Wie effektiv sind Technologie- und Gründerzentren in den Neuen Bundesländern?
In Eastern Germany, since the beginning of the 1990s technology centers and business incubators are established by cities and municipalities to provide a favorable business environment for young and newly founded innovative firms. Right from the beginning, the effectiveness of these support facilities has been the subject of intense academic and policy discussions, but empirical evidence on the actual effectiveness of these centers is limited so far. Taking into account that the choice of the appropriate criteria for evaluations of the effectiveness of technology centers and business incubators is far from clear cut, this article focuses on three core indicators that are generally accepted as measures for effectiveness (incubation time, share of newly founded firms in the tenant portfolio and technological level of the supported firms), and analyses for five business incubators in East Germany whether they can be characterized as being effective policy instruments. A positive assessment of the five incubators’ effectiveness can be made with regard to average incubation time of tenant companies, as well as insofar the share of newly founded firms on all supported companies is concerned. However, deficiencies are found regarding the technological level of the incubator firms.