Mechanical Engineering - Germany's No. 1 Innovation Machine


Mechanical engineering is the most important employer of engineers. With its key technologies of intelligent production, our industry is the German innovation machine. Despite all the joy about the top position that Germany occupies according to a current analysis of the World Economic Forum, the following applies: Our innovation system must become even better.

Weaknesses can be seen in the integration of midrange companies. On the one hand, these larger SMEs are not reached by SME support measures because they are above the employee threshold. On the other hand, large federal and EU collaborative projects are often too complex and - in view of the vague prospects of success at the application stage - difficult to plan.

An expert opinion by VDMA and ZEW has shown that mid-range companies are clearly disadvantaged in research funding. At the same time, they stand for employment and value creation in our country. But if we want to achieve a new 3.5 percent target, which is also politically desired in the coalition agreement, we also need these companies.

Germany must now above all release the forces of the middle class. Tax incentives for research are overdue. Recently announced cornerstones of the BMBF and BMWi are heading in the right direction - but funding companies with up to 3,000 employees can only be the first step. And it has to be gone, too.

Because there is no doubt that other countries also want to become world champions of innovation and attract our best companies - they should then set up their research centres there and plant the first "little plant of the future". At any rate, tax incentives for research are available in almost the entire OECD world.

Specifically, we demand:

  • Introduction of tax research support also for midrange companies
  • Supplementing BMBF collaborative research with sector-wide transfer measures
  • Massive expansion of joint industrial research for the benefit of our universities and industry
  • IT and 5G infrastructure that meets the needs of a world-leading production site
  • Modernisation of study programmes and increase in success in MINT subjects
  • Excellence at Germany's Vocational Schools

Good things can always get better. As the country's largest industrial employer, mechanical engineering relies on an outstanding innovation area in Germany. This is the only way to turn it into a real innovation dream for 1.3 million people and their families tomorrow and to produce the future.