulting at the regional, national and international level. The IWH R&D Micro Database contributes to spatial location of R&D activities and to the analysis of effects of the R&D funding from the corporate and regional perspective.

In terms of contents, the project is coordinated in the Department of Structural Change and Productivity by the Research Group The Performance of Firms and Regions: Determinants and the Evaluation of Industrial Policy and is supported by the IWH Data Centre.

External Funding

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