20 years of innovation policy in East Germany – from a pure “survival support” to high-tech subsidy
The article uses the occasion of “20 years German re-unification” in order to provide an overview of the range of innovation policy schemes in East Germany with the intention to identify changing patterns or paradigms in its philosophy and priorities over time. In general, innovation policy schemes aim at increasing research and development (R&D) activities of companies in order to strengthen their competitiveness as market incentives for R&D are usually too low (problem of market failure). However, in East Germany in the early 1990s the situation was different. At the very beginning, the transformation process in East Germany was accompanied by innovation policy schemes that aimed at the pure maintenance of industrial research and the stock of R&D personnel since the potential for innovation was at a risk to be eliminated completely. In the late 1990s the intention of innovation policies changed. Instead of financial support primarily for human resources, innovation policy schemes since then focused on the support of cooperation projects between different research entities (companies and scientific organizations) and, later on, also the setup of networks in order to close the economic differences between East and West Germany.