Bureaucracy inhibits the willingness to innovate
Only 62 percent of companies in Germany plan to develop further innovations by 2010, while between 2005 and 2007 72 percent of companies introduced at least one product or process innovation. That is the result of a study for which the Institute for Applied Social Science GmbH (Infas) surveyed around 2500 companies with at least 10 employees on behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation.
The decline in innovation activities is most evident in Bavaria and Brandenburg. The reason for this would be high innovation costs, but above all the growing risks in the wake of the economic crisis. In Bremen and Saxony-Anhalt, however, these factors played a subordinate role. For those surveyed in the countries with the highest proportion of innovators in West and East Germany, the greatest obstacle to innovation would be the lack of suitable specialist staff. In addition, many companies see bureaucratic factors as a brake on innovative activities. For example, long administrative and approval procedures as well as complex application procedures were among the most important obstacles to innovation in almost all federal states.
“In times of crisis in particular, however, innovations are of particular importance, as the employment and sales development in these companies is usually much more positive,” says Thorsten Hellmann from the Bertelsmann Foundation. The survey also showed that 57 percent of the innovative companies were able to increase the number of their employees between 2005 and 2007, whereas the figure for the remainder was only 31 percent. The companies were satisfied with the research infrastructure.