Research and Development: important source for product innovation also in East Germany
The development and successful introduction of new products is a fundamental feature of a modern knowledge society. After completion of the retrieving technological renewals in East Germany, businesses in the newly-formed German states have to stand up to the competition for marketable concepts and ideas. In doing so, the structural particularities on the strength of transformation are still in force and besides, the embedding of East Germany between high-tech in the West and catching up countries in the East constitutes an additional challenge. This article outlines the innovation activities of East German companies and pursues in the framework of an multivariate analysis to follow up intra-corporate determining factors for product innovations The empirical analysis, employing the IAB establishment panel, shows an active share of innovation participation of companies belonging to the manufacturing industry in East Germany during the years 2002 and 2003. The proportion of companies with product innovation in the newly-formed German states even lies slightly above the reference value for West Germany. Especially companies with an own Research and Development (R&D) department are introducing new products twice as much as companies without an R&D division. The regression analysis proves that own R&D represents the strongest driving force for product innovations in regard to input factors. Moreover, continuing operational education can also be attested a positive impact on innovation activities and emphasizes concurrently the meaning of long-life learning. In reference to business specific characteristics, it stands out that foreign equity participation imposes a significant negative impact of on product innovations. This result, deserving further analysis, indicates the phenomenon of so-called subcontracting.