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Berlin Innovation System

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Abstract

The Berlin innovation ecosystem is characterized by its highly developed research landscape. Berlin boasts a high density of universities—and their graduates—and numerous well-developed and publicly financed research institutions. At the same time, a lack of large research-active companies and a weakly developed SME sector are major deficits in Berlin’s innovation ecosystem. These shortcomings result in weak privately financed R&D, the pronounced small-scale nature of Berlin’s economy, and rather low patent performance.

What sets Berlin apart as an innovation ecosystem in Germany and throughout Europe is the vibrant startup scene that has developed since the 2000s. Interestingly, the Berlin startup boom is not the result of exceptionally favorable political and administrative conditions or ambitious support programs, but rather of social and cultural factors.

Innovative startups that align with Berlin’s strength in publicly financed R&D generate positive long-term effects: They encourage large, well-established companies to invest in the city. These investments are no longer merely incubators and showrooms but, increasingly, R&D centers and—like in Tesla’s case—production facilities. Thus, science and innovation are making a decisive contribution to turning a poor and structurally weak city back into an attractive location for business and industry.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-80639-2_7
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Notes

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    Lübbers T et al. (2020) Evaluierung der Berliner Innovationsförder-Programme 2018/2019, Ramboll Management Consulting GmbH, Berlin.

  2. 2.

    Compared to the other leading European startup locations London, Paris and Stockholm, Berlin lags behind when it comes to patent intensity. Startup Genome (2019) Global Start-up Ecosystem Report 2019. p. 29ff.

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    Rupf W (1999) Der Wirtschaftsstandort Berlin. In: Rytlewski, R.; Süß, W. (Hrsg.): Berlin – Die Hauptstadt. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Bonn. p. 391ff.

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    EFI – Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (2013) Gutachten zu Forschung, Innovation und technologischer Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands 2013. Berlin: EFI. p. 35 f. and Dauchert H (2013) IT-Unternehmensgründungen in Berlin, Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem. Berlin: EFI. p. 18f.

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    https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/probleme-in-der-verwaltung-berlin-endlich-regierbar-machen/20984010.html (last accessed on March 25, 2021).

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    The popular phrase was coined by Klaus Wowereit, mayor of Berlin from 2001 to 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/sep/11/poor-but-sexy-not-enough-rise-fall-berlin-mayor-klaus-wowereit (last accessed on March 25, 2021).

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    Lübbers T et al. (2020) Evaluierung der Berliner Innovationsförder-Programme 2018/2019, Ramboll Management Consulting GmbH, Berlin. p. 66f.

  10. 10.

    EFI—Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (2013) Gutachten zu Forschung, Innovation und technologischer Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands 2013. Berlin: EFI. p. 35 f. and Dauchert H (2013) IT-Unternehmensgründungen in Berlin, Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem. Berlin: EFI. p. 18f.

  11. 11.

    Dealroom (2020a) Shortage of later stage venture capital in Germany: more acute due to Corona crisis. https://startup-map.berlin. p. 24ff. Provided by Dealroom (according to communication with authors April 16, 2021).

  12. 12.

    Rammer C et al. (2019) Knowledge proximity and firm innovation: A microgeographic analysis for Berlin.

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  19. 19.

    Students at Berlin’s art colleges: 5700, at the administration colleges: 900. The number of students at all Brandenburg universities was 49,500 in the winter semester 2019/20 according to Federal Statistical Office.

  20. 20.

    Nonuniversity research institutions include the four major scientific organisations (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung, Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren, Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Max Planck Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften), the Max Weber Stiftung and other institutions.

  21. 21.

    Gehrke B et al. (2020) Forschung und Entwicklung in Staat und Wirtschaft – Deutschland im internationalen Vergleich. Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem. Nr. 2–2020. Berlin: EFI. p. 137.

  22. 22.

    Open Access Monitor. https://open-access-monitor.de/#/publications (last accessed on March 25, 2021). The Open Access Monitor collects data the Dimensions database and several Open Access databases.

  23. 23.

    Frietsch et al. (2017) Performance and Structures of the German Science System 2016, Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem, Berlin: EFI.

  24. 24.

    Hamburg: 7600 publications; Bremen: 2700 publications (all figures for 2019). Open Access Monitor. https://open-access-monitor.de/#/publications (last accessed on March 25, 2021).

  25. 25.

    Neuhäusler P et al. (2021) Patent Applications – Structures, Trends and Recent Developments 2020. Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem. Berlin: EFI.

  26. 26.

    Rate of new businesses: number of new businesses as Percentage of the total number of businesses.

  27. 27.

    The differences between the federal states with regard to the startup rates can be attributed to a considerable extent to the sectoral composition of new businesses. In Berlin and the city-states of Hamburg and Bremen, a relatively high proportion of startups is in the service sector, which is typical of highly densely populated areas (agglomerations). Bersch J et al. (2021) Unternehmensdynamik in der Wissenswirtschaft in Deutschland 2018, Gründungen und Schließungen von Unternehmen, Gründungsdynamik in den Bundesländern, Internationaler Vergleich, Wagniskapital-Investitionen in Deutschland und im internationalen Vergleich. Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem. Berlin: EFI.

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    Bersch J et al. (2021) Unternehmensdynamik in der Wissenswirtschaft in Deutschland 2018, Gründungen und Schließungen von Unternehmen, Gründungsdynamik in den Bundesländern, Internationaler Vergleich, Wagniskapital-Investitionen in Deutschland und im internationalen Vergleich. Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem. Berlin: EFI.

  29. 29.

    Gornig M and Werwatz A (2019) Anzeichen für eine Reurbanisierung der Industrie, DIW Wochenbericht Nr. 47/2018, Berlin. p. 1008f.

  30. 30.

    Kollmann T et al. (2019) Deutscher Start-up Monitor 2019. Hrsg.: Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V. und PWC Deutschland.

  31. 31.

    EFI – Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (2019) Gutachten zu Forschung, Innovation und technologischer Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands 2019. Berlin: EFI.

  32. 32.

    https://www.exist.de/DE/Home/inhalt.html (last accessed on March 25, 2021).

  33. 33.

    Period from 2007 to 2018.

  34. 34.

    https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Artikel/Mittelstand/gruendungsfinanzierung-high-tech-gruenderfonds.html (last accessed on March 25, 2021).

  35. 35.

    Active portfolio of HTGF I, II and III as of November 2018.

  36. 36.

    Dealroom (2020) Startup jobs in Berlin. https://startup-map.berlin

  37. 37.

    Calculation of the number of startups in Berlin: 3752 companies were identified from public databases. From these companies, service providers, non-tech, mature startups (founded before 2006) and workspaces were excluded. From the remaining 2.935 startups all companies lacking employment data were excluded. 1.958 startups remained. Dealroom (2020): Startup jobs in Berlin. https://startup-map.berlin

  38. 38.

    https://startup-map.berlin/heatmaps/funding/cities (last accessed on March 25, 2021).

  39. 39.

    Around 70% of startups are not venture financed. Dealroom (2020): Startup jobs in Berlin. https://startup-map.berlin

  40. 40.

    Dealroom (2019) Berlin Ecosystem Launch Report. https://startup-map.berlin; Provided by Dealroom (according to communication with authors April 16, 2021).

  41. 41.

    Dealroom (2020a) Shortage of later stage venture capital in Germany: more acute due to Corona crisis. https://startup-map.berlin

  42. 42.

    EFI – Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (2019) Gutachten zu Forschung, Innovation und technologischer Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands 2019. Berlin: EFI.

  43. 43.

    Dealroom (2019) Berlin Ecosystem Launch Report. https://startup-map.berlin: 11). Provided by Dealroom (according to communication with authors April 16, 2021).

  44. 44.

    A total of 54 potential unicorns are counted in France and 60 in Germany. The position of Great Britain and London remains undisputed. London alone has 60 potential unicorns, Great Britain a total of 98.

  45. 45.

    Dealroom (2019) Berlin Ecosystem Launch Report. https://startup-map.berlin

  46. 46.

    Startup Genome (2019) Global Start-up Ecosystem Report 2019.

  47. 47.

    “While it is still a high-performing ecosystem, it faces a challenge we highlighted in our 2017 report: Berlin had two 2014 IPOs worth close to $14 billion total (from Zalando and Rocket Internet), but has not produced comparable successes since. As exits declined, its rank followed.” Startup Genome (2019) Global Start-up Ecosystem Report 2019.

  48. 48.

    Harhoff D (2020) Die Forschung kann nicht warten, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 3, 2020.

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Dauchert, H., Garzik, L. (2022). Berlin Innovation System. In: Garzik, L. (eds) Successful Innovation Systems. Future of Business and Finance. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-80639-2_7

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